One Old Sage

Thoughts, Stories, and Bits of Wisdom

North to Alaska – The Journey Continues

I thought starting out with Johnny Horton singing “North to Alaska” might be appropriate.

This is a very good music video as it shows the country the gold seekers had to cross before they could even attempt to find their riches.

Pierre Berton, a Canadian author and authority on the Klondike, wrote several books on the gold rush and the Klondike. If you are interested in this area, reading one of Pierre’s books is well worth the effort.

Now for the continuation of our journey.

We couldn’t have asked for better weather or calmer seas. It added a great deal of enjoyment to the cruise not having to worry about dressing for rain or cold and not looking like drunks staggering from wall to wall in the corridors. We commented several times on the smoothness of the seas.

The scenery through the inside passage is difficult to describe. One Australian fellow told Linda and Debbie he’d never seen so many trees in his life. The trees are only part of the story. We traveled through passes which are only wide enough for a single cruise ship. With the exception of one small section of the trip, a marine pilot is required. While in Canadian waters, which comprised most of the journey, we had a Canadian pilot and then received an American pilot once we crossed into US waters.

There is one section of the trip just north of Vancouver called Seymour Narrows. The current runs up to 15 knots and most ships can only traverse it at a slack tide. It is also the former location of the notorious Ripple Rock which was only nine feet below the surface. It sunk 119 vessels before it was destroyed by the largest planned non-nuclear explosion in North American history on April 5, 1958. The blast was shown on live TV.

This was Linda’s fourth Alaska cruise, Deb’s third and my second. The last time I took the trip was for my 40th birthday when Linda surprised me with the trip. I had a great time flying onto the Mendenhall Glacier by helicopter and spending 45 minutes roaming around. 

We chose not to take any guided tours this trip. Instead, we walked around Juneau, Skagway, and looked at Ketchikan from the deck. The highlight of the trip for me was Glacier Bay which was every bit as spectacular as the first trip. When a wall of ice falls from a glacier it’s called “calving”. The video below shows what this looks like. The screams of excitement on the video aren’t from Linda and Debbie. They’re more the silent appreciation type of folks.

I could run on for a long time about the scenery, the food, and the bread pudding (special food for me), but I think I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. I hope you enjoy them.

Day 1 Sunset with The Star Princess

Day 1 Sunset with The Star Princess

One of many narrow passes on the Inside Passage

One of many narrow passes on the Inside Passage – I don’t know who the lady is. :)

Sunset in Juneau

Sunset in Juneau

Chamber of Commerce in Skagway

Chamber of Commerce in Skagway

Glacier Above Skagway

Glacier Above Skagway

5 comments on “North to Alaska – The Journey Continues

  1. Lynette d'Arty-Cross
    August 6, 2013

    Wow! It seems like you had a wonderful trip and I enjoyed the photos. :) Thanks for sharing, especially the reminder about Pierre Burton. I had forgotten that he was really quite an expert on the north.

  2. ramblingsfromamum
    August 4, 2013

    The pictures are lovely as North to Alaska as I still listen to whilst replying. I have always loved this song. Tell me though are things as bad as what we here with global warming and the ice melting, leaving the bears very little to live on? I’d be curious to know where the Australian fellow came from as we have an abundance of trees over here! Perhaps he lived inner city all his life and didn’t venture to the country often. Lovely continuation and now we know you are a fan of bread pudding ;-)

    • Nelson - One Old Sage
      August 4, 2013

      Linda thought he came from inland somewhere. The trees here are also very large and the entire trip is pretty much forest and mountains.

      We’re losing a lot of our habit due to man and not necessarily climate change. There has been a drop in some of the large carnivores due to warming but the true extent isn’t really known. It’s obviously somewhere between the doom and gloom of environmentalists and and the census done by the various wildlife agencies.

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