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Written By: Gary on July 11, 2013 No Comment

Today there was really not much to do, which I find odd since there were so many activities all the other other days. We crossed back into Canada at 2 and stopped into Prince Rupert around 6pm. The itinerary says we visited the “Worlds Largest Cold Storage Plant” but I really really don’t remember that (and I’ve got no note of it in my journal). I see from my journal we did go down and visit the engine room and wheel house of the ship.

Okay, so I’ve checked my journal and the photos and I appear to have zero photos from today, which is weird. I’m wondering if something happened to a roll and I have no pictures until the day after tomorrow (or if I’ve mixed something up in the order of photos?). Regardless, as I said yesterday, I have things that did not get posted so I’ll share some of those today.

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A few more shots of the Glacier Bay area for you.

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One of the ranger’s that came on board to talk to us about Glacier Bay.

I forgot to mention the size of the glacier’s yesterday. The Margaree Glacier is a mile wide, 200 feet tall and thirty-five miles long! That’s huge.

Me all dressed up for the Captains Dinner
Me all dressed up for the Captain’s Dinner

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A view off the back of the ship as we pull away from Glacier Bay.

The Man of Steel
Dressed up as Superman for the costume contest. I made this costume!!!

I did win a T-Shirt for this costume, it said “First Mate”! So yesterday was a super busy day: we had Glacier Bay, the Captain’s dinner and a costume party. Why some of these weren’t saved for the next few days, I’m not really sure.

If you’re reading this post out of context, this is me re-journaling a trip to Alaska from when I was a kid. You might want to click the “trip to Alaska” link and go to the bottom and read them in order. I’m posting each entry on the same day that it happened years ago.

Written By: Gary on July 10, 2013 No Comment

I believe that this is the farthest north that we go on the Alaska cruise. We started our day with Mount Fairweather and Glacier Bay. Actually, I believe Mt. Fairweather is above Glacier Bay so we kind of saw both at once.

There are only two main glacier’s in the Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve. But they are huge and there is ice all over the place! Lots of photos today, very little narration except for a few photo captions.

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Me on the ship
Me with Glacier Bay in the background.

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You can really see the parts of the glacier falling off in this photo (calving).

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A few of the people on our trip.

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Another photo where you can see the calving of the glacier!

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Actually, lots more happened today, but if I talk about it, there’s more photos that need to be included and I think that’s enough for the day. I’ll squeeze them in with tomorrow’s post (which I think was a slow day) or I’ll create a part two later.

If you’re reading this post out of context, this is me re-journaling a trip to Alaska from when I was a kid. You might want to click the “trip to Alaska” link and go to the bottom and read them in order. I’m posting each entry on the same day that it happened years ago.

Written By: Gary on July 9, 2013 No Comment

From my Journal –

Breakfast is always the same, I picked up a menu so people at home could see it.

I put the menu in an entry from a few days ago, so I won’t put it here again. What’s funny is that it sounds like I’m complaining about breakfast, but I think when I was younger I pretty much at the same thing every day. I know as an adult I eat the same thing (but this is a different same thing than when I was a kid), nine out of ten days I have: bacon, eggs, cantaloupe and orange juice…

Today we went into Tracy Arm to see our first up close look at glaciers.

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We passed a large cruise ship while were were out there today.

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I believe the pieces of ice that fall off are called calfs.

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A big glacier!

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Some of the people from our group. I wish I could remember their names!

In the afternoon we went to Juneau.

The chamber of commerce took us (the boys) out to the glacier and to the salmon bake outside restaurant.

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A few photos from the Mendenhall glacier were stitched to make this huge panorama. Click to enlarge.

They actually took a nice photo of us out at the Mendenhall glacier and it made it into the Juneau Empire newspaper with a nice article. I’ll scan that later, just taking a photo of it would not do it justice. I just found this yesterday with the group photo from Banff that I mentioned a few days ago (I’ll get this scanned soon).

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I’m not sure what the rest of out group did today, but the boys went to a fish fry.

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I was reading about shopping in Juneau and just remembered, in Juneau I bought a ring. It’s funny I’ve thought about this ring many times throughout the years, but I’ve forgotten all about it as I’m been putting this information together about this trip. It was a little large but I really liked it, it looked like a school class ring and it was silver and have a black stone (hematite?). I wore it more when I was in college and I lost it about a decade later (I think in organic chemistry class), as I said it was a little big and I was always playing with it and I think I left it on my desk (at least that’s the last time I remember seeing it). I checked with maintenance and the office quite a few times afterwards hoping it would turn up. I’ve always hoped I was wrong and that it would turn up later that it’d fallen out at home and gotten mixed in with stuff, but it never did….

I also bought a little pewter polar bear, but I’m not sure where that is, I haven’t seen it in years. It’s either in another box of memorabilia or it got lost too.

If you’re reading this post out of context, this is me re-journaling a trip to Alaska from when I was a kid. You might want to click the “trip to Alaska” link and go to the bottom and read them in order. I’m posting each entry on the same day that it happened years ago.

Written By: Gary on July 8, 2013 No Comment

So it’s our first day in Alaska! We crossed the border sometime in the night and we arrived at Ketchikan in the morning around 7:30 am.. It’s a little grey out but it’s a town in Alaska!!!!! We were told it was the “Salmon Canning Capitol of the World”!

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Ketchikan, Alaska. For reference, the line at the bottom of the map is the top of the United States.

Arriving in Ketchikan

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Arriving in Ketchikan (on a really grey morning).

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Downtown Ketchikan

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The Ketchikan Community College.

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Downtown Ketchikan

From my journal:

12:30 -The town was okay, there were a lot of shops. Got a scrimshaw spoon and two other spoons, a set of pottery seals and a really good kind of chocolate mint (called Meltaway Mint), hopefully I’ll have some left when we get home [I don’t think I did, sorry Mom]. Found some film for $5.70 which was not bad considering where we are [I think earlier I said it was $9 back on the U of BC campus].


3:00 pm – Just had lunch. Boy, that waiter sure has to put up with a lot. I’m surprised he hasn’t had a nevus breakdown!

5:30 pm – Been writing letters during lots of my free time, got about eight of them done to mail. It’s about time to get to Wrangell, I think I might skip dinner (I’ll get midnight snack later) so I can see more of the town.

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Looking out on the water from town (or the dock?) but I’m not sure which town though.

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Sign says: “Chief Shakes Community House”.

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This totem pole is a little dark, but it’s zoomed in for more detail.

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A is Ketchikan and B is Wrangell. If you went by ferry it’s 5-6 hours and about 90-100 miles (and about $37 in 2013).

I’m not sure if I’m including a map for all the towns along the coast, I think most are along that same peninsula/area along the coast, I don’t think we got into the big part of Alaska at all, just along the side of British Columbia, Canada. I haven’t been reading ahead in my journal or itinerary as I write all this (I like the surprise!).

From my journal:

Midnight – Wrangle was another small town. The Wrangle Narrows looked okay, but I didn’t get any pictures [I think we are on board watching a movie, we paused it as we passed through to look, but that was it]. We went to shakers island to see the indian relics, but they had just closed. I had those letters written and left them unsealed so if I wanted to add something, I could. But when I got back to the boat Jeff had mailed them (he said he added some to the letters and changed some, but I think he was kidding).

I comment on the size of these small towns, but they don’t seem so small to me now (I think I’d been used to the big cities that we’d traveled to). These towns are huge metropolises compared to the places I go to in Costa Rica, maybe that’s why they don’t seem so small to me now? Or in my head, did I remember them even smaller?

I’m sure we did a lot more that that, but it was a ways back so I only remember so much and I only took so many photos. I definitely take more photos these days, I probably take more on a bike ride at the park (where I go all the time) in a day than I did some of these days on the trip!

If you’re reading this post out of context, this is me re-journaling a trip to Alaska from when I was a kid. You might want to click the “trip to Alaska” link and go to the bottom and read them in order. I’m posting each entry on the same day that it happened years ago.

Written By: Gary on June 28, 2013 No Comment

So when I was a kid, I had the opportunity to go on a trip through Canada and on to Alaska and (sort of) back through the US. This was a big deal in my house, I didn’t get sent away to camp for the summer (maybe a week with scouts) or even on my own for any trips, this was huge for me. My Mom knew I was interested in Alaska from books (all I can think of off hand is The Hardy Boys – The Mystery at Devil’s Paw), television and school, she saw a newspaper article about this local teacher who did a tour every summer with seniors and teenage boys. I grew up with my single Mom who worked her butt off at a local grocery store and while this trip was a decent price, I still understood it was a lot of money; plus, I had to earn and pay for a third of it (or a quarter?). But the trip looked amazing, it was clearly one of those once in a lifetime opportunities and was probably supposed to build character helping the seniors with their luggage and other things.

This is that story of that trip. I’ve got photos (actually, mostly slides that were recently scanned) some (sometimes poorly written) journal entries by a 15-year old me and some other odds and ends that I’ll include. I might make a mistake or two with photos in the wrong order and me having to make some of my best guesses (but I’m pretty sure I’d kept the photos in order). Keep in mind that I don’t have as many photos as the cRaZy number that I would take these days since they wren’t digital back then.

The trip started on June 28 at empty parking lot in Pleasant Ridge where we all met and got on the bus to Windsor, Canada where we would catch the train to Toronto, Canada. My experience on busses were probably limited to school trips (maybe something with the boy scouts?) and I probably hadn’t ever been on a train at this point in my life.

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A picture out of the window of the train.
(I’m guessing that’s Toronto in the distance?)

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Some tall building I must have thought was cool since I took several pictures (none were very good).

We had a few hours to kill in Toronto while waiting for the train. So we wandered around and saw a few things and spent some time at an amusement park called Canada Place, the weird thing is that I don’t really remember Canada Place from any of my trips to Toronto the following few years and it looks like it’s still around.

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Toronto’s CN tower which I really thought we went up in it, but since I don’t have any pictures, maybe we didn’t.

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This ship was docked nearby (at the carnival?)

I promise the adventures get more exciting after the first few days since they are mostly transportation to get to other places and I didn’t do much with my journal the first 5 days…

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