On Saturday, June 30 and Sunday July 1 we finished our latest trip and drove home to Reno.
The traffic on Interstate 5 going south from Tacoma, through Portland was terrible. But we finally made it to Oakridge, Oregon where we spent the night. Oakridge is a small town but we had a great hamburger dinner and live bluegrass music at the local pub called Brewers Union Local 180.
We are home again now for the month of July then will head out again to Northern Europe. We plan to visit Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Ireland. Suggestions of places to go and things to see are always welcome.
This morning we packed up and checked out of our wonderful rental house in Malahat. We took the ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula. Tonight we are staying at the Resort at Port Ludlow.
Since Monday my brother and his wife, and my sisters and their husbands, and Duke and I have been sharing a beautiful rental house overlooking the water north of Victoria, British Columbia. During the day we have each done our own things and in between we have had lots of time to talk and enjoy each others Company.
Wednesday four of us went to Butchart Gardens.
Tuesday Duke and I hiked around Thetis Lake.
Thursday we hiked to the Goldstream Canyon Trestle.
Sunday morning we drove into Victoria and toured the Provincial Parliament Building.
We did some grocery shopping and then checked into the rental house where we are all staying for our Robinson get together. We had a great time catching up.
We slept in this morning after getting to bed about 3am. We got on the road just after 11 and caught the 3:30 ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Vancouver Island. It is raining and everything is lush and green. Tomorrow we rendezvous with the other three Robinson kids and their spouses for our family get together.
Saturday morning we caught a 7:50 am plane out of Juneau. It stopped in Ketchikan on the way to Seattle. Unfortunately as we were getting ready to take off one of the engines had a problem. The mechanic had to come over to the airport on the ferry. It took four hours but they fixed the engine and we finally made it to Seattle. Unfortunately we missed our connection to Bellingham. We were rebooked for an 11:40 pm plane. The good thing was that our eight hour layover allowed us to visit with our niece Mary who works for Alaska Airlines in Seattle.
Our flight to Bellingham was delayed about thirty minutes when they had a problem with the cabin noise cancelling system. We finally made it to Bellingham, retrieved our car, and left Bellingham at 1 am. The border crossing people seemed a bit perplexed about why we were crossing the border at 2 am but eventually they let us into Canada. We were in bed at our hotel by 3 am.
Today is our last day in Alaska. We hiked up above the Mendenhall Glacier.
Duke and I make it a habit to visit and tour State capitals whenever we get the chance. We have a spreadsheet at home to keep track but I think that together we have been to about 26. Today we enjoyed the self guided tour of the Alaska State Capital.
Several framed old newspaper front pages were hanging on the table walls. I thoroughly enjoyed perusing them and in some cases remembering where I was when the event happened.
I also liked the earrings framed with the picture of former State Senator Bettye Fahrenkamp. She wore them during Senate floor sessions. In one ear and out the other!
After exploring the Capital we went to the Juneau-Douglas City Museum. It is a small museum but it had a lot of interesting information about the history of fishing, mining, and politics in the Juneau area. I had a lot of fun with the exhibits.
Finally we browsed the stores and walked up and down the boardwalk beside the three gigantic cruise ships that were in Juneau for the day.
By the time we finished dinner two of the ships had departed. A lady in one of the shops told me they have cruise ships in port every day for five months.
This morning we took it easy and enjoyed a short hike. Then we took the shuttle bus from the lodge to the ferry terminal in Gustavus. On our way we saw a bear and a moose!
Today was a calm sunny warm day so the four and a half hour ferry ride was stunningly beautiful. This is our fifteenth wedding anniversary. We have had so much fun together over the past fifteen years. It is only right that today should be such a perfect day.
“And so we arrive in Glacier Bay, a land reborn, a world returning to life, a living lesson in resilience. If ever we needed a place to intrigue and inspire us, to help us see all that is possible in nature and in ourselves, this is it.”
This is the quote the ranger used to start our Glacier Bay boat tour today. As I sit writing this post in the lounge of the lodge I can say the quote is perfect and our ranger guide Caitlin Campbell was enthusiastic, entertaining and and very knowledgeable.
Today we learned that only 10,000 of the 500,000 people that visit Glacier Bay National Park each year touch land and take the National Park Service small boat tour. The rest are on cruise ships. We also heard multiple times today that our weather was unusual. The sun was shining and we could see the Fairweather Range where all the glaciers are formed. The Fairweathers are giant peaks on the horizon. The tallest peak is more than 1000 feet taller than any peaks in the lower forty-eight states.
Our boat tour started at 7:30 am. We saw so many animals: sea otters, tufted puffins, hump back whales, harbor seals, sea lions, a wolf!, a porcupine and bald eagles.
We learned that in 1780 the glaciers extended all the way to what is now the mouth of the bay. Today we had to go about fifty miles up the bay to get to the glaciers. But the glaciers…. Wow! Beautiful, Big, Awe inspiring!
On the boat Duke did the activities required to qualify as a Junior Ranger. He was inducted as a by our Ranger Guide. I’m so proud of him! Now he he keeps reminding me that he has the badge so he is knowledgeable and in charge!
We got back from our boat tour about 3:00 and then did a hike called the Bartlett River Trail. The forest here is moss covered and seems magical.
Finally we had salmon and beer for dinner in the lodge overlooking Bartlett Cove. What a perfect day!