Tuesday, July 19, 2011

alaska marine hwy...juneau to hoonah.

there are at least 11 ferries on the alaska marine highway system. gustavus just rebuilt thier old rickety dock and can now accomadate a ferry as of last year i believe. lucky for us. i love taking the ferries places. what a great way to see alaska. since i lived in southeast alaska for 6 years i had several opportunities to take the ferry system. i arrived in ketchikan by ferry from prince rupert in british columbia and i moved to anchorage and thus left ketchikan again by ferry. in between there were trips to juneau and prince of wales island and various stops to different ports. i have also taken the ferry from whittier to valdez and from kodiak to dutch harbor. not sure how many of the actual boats i've been on. i know the tustumena (also called the rusty tusty or the vomit rocket). also columbia, taku and i believe the kennicot. now i can add the leconte to the list. the fairweather was in port the morning we left juneau as was the columbia. can't recall seeing so many ferries in one town at the same time.

the aurora sounds familiar as the one i took to valdez, but i'd have to look back at pictures...so lets see how many i can name then...columbia, kennicot, matanuska, tustumena, aurora, fairweather, leconte, chenega,taku, lituya, malaspina(been on that one too come to think of it).i think they are mostly named for glaciers, but i could be wrong. the oldest vessels were built around the time i was born in 1963, '64. (i was born in '64) the columbia is the biggest and can carry up to 600 passengers. the ferries were lovingly refered to as the "poor mans cruise". getting a room is a bonus if you can swing it, but you have to book very early. i think the new schedule usually comes out in october for the following year. most people just grab a table or an area and sleep where ever. there are solariums on the boats that have longer runs and those have some heat supplied. many people sleep in the longue chairs out there or even pitch tents...using duct tape and belongings to anchor it on deck.

many of the ferries have dining on board. we ate our breakfast on the leconte. pretty good food. we found on our run to dutch harbor that as we got off the ferry to check out the village we were in, the people from town were headed onto the ship to get grill food. for them it was a floating restaurant...something they do not have available in thier communities. burgers and fries were very popular. can't "cook" on the boats, but the tustemena had a microwave so i know i ate in the dining room for breakfast and then brought microwavable food for the other meals. our ferry ride was only 6 hours to gustavus so no need for anything else besides breakfast.

our travels on the leconte were pleasant. the waters are probably more protective there in southeast alaska and the ride was gentle...that isn't always the case on all ferry trips.

we did have cloudy conditions with brief sprinkles. not alot of rain. the skies above are typical for southeast alaska. some get lucky though and the place is amazing if the skies are blue...it's rare though.

i know the kids who grew up with ferries are pretty chill about them. me, i still get giddy and walk outside often and look for stuff to take pictures of. plenty on boats to keep me busy for hours. gotta watch for the wildlife as well.

the bell was a bit dirty looking when we left juneau....they cleaned it in hoonah.

fishing boat.

i think this is actually hoonah above. i'll probably blog about hoonah next entry. baby steps.

a few things are going up on the wall here....the nails and little hammer are out! eek. trying to be all organized about stuff coming back in. will need to throw stuff away. spoke to my brother jeff and he was saying how he has a really hard time tossing stuff. luckily for him, his partner doesn't. i tend to collect as well, like my parents before me, but i do have periods of purging where i will happily toss stuff. i think that is why i like to put stuff out and give it away. the longer it sits waiting for it's next destination the more chance i have to change my mind. once a thing is gone, it's gone and in general you move on without it. we all have so much stuff in this country.

that in the above picture is what we in southeast alaska referred to as "a sucker hole". basically, you are a sucker if you think that little patch of blue sky will open up and make the weather change.

we did pass one lighthouse on the way. sentinel island lighthouse. always love a lighthouse.

went for my swim today. great to be back in the water. apparently somewhere in the lower 48 a woman drowned in a public pool and the water was so murky that none of the other swimmers noticed her for several days. some young boy tried to tell folks that a lady had gone in but not gotten back out. don't think he was believed or taken seriously. the water at the alaska club is generally quite clear. was thinking that pool must have been awful if nobody saw here floating around in there.

the cooks had a little herb garden on the deck...thought it looked cute.

thought the flowers were a nice touch as well.

the closet guys came today as well. got an estimate. will be pricey but i think it will all be nice when it's done. they may be able to do it as early as a week or so and it only takes 3-4 hours to install. the flooring people claim they used all the product. still find that a bit hard to believe. would still like a bit of spare product, but i'll let that go. just happy that when the closet door came down it didn't take out a chunk of the flooring. will be an expensive month in august. closets, want to get that daybed and my car insurance is due. at least the car is all paid off so no more car payments.

the pups and i went to cheney lake today. there is this scarey house right next door to the grammer school. the place is pretty run down. the windows have been broken for years but the windows are covered with sheets and stuff, all of them. creepy. there was a dog on it's chain in front of the place and then despite how run down the place is...it has one of those security placards in the front yard.

am loving my new office. still lots to do, but the colours, the flooring...brings a smile to my face.

the sun came out for a bit this afternoon. forced myself out to the garden and did pull some weeds. the chickweed has taken over and i'm ready to wage war on it. may have to go chemical and just keep the dogs out of there for a bit. hate that chickweed stuff. any tips?

loved the little wispy clouds out there.

this must be that sentinel lighthouse. it's just outside of juneau.

this one loaded sideways, but i had taken it sideways...this is how it was actually hanging. oh well.

blossom was just barking. it's usually just a neighborhood kitty cat...if i say kitty cat she goes nuts and starts barking as she runs for the nearest door or window. there have been several reports of black bear roaming about our neighborhoods. just heard of a sighting in baxter bog today. a few bears have been shot for getting into garbage and such. several chickens have been lost. the city passed an ordinance allowing backyard chickens, i suspect the bears will be quite happy with this. people will just have to learn how to protect thier chicken coops. of course, today was trash day and my can is still out front so i suck.

was much better in ketchikan. those neighborhood bears were much more visible. my garbage was never gotten into though i had bite marks all around the lid. i used bungee cords on it on trash day...seemed to work. sadly, my neighbors weren't as careful and the bear in my neighborhood in ketchikan liked to eat his garbage cache right under my bedroom window. only ever saw the after effects. i sleep very soundly and never woke up to the sounds of the bear out there.

another angle of the lighthouse.

had to get a flag shot as we were traveling to gustavus on the fourth of july.

bit out of order, these are from juneau and leaving.

had to get the milepost this year...it has an element on the cover.

work keeps calling. hearing there is a very sick baby that they are doing dialysis on. not excited to go in and use a machine i'm pretty unfamiliar with on a tiny baby. wish they'd just ship these little ones out. too scary for me. the nicu has been crazy and short staffed. they are offering crisis pay. that would be time and a half plus an additional $20/hr. i really should go for it and pay for my closets and new bed....but that would mean going to work in nicu. hate to work ot in the summers. it's too short.

the fireweek is already almost to the tops it seems. the wives tale story is that once those hit hte top in bloom, winter is only 6-8 weeks away. rumors have been going through the big town that everyone expects it to be an early winter. no idea where these stories are coming from, but i hear it all over town.

these are from my many treks around the boat.

still torn on the photo album thing. burned cd's from this trip and i think i'll still make an album for vacations anyway. my big bookcase is filled with photo albums. it is nice to have them all in one location rather than scattered about the house in various rooms. things change in our lifetimes and one tries to learn to adjust. film to digital has been a huge transition and i still haven't worked out the bugs for my own picture habits. i'm an old girl so it may take some time. i still like to hold an album and look through pictures that way. hard to part with the old ways, still have the old camera's and even the negatives throw me for a loop, what to do, what to do? i'm sure most people have simply tossed the old negatives. ran across several grocery bags filled iwth old papers/pictures and stuff from my grandpa after he'd passed on. he'd kept all his old negatives.

chilling on board.

not sure why i wore my xtra tuffs except that i had no room in the luggage and it seemed easier to just wear these.

there were a few pairs of loons at cheney lake. hopefully, i got a few pictures of them. we did hear a few out there near point adolphus, but never did see em. their call is unique and soothing.

was hoping to watch a net flix movie tonight, but obviously i won't get to that tonight.

since the boat left so early, several parents just put thier kids back into bags and let them sleep more. liked the teddy bear on the deck in the solarium.

it was an early morning wake up call. i think the taxi was picking us up between 5:30 and 5:45. yikes! still feel like i'm trying to get back on my regular schedule.

loading/unloading. the ferries run pretty close to on time and they wait for no one.

we had a pleasant day on the leconte.

hopefully tomorrow i'll tackle hoonah...

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