Friday, June 26, 2015

Alaska Photo Essay Part II - Juneau and Ketchikan

Bonus for us, our cruise aboard the Celebrity Infinity gave us the opportunity to see TWO glaciers! That's right, in Juneau one can take a public bus for a couple of bucks, then walk a mile and a half to the Mendenhall Glacier. So four of us did. The sun even came out!

Handy location right beside the bus loop in Juneau.

Juneau, AK
The walk along the highway from the last bus stop to the glacier was pretty enjoyable!

Mendenhall Glacier from the highway approach
Our first glimpse from the road!

Mendenhall Glacier & Nugget Falls
This is the view from the visitor's centre. We took the short hike along the shoreline to Nugget Falls, which you can see on the right side of the picture.

Mendenhall Glacier
Great glacier viewing from the sandbar below the falls.

At the Mendenhall Glacier & Nugget Falls, Juneau, AK
The "I was there" shot, photo credit: Dana Michaelson

Nugget Falls, Juneau, AK
This is the "Sindy was there" shot ; )

We lucked out and got a great cab driver back into Juneau who took us to a spot where we saw over 30 eagles in the tree tops, surveying the town landfill (which was out of view). We had a great seafood lunch, then we wandered around town, visited the beautiful Changing Tides quilt shop located in a historic building-turned-mall downtown and then made our way back to the ship.  Here are a few pics from my saunter. The town is built up a steep slope, so some folks have a very long staircase walk to get home instead of a sidewalk! On one of the higher streets in town, the steel grate sidewalk is cantilevered out over the slope beside the road.

Juneau, AK

Juneau, AK
For such a small town, it was exciting to spot three independent book sellers!

In Juneau, AK

Stitch at Sea Alaska 2015

Juneau, AK
I don't envy the homeowners at the top of this staircase on grocery day!

"Row housing" in Juneau, AK
I love that these homes are connected by an elevated walkway sidewalk to their front doors.

In Juneau, AK
The letter-carrier benefits from mail boxes at the bottom of the stairs!

Garden in Juneau, AK
A curb-side garden....condensation catchers or to keep birds out?

In Juneau, AK
This truck just seems to personify Alaskan fishing town.

Juneau stairs
I took this staircase back down to the pier and our ship.

Next stop, Ketchikan! I was there 10 years ago on a cruise with my whole family, celebrating my parents' 40th wedding anniversary. The town was pretty much as I remembered it.

We only had 30 minutes to snap a few shots of town before Katie, Joan and I had a date with a zipline at Southeast Exposure.  We weren't quite sure what to think when the owner of the company met us on the dock in a walking cast and crutches! She assured us that her ankle injury was from a hike while searching for a lost dog. That might have been the moment Joan started getting a little shaky.


Ketchikan, AK
The view as we pulled into the very long pier that can accommodate 4 cruise ships end to end.

Ketchikan AK

Ketchikan waterfront
Chief Johnson welcomes people to town from his statue on the pier 3 entitled "The Rock" by Dave Rubin.

Creek Street, Ketchikan
Ketchikan's infamous Creek St., where back in the day a fella could find whisky and the company of a 'lady' to take his mind off of the incessant rain.

And now onto our adventure in the trees!!  We were so lucky, only the three of us signed up for ziplining so we had the entire course to ourselves along with our fun guides Jeff and Cameo. We gasped, we laughed, we screamed. It was an awesome afternoon.

Southeast Exposure Zipline Trek, Ketchikan
Harnesses, check!

Southeast Exposure Zipline Trek, Ketchikan
The safety talk. I just love their faces as Jeff demonstrates falling off (and getting back onto) the platform above us.

Southeast Exposure Zipline Trek, Ketchikan
First stop, the ropes course!

Southeast Exposure Zipline Trek, Ketchikan
Cameo sends Katie off on her first zipline!

Southeast Exposure Zipline Trek, Ketchikan
Look who's conquered their fear and having a blast now!!

Southeast Exposure Zipline Trek, Ketchikan
This is an incredible 700 year old cedar that was part of our the zip trek through the forest. It was pretty humbling to stand "in" this magnificent tree.

Southeast Exposure Zipline Trek, Ketchikan
Just a short stroll over a wobbly bunch of 2 x 4's about 40' off the ground. No biggie.

DSC_0122 - Copy
Here comes Joan!

Docks at Southeast Exposure, Ketchikan, AK
The second to last line takes you out to this 30' tower in the ocean!! So cool!

Southeast Exposure Zip Trek
Jeff's doing some maintenance while we're out there.

Southeast Exposure ziptrek, Ketchikan, AK
And Katie's off to terra-firma once again.

Southeast Exposure Ziptrek
After our zipping, I took a little climb up the 55' wall. It's been ages since I did any climbing and it was super fun until my right hand started to cramp.  I managed to make it all the way to the top and ring the bell, yay!

And, that's pretty much it, folks!  The week was beyond wonderful and I'm feeling incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to spend it with such nice women. The balance of creative time, fine dining, dancing, discovery and excellent company was just right.  I never cracked my novel, but that's okay....I've got some beach time coming up this summer.  Hope you enjoyed this glimpse into our Stitch at Sea.


Kirsty @ Bonjour Quilts said...

What a fantastic trip, no wonder you had such a good time. I bet everyone who lives in Juneau has tight buns with all those stairs - bonus! Love the ropes course, that would be right up my alley (or tree, as it were)!

Leanne said...

Wow, your photos are fantastic, especially the glacier ones. I am glad you were able to zip and climb too, and also quilt and teach. What a great working holiday.

Unknown said...

I loved hearing about your adventure. After Hawaii on the Ahola Quilt Cruise
coming up in Sept., Alaska is my go to Cruise destination.

Deb Cox said...

Oh Krista, thank you so much for sharing your adventures and the wonderful photos. I am an armchair traveler (and sewer) and blogs like yours just open up the world for me. What a marvel and how lucky to be able to have people join you and learn your craft along the way. Cheers.

paulette said...

I loved the glimpse!! Now I want to GO! Well...maybe not the zipline...but the rest looked right up my alley! Good for you and your adventuresome friends!

Susan Snooks said...

What an amazing adventure! Don't expect to ever experience this part of the world so it's a treat seeing it through your eyes!

Jodie said...

Ooh you make me want to visit Junau, it is so beautiful. You dont't make me want to go zip lining though ...

Live a Colorful Life said...

This brings back SO many good memories. Well, other than the zip line. Didn't attempt that one...

Unknown said...

Wow - thanks for sharing your fantastic pictures. I am seeing cruising in a whole new light. What an adventure.

Susie said...

Fantastic photos ~ you are a great tour guide, Krista! And such an Adventurer. I just LOVE the combination of quilting & travelling that you present. Thank you. :D

SarahZ said...

How much fun! That you were able to do so much ashore, walking, touring, zip-lining, wall-climbing.....and be on a ship at sea, much fun!!! Thanks for the great tour!