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Old 07-20-2012, 02:40 PM   #16
Annabell
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Your pictures are really good ! Looking forward to see more... thanks for posting.
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Old 07-20-2012, 04:54 PM   #17
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June 11th trip - Yea!!

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Originally Posted by scrapbooker79 View Post
I was on the June 11th to Alaska, too! As a resident of the Seattle area, I can't believe what a bonehead I am for not getting pictures of Mt Rainier!!! I'm a first-time cruiser, and was still taking it all in. We got separated from my sister, my daughter, and my mom, so I spent the sail away party on the upper deck looking for them. I wish I would have gotten better pics, because the day we left Seattle has the best weather of the whole trip! (and actually, I feel we got really lucky with the weather in the ports. Ketchikan was the only city we had rain! )
PLEASE - feel free to chime in and comment on any post - you were THERE! Hope you enjoy the opportunity to "re-live" the experience through the pictures (all of which, by the way, are available to "copy" from disboards - I am not sensitive about people taking copies for themselves - assuming it is for personal use, of course!)
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Old 07-20-2012, 04:55 PM   #18
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Encouragement

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Originally Posted by Annabell View Post
Your pictures are really good ! Looking forward to see more... thanks for posting.
Thank you for the encouragement. I sit here with a backlog of MANY Disney-related photos, and this helps me focus on where the interest is!
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Old 07-20-2012, 05:20 PM   #19
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Skagway, June 14

For reference, we had more sunshine last year - I did not mind the gray or mist, I just decided not to bother standing on the platform of the train for the ascent (like I did last year) as I was unlikely to get better pictures. So, if you want beautiful pictures from the railroad climbing TO Fraser Pass,

Click Here for Table of Links to 2011 Alaska pictures

===============================

You can't let weather be a "factor" on vacation in Alaska (or, Seattle, apparently, for that matter). Go with what you get (be open to anything).

One of the interesting dimensions to port in Alaska, is that, with mountains all around you, everything is "close in" - the dock is very close to the mountain






The rail line is very close to the dock / mountain






We elected to repeat the bike ride down the mountains (little over 3000 ft) because (a) we enjoyed it last year and (b) my brother likes to bike and he was not with us last year. We got off the train in Fraser Pass (relatively high elevation for the area - note sub-alpine vegetation....)






We don our helmets and choose our bikes






...get our instructions (minimal)






and survey the route







.
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Old 07-20-2012, 05:34 PM   #20
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Skagway, continued

For the engineers in the audience, this "one sided" bridge was designed to connect two tectonic plates, which are likely to shift. With this design, the bridge is more likely to withstand a shift. My DB is a civil engineer for roads - he was most interested.....






There are planned stops for pictures







... this one, across the valley






Here, the White Pass train we took to Fraser Pass earlier, is on its descent back to Skagway. This view, across the valley...







Same train, but with the passenger cars rather than the locomotive...






Back in Skagway, DS takes a photo of a vintage car like his future grandfather-in-law has...






... and shows the scale of the snow-remover apparatus..







...fun with statues







... the newly added Wonder painting on the rocks by the ship






and a sense of place, returning to the ship






.
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:59 PM   #21
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Juneau - Mendenhall Glacier

Last year, we did the helicopter to the glacier. This year, we did the Port Adventure of bus to base of glacier, in combination with Whale Watching.

Here, DS stands by the water, with the glacier behind him....






A small pool of water...






The Visitor's Center - which I was only in for 5 minutes..





...where they had a cart with a chunk of glacier ice for viewing






...and the opportunity to see how mountain goat feet work






Many locations for nice photos






...including the rail area on the left






... or the waterfall on the right. Those 3 "dots" at the base of the falls are people (for perspective)






DN demonstrates her enthusiasm
(her response, whenever she was asked "What have you enjoyed most, so far?" was "everything")






Some blue ice, adrift...






The Big Picture - context for all the other pictures






.
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:05 PM   #22
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Love it! Thanks so much. I can't wait to go in September!!!
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:10 PM   #23
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Still to come....

Whale Watching
Ketchican Snorkeling
Tracy Arm
Seattle (the day AFTER the cruise)
Glacier National Park
- Isaac Walton Inn
- Going to the Sun Tour
- More Amtrak
Palo Brunch (again)
Palo Dinner (again)



Subscribe!!!
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:32 PM   #24
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Your first two ports are amazing!!! I had no clue they have an option to bike back down from White Rail Pass. That is something we would definitely be interested in!
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:54 PM   #25
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OMG Ellen. You are doing an absolutely amazing job as always. Just love your pictures and I want to go with you and Tom next time you go to Alaska! Your trips just look amazing and you would make an awesome tour guide! The scenery you see is just. . . . . WOW!

Thank you so much for sharing your trip and pictures with us again. And I just cracked up laughing with your wine experience on the train. Anise versus Anus. Yep, still laughing. Even had to tell Bobby about that one and he laughed too!

Thanks for reporting your 2012 Alaskan Adventure. Can't wait to read/see more of it. And be sure to tell Tom we said Hello!
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:02 PM   #26
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Great pictures as always Ellen. Looking forward to seeing/reading more of your Alaska adventure!
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:04 AM   #27
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Juneau - Whale Watching

Sounds like it could be rugged, but this is one very comfortable excursion.

Picture of the boat - enclosed and heated downstairs - open (better for pictures) upstairs. Free to move around and have complimentary hot chocolate! This is a picture of a sister boat, but ours was the same. One noteworthy feature is that this is a pontoon design (no propeller in the water), so they are allowed to go closer to whales than boats WITH a propeller in the water.

Note, the eagle flying above!







Leaving the harbor











Spotting our first whale






Getting the update on a decommissioned lighthouse, that is available for rent for $50/night. From here, it looks mighty romantic (to me)!







.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:09 AM   #28
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Whale Watching, continued

Mother whale - named Flame - and her calf, spyhopping






Flame dives, while calf continues to play







Flame, diving again

















Eagle, in flight (picture a little fuzzy)






.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:25 AM   #29
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More Whale Watching

On the lower left, there is a buoy - eagle on top, with about 6 seals on the base






Close-up, with lighthouse in background






Periodically, a seal in the water would prod one of the resting seals to get off...






Another imperfect picture, but beautiful view of the wildlife and the scenery!






3 Eagles, in the distance





Whale






Returning to Harbor - Alaskan Ferry











Our own version of "Taste of Alaska"





Of course, there are the ongoing chance to get family shots







They grow up SO quickly, I love having these "snapshots in time"



Also, that song from White Christmas - "Lord help the mister...." comes to mind!


.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:41 AM   #30
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Ketchican - Snorkeling

Our port in Ketchikan was brief and early! I wanted to book snorkeling last year, but could not find anyone to go with me. I don't need companionship to do something, but I don't insist on breaking with the group, especially when there were only 5 of us on the trip (2011). This year, DS24, who is scuba certified, agreed to go along.....

I don't have pictures of the bus - it looks like vintage 50's city bus in good repair - used because of the seats (that old, durable plastic doesn't retain moisture). We get preliminary instructions on the bus about or upcoming adventure.


Once at the dive shop, we suit up







Walk down to the water's edge










... and get guidelines from 1 of 4 scuba guides









Starfish

















.
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