My blog about knitting, teaching, and being a mother to two energetic young boys.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Juneau & Skagway

Did you know the capital of Alaska is Juneau? The 3rd largest city in Alaska with approximately 30,000 residents & the seat of our state government (much to the dislike of many Alaskans). I'd last visited Juneau back in high school when Steve Cowper was our governor. Now, we have the infamous Sarah Palin, who helped put my hometown of Wasilla, AK on the map, but who couldn't be further from sharing my views on many subjects.

Let's digress from politics, shall we? Juneau was fantastic - the weather was fabulous. We spent the morning walking around downtown & just happened to wander into a knit shop called Skeins. (What a shocker!) I purchased two skeins of sock yarn dyed by Bobbi Daniels of Raven Frog Yarns in Sitka. Of course - did I take a photo of this yarn? No. And right now, I'm just too lazy to go inside and upstairs to get it out of the stash. Perhaps another time...

The afternoon was spent on a tour called "The Taste of Juneau". The tour visited the Alaskan Brewing Company, Mendenhall Glacier, and a local cooking school. However, I had to cut the tour short due to some ailment (not Swine Flu). As soon as I entered the brewery & the smell was overwhelming. So - I took a cab back to the ship to spend the afternoon in our cabin. A quick nap, a warm beverage & I was good as new & ready for happy hour.

Next Port of Call: Skagway

As we cruised up the inside passage, our last land port of call was Skagway. In 1898, Skagway was the beginning of the Yukon Gold Rush. Many a miner arrived hoping to make their fortune, only to be thwarted by the rough terrain, and complications of going up the White Pass. Miners were required to have 2,000 lbs of equipment before they were permitted to enter Canada! That meant taking several trips up and down the 2,000 ft pass ferrying needed equipment. I don't remember the exact numbers (this is why I'm not a history teacher!) but I'd guess less than 1% of those hoping to strike it rich actually did so.
We took a short excursion up the White Pass. Since our travels brought us into British Columbia, we were required to bring passports along. Notice the knit hat & down vest? Skagway is Tlingit for "Land of the North Wind" - no lie. It was windy & chilly, so knits were apropos for the day.

A shot of the famous White Pass railway. While our tour was relatively short, it was probably the best of the trip. Our tour guide Paul something-or-other was fantastic. He was very knowledgeable about the area & great fun. He spends his time tending bar in Monterrey, CA and then he and his wife, whom he met in Skagway, drive north to drive tours during the summer. Seems like a fun life.

Of course - after the tour we headed to the spa to enjoy the thermal suite - a room with heated stone beds and scented steam rooms. Pure luxury! And don't forget - happy hour!

1 comment:

Holly Jo said...

*sigh* Looks lovely. More Alaskans should see that part of our state, huh?