Thursday, September 6, 2018


Labor Day is behind us but it still seems like summer here.  We have had rainy days, but the sunshine seems to peek through in the mornings, as I take my daily walk.  It is still quite hot, but since I have put my genealogy away for the winter, I am on to other adventures.

We celebrated another Anniversary - sweet Hubby and me!  We are moving into the big numbers now, so each year that we can enjoy together is a good excuse to celebrate.  We decided to cool off in a big way, and headed to Alaska for a few weeks.

Double Wow....Triple Wow!  I loved the experience on a smaller boat.  There were only 39 of us on the small ship, and we had guides galore to give us Alaskan History, Geology, Anthropology, and Cultural information.  We had indigenous guides, who shared with us the cultural clans and make up of Alaska.  Since we were only on the inside passage, we had Tinglit & Haida guides.

The Beauty of Alaska can better be described in photos.  So, here are mine.  Hope you enjoy them.  I promise to be back next month, with some finished art work.

As we flew into Seattle,
we were met with a red ball of sunlight.
The fires on the west coast, had turned the sky orange.

Sadly, I am unable to show you some wonderful photos of Sitka, as this old computer cannot read the images from a new iPhone.  Oh joy, technology always seems to be just a step ahead of me.  Trust me, Sitka, was a beautiful spot with a major Russian influence.  We were able to visit the Russian Orthodox Church and hear about it's history in Alaska, along with amazing Russian icons on every wall.

This was a charming totem.
We made a point of finding as many totem carvings as we could, because they are such an important part of the culture of Alaska and it's people.

Tlingit robe

I have made this photo quite large, so that you can see the intricacy of the weaving.
This is Chilkat weaving.  It was worn by high ranking tribal members
of the Tlingit, Haida clans and other NW coast peoples.

We spent some time on Kake (pronounced like "Cake"),
learning about the culture of the Tlingit.
Our days were mostly sunny and warm for Alaska.

We had opportunities to hike.
Red Alder

We were able to tuck into small inlets where the BIG SHIPS  could not
enter....We would be the only ones in these primal spaces, uncluttered and pristine.
This morning, we awoke to ice flows and a reflective rainbow.


Sunsets in a cove with our cozy small ship

Old cabins became artwork after the moss and lichens took over!

Even old piers - long gone - became art pieces!

The color in the grasses filled my heart.

Still waters run deep

We saw a lot of wildlife.
There were eagles flying all about us, though this one was injured
and at a Raptor Center that we visited in Sitka.

Heading to Glacier Bay

These are the size of trucks - bigger than you think
and stunning in their beauty.

You could take a kayak and go into the bottom of the glacier
You would NOT want to do that, just in case it decided to calve (break off - KABOOM!!)

yes, the noise is loud and the waves roll at you - so we stayed a safe distance.

You can see two large cracks starting, just to the right of center.
The warmth was causing a lot of small calving, though we were told that the chunk that
just fell, was about the size of a car.
The very large black chunk to the left is actually a massive piece that broke off.
It looked like an island.

The seals were fun and funny and a bit lazy.

Majestic Mountains pop right up from the water.
This is another massive glacier.

On the last night of our cruise, we were awakened at 2:00 a.m.  to see the Northern lights.  This has always been on my bucket list, so I whipped on a jacket over my 'jammies' and raced to the bow of the ship, along with Sweet Hubby.  Yes, they were everything that I expected and more.  The light danced across the horizon and for 45 minutes we stood in amazement.  

To be able to get away from the hubbub of life...with no phone, internet or news of the day, we were able to completely calm our souls down and drink in nature at it's very best.  Alaskans are lucky that way, and from everyone that we were able to interact with, I think they know just how lucky they are.
I am sure the winters are long and dark, but the beauty cannot be touched any where. 

Carved wooden door

Back on land, in Juneau, we were able to visit the Alaska State Archives & Museum.  If you have read James Michener's, "Alaska", you would love this museum.  Even if you haven't read his book, you would be amazed at the wonderful art, artifacts and history at this museum.

exquisite beading

One last photo of this beautiful land.
I am most grateful that I could enjoy this experience in my lifetime.

Back to our beauty and sunshine

So, there you have it.  As I write this, we are having yet another monsoon rain.  We have had about 14 inches in the past few weeks and it continues.  We have had such a terrible time with the "Red Tide" on our beaches, that we are hoping that these rains help to clear it up.  It has definitely improved in the last week.  We will walk our favorite beach tomorrow morning, with hope that our little place of beauty is on the mend.

Take a moment to think about the beauty where you live.  This world is a lovely place and most people are lovely people.  It is often the noisy ones that capture our attention or the catastrophes around the world.  Turn off your phone and after you read this, take a break from the computer.
You won't regret it.

Until next month: