There’s no place like home! After a loooooooooong flight from Australia (Melbourne to Sydney, then Sydney to LA, then LA to Seattle, and Seattle to Juneau) consuming 30 plus real-time hours, but gaining 24 by crossing the international date line, I arrived home exhausted late on Monday, May 11. Not an easy visit, but it’s good that I went and good that it’s over.
Since then I enjoyed Juneau’s extended period of beautiful spring sunshine, adjusted to the cruise ships in harbor (5 here yesterday), did laundry, got some badly need sleep in my own comfortable bed, reconnected with our dear ones/dogs next door, went to a few Little League games, and then left as a chaperone on a fantastic and enjoyable 4-day field trip to Skagway over Memorial Day with my younger grandson’s 4th-grade elementary school class. Kudos to Liz, their wonderful teacher who masterminded the whole thing, to the kids, and to all the parent chaperones. Kudos also to Skagway City School (97 students K-12), in whose gymnasium we camped out.
Itinerary as follows:
- Great trip to Skagway on ferry Taku on Friday afternoon.
- Day 1, a short 5.5 mile ride on the White Pass and Yukon railroad to the Denver Glacier trailhead from whence we hiked in and back out along the 3-mile one-way uphill trail – somewhat strenuous for our group but the only casualties were my beloved old hiking boots which finally let go of their soles. Much appreciation to parent chaperone and commercial fisherman Tom who carried enough electrical and surgical tape to hold my boots together so I could safely make it back on the return to the trailhead. In hindsight I realize it was probably the stitching that attached the soles to the uppers that gave out and they could possibly have been re-cobbled. Too late, I left them in a Skagway dumpster.
- Day 2, our group made a trip to historic Dyea at the foot of the famed Chilkoot Pass (which I hiked in 1995) and then had a picnic in Pullen Park near the cruise-ship dock followed by a hilarious time complete with dressups at Soapy Smith’s Old Time Photo shop. [Visit the Skagway website for more about this visually-dramatic, well-worth-visiting , and history-laden little town.]
- Day 3 we had a guided walking tour with a ranger from the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park. Ended up in the excellent little Skaguay News Depot and Bookstore dropping the contents of my wallet on historical material. Then back onto the ferry Columbia for a miserable return trip. [Saw two Wandering Tattlers on the rocks while we were waiting, a lifer for me.] Then…. Vehicle loading on the ferry was chaotic, the ferry was crowded, and the food service unbelievable inefficient and slow. Not up to our usual enjoyable Alaska Marine Highway travel.
Now, time to clean house in preparation for Don and Carolyn’s arrival off the ferry on Monday. They’ll be here for a week, and then Craig and Sarah arrive on the 9th for a 12-day visit.