Alaska: Week 2
Last week I talked about our journey north, from Vancouver to Whittier, Alaska. This week, we continued our cruise, making our way back south again. At first, we thought that two weeks would be too long of a cruise. We figured that after a week, we'd be sick of it and be ready to get off. We were wrong, though. There is just so much to see and do at the ports (and on the ship as well) that we never came close to being bored. It was actually nice to hit all the ports twice, because on the first time around, we didn't have enough time to see everything.
Here I am shooting from the White Pass Railroad, en route to Lake Bennet.
On the way north, we hit Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, College Fjord and Whittier. The route south was the same except instead of going to College Fjord, we went to Hubbard Glacier instead. Our sea days, at Hubbard and Glacier Bay, were overcast, but all of the port days were sunny and beautiful.
On our second stop in Skagway, we went on a trip up to the Yukon Territory, via the White Pass Railway. We had lunch up at Lake Bennett, and had the most amazing scenery on the ride back down. The railroad was built during the gold rush in the late 1800s and is still considered an engineering marvel.
As a side note, here's a funny story about the Skagway trip. We first started in a bus that was to take us closer to Yukon Territory. The bus driver was a great tour guide, and very friendly. However, after stopping the bus to let us take some photos, it failed to start again. We could all feel the embarrassment in the poor guy's voice. We saw him get out, go to the back of the bus, come back, try to call on the radio, etc. It wasn't starting. So I figured, hey, I live on a bus. I might as well see if I can give him a hand. Sure enough, I realized that one simple tweak would do the trick and in a matter of minutes we were on the road again. Good thing I was on the bus, because those folks would probably still be sitting there on the side of the road!
A shot of Mendenhall Glacier. If you look close enough, you can see the kayakers in there… just look for the red speck near the base of the glacier.
Juneau was our next port on the way south. Last week, we visited Mendenhall Glacier, hiked a bit, and went on whale watch. This week, we just returned to Mendenhall so that we could shoot in a less rushed atmosphere. While we were there, we were lucky enough to see some kayakers paddling around near the glacier. This is great because it's impossible to tell the size of a glacier from a photograph unless there's something in there for scale.
Our last port of the cruise was Ketchikan, and just like last week, we had amazing sunny weather. This time around, we took the city bus to Totem Bight State Park, which was beauiful and right on the water.
Since we've been so busy shooting, we have't had a lot of time to process the images. Once I get those together, I'll post a lot more photos. If you get a chance, check out the video below. Karen started getting into time lapse photography, and shot this from our ship, the Diamond Princess.
More to come!