<D <M <Y
Y> M> D>

[Comments] (2) Skagway it is: Mother Nature decided that it was finally time for Alaska to be Alaska. The winds of change (literally, the south winds from Hawaii exchanged with the north winds of the Arctic) blew in, and we were in for it. Of course, being on a nice comfortable boat, Susie and I were none the wiser. And having spent the previous day in Juneau sweating to death, Susie and I decided to wear tevas today.

The sea was angry that day, my friends. The winds were coming in at 25 mph, and it was cold. And we could do nothing about it, as we quickly boarded a catamaran for a 30-mile jaunt down to the Davidson Glacier. At least the boat was warm. And we saw a whale.

Upon arriving at the glacier, I'd had enough and put on my socks from my backpack. I felt like a regular Utah idiot wearing socks with tevas, but the warmth on my toes reminded me that this was indeed a wise choice. Who was there to judge me anyway? A crowd of 60 year-olds hardly constitute a branch of the fashion police.

Anyway, we hiked a mile to the outpost and put on two more layers of clothes and big old rain boots. I was now wearing seven layers on my upper body, and was ready to brave the storm. We entered our canoes and began paddling furiously upstream to the face of the glacier, passing floating icebergs along the way. Now, we got some sweet pics of the glacier. But it's really hard to appreciate the size of the glacier without going onto it. Our guide told us it took him three hours to hike to the top, to give you an idea. It looks like a 30 minute stroll would get you there. But none of us regular civilians are allowed out of the canoes at the glacier. I wish they'd put a cardboard cutout of a bear or something on it so that we could gauge the size of the thing with a bit of added relevance to it all. But oh well. Just trust me that it's a doozy.

The way home was treacherous, as the winds were making the sea pretty choppy. Landing back in Skagway, we quickly went back on our boat and changed shoes. Then it was time to experience Skagway. Skagway has a population of about 1,000 people in the winter time, and 4,000 during the summer tourist season. It is about 25 blocks long by 5 blocks wide. That's all that can fit on the valley floor. There is an LDS chapel on the corner of 11th and State. It is the easiest entrance to the Klondike and thus was the famous starting point for the gold rush of 1898. It is also famous for whore houses.

In fact, the whole state of Alaska seems to think that whore houses are national monuments. What a joke. These old people don't care about that stuff. No one that goes on a cruise ship wants to see a burlesque house. Only single, horny men want to, and they don't cruise to Alaska. I don't see how these houses make any money. I didn't see anyone going in. But the girls working there were hanging out of windows calling us in. Luckily, we got distracted by a man who was taking our picture on the main street so the girls didn't bother us. This man, I'm assuming, was from England. Instead of saying "Say Cheese" he said "Have any good sex lately?" Needless, to say, Susie and I are smiling pretty big in that picture. Neither of us answered his question, though. We were both so dumbstuck.

Cars in Alaska are interesting. They are all laced with political bumper stickers. There were a lot of stickers about immigration, and I couldn't help wondering why Alaskans care. After all, no one illegally immigrates to Alaska. That would require swimming across the Bering Straight. But they are part of the Union, so they do have a say in these matters. One bumper sticker really spoke to me: "I have to go to work today; people on welfare depend on it." Nuff said.

Even though it was cold, still no rain. That night we were exhausted from the canoeing, so we went to bed at 8 pm and woke up at midnight for the midnight buffet. We missed this buffet last time due to my cabin fever. Once again, not all that impressive. It was fun, and I did sample two different cakes. But I really shouldn't have wasted the calories. We went back to bed at 1 am and slept until 9 or so the next day. It was a much needed rest.


© 2003-2015 John Chadwick.