Skagway - Thursday September 8. This is one of my favorite days. I highly recommend the Glacier Point Wilderness Adventure. These excursions do cost extra but are worth the bucks spent. How else to truly experience Alaska? You have to get out there...into the rugged wild...albeit with guides. Prior to coming on a big trip like this I do recommend walking. Get into some semblance of shape - you'll want to keep up and be worthy.
7:30 am and off the boat. We board a harbor boat with Elise, our young perky guide, and twenty other intrepid explorers. Captain Dan pushes back and we zoom for 1-1/2 hours through fjords, inlets, passing waterfalls, mountains, misty clouds, and harbor seals lounging on shore. It's not too choppy. Yes, I took my dramamine.
On land we meet our dudes - the wilderness guides. These are twenty something guys who are college grads and not ready to settle down. They work hard in Alaska from May through end of September. They enjoy hiking, nature, and sharing this wilderness with tourists. They've obviously done their research and their enthusiasm is contagious.
So, first stop is to put on waterproof boots. Then we hike on a narrow tree rooted path downhill to a river. Canoes await and we board. Matt is our guide - a dreadlocked white dude from the Midwest. He's very laid back and cool. We paddle a bit and then he kicks on the motor. We zoom to the glacier.
The scale of this area is monumental. You think you are close to a glacier but you are a mile or so away. Chunks of ice float by. Matt stops briefly and hauls in a big chunk - it is crystal clear. The purity here is reassuring. Mankind has not ruined everything.
Canoe lands and we slog ashore to walk about a mile on river walk. It's not easy - hence, you should have trained a bit for this. Blue ice gleamed. Stunning turquoise blue shades. Lapis hues take your breath away. Rocks are the size of buildings. This glacier is HUGE. I'm out of adjectives to describe this. Any pictures you see - they are true and more. Breathtakingly fabulous.
It was all exhiliarating. We lingered - hating to return to the canoe, paddling back, boarding our harbor boat and returning to Skagway. Refreshed and tired for a good reason, we stumbled back to the ship by 3:30 for a nap.
I can't emphasize enough - book excursions. Get out there. Chat with your guides - it's an engaging group of young folks seeing the world and learning a lot.
So, nighttime on the ship. Dinner - brie appetizer, trout with spaghetti, and a strawberry mousse. This is not buffet. The sit-down dinners are really nice.
7 pm - Pub Trivia. Victory!
8 pm - Mike Bliss - comedy, juggling, and magic. We are amused
9 pm - Group Trivia. Alas a tie...that's okay
10 pm - Goodnight