Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Sailing Into Juneau, Alaska

Juneau, the capital of Alaska, can not be reached by roadway.  You fly or you sail to get to Juneau.  There is a 30 something roadway that goes through the city and concludes at mountain and sea at both ends.   We sailed into Juneau in the afternoon.
Gulls on the beach?  Part of the Juneau highway system.
There were boats and houses along the passage up to Juneau.
And waterfalls. This one is creating quite a gorge.  I wonder if it will be the Grand Canyon someday.
This is how it looked from a distance. 
Juneau is in a coastal rain forest and rains most of the time, so I was told.  But, not on the day I was there.  It was clear sailing all the way without a cloud in sight.

The bare top of the mountain is above the tree line, too cold up there for trees.
I imagine that most of the year there is snow up there on top of the mountain, but by September it had vanished, melted, running down the mountain.
The Pearl rounded a bend and there was a cruise ship docked.  We were reaching Juneau.
Juneau clutches the little piece of land between the mountains and the sea.
Mountains and the sea, that is Juneau.
I was trying to get a picture of the big bird which is a white speck in the picture.  A very big bird.
Still heading into Juneau.
There is a cable car thing going up the side of one of the mountains.
And there is little Juneau.  A sunny day.
They keep the frontage to the dock looking old school, I am guessing.
The Pearl was not the only ship docked that day.

The dock for the cruise ship was a distance from the main part of the city that encompasses the capital.
The dock was fancy, welcoming all of the cruisers and our money.
This parking garage was the public library.  If I had the time, I would have checked it out.  If I ever go to Juneau again, I will check it out.
But I had a shore tour booked.  I got off the ship and onto a bus that took us through town. I will continue the rest later.  I guess the animal rights people don't know about this place. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A Little Pause from the Sea Story

God has been holding my hand, so lovingly and generously these past few weeks, I needed to take a break from Alaska. If it didn’t take so long to upload those photos, I would have it done by now. But, before I forget, I need to give thanks, with a grateful heart.

For me sometimes problems can loom large. I can make a mountain out of a molehill, so to speak. I have continued to have problems with the Medicare supplement enrollment. Every time I think I have it licked, it pops back up again. Once again, I think I have it figured out, but time will tell. My deadline is Halloween. I am tardy to the party.

My sister and I are moving my mom to a different assisted living. Moving a 97 year old has its challenges. And then there are all the pieces of the puzzle, the doctors, the medications, the newspaper subscriptions, the church membership, the banking, and other things that I am probably forgetting. Sister is doing most of the physical arrangements, but there are things as POA (power of attorney) that I have to do. I keep whacking them back and then remembering something else.

I am watching my grandson, which is pure joy. His family is much more together than his daddy’s was as a baby. (We moved across the world before he was a year old.)  Baby watching has its challenges and the greatest one is scheduling places that I need to be. Blessed that he is the sweetest baby ever.

I am working to lose weight and have finished up physical therapy for my knees. These have created stress in my life. But if I lose the weight and keep up with the exercise, my knees should work better and feel better.

I have been feeling stressed and anxious. But in the midst of it all, I have asked God to help me and no surprise. He has helped. The problems are still there, but we are managing them.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Day Three, Heading North Toward Juneau

The second full day of the cruise, Tuesday, was mostly on the water.  We were heading toward the farthest north we would go, to Juneau, Alaska. Juneau is quite a ways from Seattle, as the boat sails.  But we entered the passage where there were islands and the sea was less rough.

By this day we were sailing off Alaska on US waters.  Most of the land adjoining the sea was national park.
Out on the deck, the air got rather chilly.  This was north.
The sun was different than it looks in the middle of the US.
The land was largely unpopulated.  It was just wild land.
From a distance I thought this was a boat, but as we got closer it was an ice flow.
The mountains didn't look so big, but the summit is above the tree line.
I wondered from which tidal glacier this ice flow was calved.
Mountains and sea, that was the view for the day.  I couldn't get enough.
Think of the power of the sea that just the night before had tossed around this huge ship and that had thrust these mountains toward the sky. God's power.  This day I pondered why I had come to Alaska and what I was learning from this trip.  Over and over again I heard. "God loves me."
Layers of mountains and a glacier at the top of the farthest one.  The ice on that mountain is never coming to the sea except as melting water.
I wonder the name of this mountain and glacier.  All the glaciers seem to have names.
I pulled it closer with the zoom lens.
The sort of amazing thing to me was that our ship sailed mostly alone, not another ship in sight.  Maybe it was because it was September, late in the season for Alaska.
More ice flows.
I think I would call this glacier "cow face."
Just our ship and ice, sea and mountains.
It took us a long time to pass this glacier.
It looks to me as though the cow is sniffing a daisy.
Too many pictures of this glacier, I know.  And I blame the angle on the ship rocking.
So much nothing, or everything.  But look at the shiny spot on the sea.
And finally the land got closer and closer.  We headed up the inland passage.  This is the dining area of the buffet which was almost always open.
The mountains were made of rock.  There were gorges and waterfalls where the streams brought water down from the tops of the mountains.
The tress changes and disappeared as they went up the mountain.
The Great Outdoors, the restaurant on the back of the ship.
The water became so smooth.  Like a lake.
The water turned green closer to the land.
There were little settlements on the way toward Juneau.
Someone says there was a whale over there.  I see ripples, not a whale.
Our Norwegian Pearl headed up the fjords to Juneau.
We got closer and closer to the trees. and finally sailed up the fjord to Juneau.