I’d better finish up this whole Alaska thing, because it’s getting fuzzy in my brain.
Day 5, Wednesday, Skagway: I’m a little light on the details here, because this was now about a month ago, and I fail. I don’t remember what we did in the morning, but we ended up in town in Skagway in the late morning after walking into town.
The weather was weird, it was simultaneously too hot and too cold for what I was wearing. My aunt Lynda somehow decided on a new tour that went into Canada. We thereby needed our passports, and it didn’t leave for a couple hours. We hightailed it back to the ship to change (which I later regretted) and get our passports and stuff our faces at the buffet.
OH WAIT, I was flipping through the pictures and suddenly remembered what happened that morning. Mike wanted to take a nap after breakfast, but my parents said that one of the other cruise ships (on their side of the ship) was doing a lifeboat drill. I went out to their room to watch a Norwegian line ship run around in their little boats. It was cute. And some of them had trouble hooking up to the lines to pull them back up on the ship.
So, we got on the tour, and my aunt had stuffed half the (transportable) buffet into her bag, so she was passing out sandwiches and cookies and fruit. The tour guide kind of drove us through town a little, although there’s not really much there. Skagway has a year-round population of like, 300. During the summer, it’s just cruise tourists. If you ask me, they could leave that port of the cruises entirely. The guide said she paid $400/month to live in a tent. Cuz there’s no housing for tour-operators and workers.
Anywho, we drove up towards Canada, and stopped on the side of a road (with other busses) to look at a waterfall.
Then we drove over the border into Canada…and stopped at a portapotty. I was a little confused why we had to drive into Canada for this. But I went anyway. Princess Diana rule. We then drove back OVER the border and stopped at the “WELCOME TO ALASKA” sign.
It was quite scenic looking down the valley, westward, towards Skagway.
We went through border patrol (no one asked for passports), then stopped at another side-of-the road to look at the waterfall coming down from Goat Lake.
There’s a pipeline going off the edge of the picture on the right that comes from the lake as well. It’s a hydroelectric system that provides all of the electricity needed for Skagway and they even sell some to a neighboring town. I think that’s pretty cool!
The guide then drove us to Dyea, which was the other way into the Yukon during the gold rush (Skagway was the main one, but was also overrun with crime). Dyea was, well, nothing really. I was expecting town remnants or something. There was a bridge.
The tour guide dropped us back off in town at a “brewery”. It was more like a saloon and it was packed. Mike and I elected to go off on our own. I had seen a bunch of people eating ice cream outside a store earlier and wanted to revisit it. Mmm, mint chip. We then wandered around the town “off the beaten track” and ran into a…storage facility??
Back to the ship. That evening, my throat started feeling a little scratchy. I thought maybe I was dehydrated. OH I WAS NOT.
That night, Mike was determined to stay up to see the northern lights. After a funny comedian, I crashed the heck out, with promises that I would be awoken when the northern lights started. I woke up with a start around 2:50a, and realized Mike was not in the room. I called my parents, who hadn’t seen Mike, and then I freaked out thinking he had fallen asleep somewhere outside and was going to freeze. I then gamely set out into the ship, asking random workers (who had no idea what I was talking about) if they had seen anyone asleep. Cruise ships? They are large. I had no idea where to look. I wandered for a while, then called my parents again. By then, Mike had returned to the room and found me missing, and then called my parents. Anyways, I went back to the room, and all was settled. ZZZ. Mike had been up that whole time, waiting for the northern lights, which never showed.
Day 6, Thursday, Glacier Bay: I woke up feeling less well than the day before. Tired, achy, a little feverish. Mike managed to drag me up to the lounge on top of the ship to look at glaciers. They are large. They are ice. (They all look similar!).
Quick, everyone run to the same side of the ship!
And look at the glacier!
So, by dinner time
I was NOT feeling well. I think I ate a total of a plain roll, some tea, and a spoonful of soup. I hadn’t really eaten much at all that, save for crackers and rolls. I’m pretty sure I went to bed immediately after.
Day 7, Friday, College Fjord: We saw more glaciers. They were icy.
I woke up feeling LIKE DEATH. I haven’t felt that bad in a long time. Mike ordered room service, and I managed to eat, and then felt better. I managed to eat that day, but by dinnertime, Mike was not feeling well. Uh oh. The rest of our family was contining their trip onto Denali, and five of them fell ill after we got off the ship. I don’t really remember anything in particular about this day.
Day Disembarkation, Saturday, Whittier, AK: I was feeling a little better, but not good this day, but Mike was doing even worse. Since we were going to the airport, our disembarkation time was 6:55a. A to the M. Early. They threw us on a bus, and then we sat on the bus for a while. There is a one-lane, shared-with-railroad tunnel that connects Whittier and Anchorage. It changes direction every half hour. Literally, you are driving on train tracks. It’s super freaky.
I fell asleep for a while on the bus. Our luggage had already been taken to the airport and we elected to go into Anchorage. I think our flight was at 2something, and it was like, 10a.
We walked around, visited the Farmers’ Market and its coffee stand, and eventually ended up eating at the mall food court. Yes. It was sad, but we were in a hurry and didn’t know where to go.
The flight back…was bad. Mike was miserable the whole way. When we got to Seattle, I left him dozing on some chairs and went to hunt down some Dayquil, water, and food (which ended up being a Starbucks salad and muffins. I must have looked pathetic, because she gave me two muffins. Sweet.) I don’t know that the Dayquil and Advil cocktail helped Mike too much, but his fever came down from DEATH to warm. And then the flight was delayed an hour. And then they herded us on the plane and then announced they didn’t have a pilot yet. We were supposed to land around 10, and ended up getting into SD around 12:30. Josh, who had fallen asleep on his couch, rallied tolerably and picked us up. He is awesome.
Mike slept the entirety of Sunday, and we both coughed our way through Monday at home. That cough lingered for weeks.
Whew, that was epic.