Roark Arneson - Class of 1962
With encouragement from my niece, her mother in
law, Gloria Johnson and I planned a cruise to Alaska! We went on
the Norwegian Jewel Sawyer Glacier Cruise. We flew to Seattle on
Friday, August 1, 2014, and set sail on August 2nd for a week
on the ship.
While in Seattle we walked to the Space Needle (we
thought $18 was too much for an elevator ride) and walked around the
park, found the monorail and rode it to Westlake Center for $1 the
From the center we walked to the Pike Place Market
where there was so much to see!
at Pike Place Market
We ate supper and retraced our steps to the
Holiday Inn Express. My feet and Gloria’s knees complained the rest of
We were stopping at four ports. In our planning
we decided on one shore excursion for each port, hoping for some time to
explore a little on our own. After a day at sea we arrived at our first
port, Ketchikan, AK.
Street in Ketchikan, AK
We got to explore the downtown area before our
excursion and planned to buy after. We were going on a float plane to
the Misty Fjords National Monument! Our day was perfect. The view was
awesome. Our pilot found a small herd of mountain goats that look like
dots of pepper in the snow in the picture I have, but they really looked
like goats from the plane! Back in town we were able to walk a bit and
find Creek Street where the salmon were running. We also saw a couple
of the many totem poles that were around the town.
Our next stop was Juneau where we went to
the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery, then to the Mendenhall Glacier and its
visitor center which promotes the “understanding and enjoyment of
glacial phenomena” with displays and a short movie: “Landscape of
Then we were off to Liarsville for a Salmon Bake!
Chefs at the Salmon Bake
So good we missed the last bus. Luckily they did
not want to keep us and arranged for a mini bus to leave earlier than
planned to get us back to the ship on time! It was a relief to note we
were not the last ones on board!
After leaving Juneau the ship went into the
Tracy Arm Fjord. At the end is the Sawyer Glacier.
It is a massive, iridescent blue mass of
centuries-old ice that calves on the average of once every hour. We saw
and heard it calve three times! This was the coldest spot on our trip.
Skagway was our next stop. One of the most
well-known conmen of the 1800’s, Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith, II,
operated a number of rackets in the American West for decades. I
mention him because he was from Coweta County, Georgia! He died
in a gunfight in Skagway in 1898. We took the Yukon Territory Scenic
Drive to Carcross, Yukon. We traveled on the Klondike Highway – the
main road. We made many stops at scenic points. The Inuksuks (stone
structures) were interesting. They were used for navigation, or markers
for travel, fishing places, camps or other reasons. Back in Skagway we
got to shop in town, going to shops owned by locals – even went to the
local Hardware Store that had a little of everything. This was the only
time it rained on us!
Back on the ship we had another day at sea before
we arrived in Victoria, B.C. There we boarded a bus for a tour
through town to the Butchart Gardens, which are beautiful. We toured
more of the town on the way back. The Chinatown area had an arch across
the street and lanterns decorating the block. This Chinatown is the
largest in Canada and was started in 1858. The driver stopped at the
harbor to allow us time for pictures of the Parliament house, Empress
Hotel, and harbor.
The next morning was Saturday and a week had
passed. Would I do it again – yes! Because there are many
things I did not see.
I have friends who have made four trips and who
were there the week before I went. Ken and Phiny Musgrove
showed Bill and Jane Feild a little more of “their” Alaska.
Bill and Ken are Class of ’61!
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