"Being together is like catching a sunbeam; each new memory we make reflects light hinting there is more to see and know."

July 27, 2013

Alaskan Cruise

WOW! We had such an awesome trip filled with sunshine, forests, waterfalls and great people. We traveled north on HWY 101 stopping along the way to visit Diane's hometown places in Sebastopol and Ukiah. We drove through the Avenue of the Giant Redwoods and actually camped right under the trees without a tent. It was so warm and perfect! Took a tour of the Oregon Caves and, in fact, we had a personal tour as we were the only tourists there at 4:00pm.

During our trip, we spent a few days along the California, Oregon and Washington beaches, just getting our feet in the sand. Diane even picked out a piece of driftwood which we carried all the way home with us.

It was great to board the Norwegian Jewel July 13 with stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, including a cruise up the fjord to see the Sawyer Glacier. Joe's sister Nancy and husband Galan joined us for the cruise, and it was fun to travel together, eating and playing games. Everything was great; the food, entertainment, games, music and especially our excursions in Alaska.

The best excursion was a 12-man canoe trip to the Mendenhall Glacier. Our tour guide was Alex, a wonderful man studying Marine Biology in Juneau.  We paddled across Mendenhall Lake, navigating past icebergs, surrounded by one of the richest samplings of Alaskan wildlife you’ll find anywhere.  We saw seagull nests and baby chicks, eagles, goats, and hundreds of spawning salmon. Our guide took us within a safe distance of the massive, awe-inspiring face of the living Mendenhall Glacier. We were fortunate to see a huge wall of ice break away and crash into the water with an enormous splash almost in slow motion. We did some fast back paddling to get away from the tidal wave. Our guide told us only about 50 people a season are lucky enough to see a glacier "calve". After that highlight, we had a thrill ride by skirting the base of beautiful and powerful Nugget Falls. We even had a snack of reindeer sausage, salmon spread, crackers and hot chocolate! Great sunny weather, great day!
The wall of ice that fell was as tall as a ten story building. If you were to put a boat in front of this glacier, it would be so tiny you would hardly see it.


After getting off the ship July 20, we enjoyed a few days in Olympic National Park to see more spectacular scenery, wildlife, waterfalls, and beaches. We stayed at the Quinault Lake Lodge pictured below. Also pictured below is Joe standing against the largest Spruce tree in the world, about 1000 years old. It is 191' tall with a circumference of 58' 11". Very amazing!

We had a great white water raft trip down the Klamath River which was Diane's first time. We put in the water at 9:30am and traveled 14 miles downstream, getting out at 4:00pm. Diane rode the front rim of the boat like riding a bull as the boat slammed through the rapids. If anyone thinks of having such a great adventure, check out Noah's River Adventures.
On our trip, we attended three temples, Seattle, Portland and Medford. There were so many wild blackberries throughout Oregon and Washington, we stopped and picked a bucket full and Diane made a wonderful blackberry cobbler when we got home. While on our way home, we spent some time at Crater Lake in Oregon.
It's always great to get back home but we sure had a wonderful trip with lots of memories. Now we plan to be home for a few days before we take off again on another adventure.


  1. What a GREAT post. YOu're getting really good at this mom. The pictures were fabulous! Your scrapbook pages for this trip are going to be so fun to put together. Great, Great, great!!!

  2. Awesome!!! I love everything about the northwest! I loved all of the pictures and your great summary of the trip. I felt like I could smell the pine trees and feel the water splash on my face. You made me very homesick for the northwest. I'm ready to move! (Well only if Ben and the girls come with me of course) :)