Alaska 2009

  • Mizewell (Chugiak, Eagle River, Anchorage)

  • Whittier (Chenega Ferry)

  • Cordova (Clementine)

Trip Log Text Version - Trip Doc  or  Trip HTML

Click Thumbnail to see the BIG picture ;-)

 

006-MizewellFront.jpg (162447 bytes)

Says Bog, "Hey, Janie, Shall we go to Alaska this year to visit Bob and Char?" Says Janie, "Mizewell!" 

007a-MizewellFront.jpg (237731 bytes)

After harrowing flights from Rochester to Minneapolis to Anchorage, we arrived safe and almost sound at Bob and Char's beautiful future ex-home, affectionately called Mizewell.

003p-MizewellBackPan.JPG (125380 bytes)

Because they are selling the house to live on their boat, Bog took several pictures for posterity, if not as evidence of prosperity.

007-MizewellGarage.jpg (196503 bytes)

Our former Subaru Outback seems to have flourished in the great white north. When BnC bought it in 2004, they wanted it to have the license plate "Carmen" as in the Carmen Room at Ohio State, but that name was taken. 

008-CarmenWatzup.jpg (137899 bytes)

So, they settled on "Watzup". That way their vehicles could have a conversation.

009-Dunno.jpg (202413 bytes)

One says "Watzup", the other answers "Dunno". Or it could be they just "Dunno Watzup".

010-MizewellBack.jpg (190954 bytes)

The Alaska sun shone bright on the backside of the house.

002-StickyBuns&People.jpg (206889 bytes)

The Alaska sun shone bright on the deck.

001-StickyBuns.jpg (221771 bytes)

The Alaska sun shone bright to warm our "sticky buns" for breakfast.

011-TeaTime.jpg (225769 bytes)

And the Alaska sun kept our tea cozy and warm.

012-Flambe.jpg (107877 bytes)

Indoors, our color-coordinated host and hostess warmed the cockles of our hearts with a meal of scallops flambé.

013-DinnerIsServed.jpg (169417 bytes)

We enjoyed the scallops with the very best "Chateau Cartone" wine, salad, curry mayonnaise and garlic soy dips. 

014-BogInKitchen.jpg (101925 bytes)

Somehow, we snatched the camera away from Bog just to prove he was with us. 

015-DinnerTwo.jpg (167524 bytes)

Another night (despite the lack of darkness in Alaska at night), another meal. This time, "just" kibbles and bits: hummus, cheese, bruschetta, yummy bread and Beaujolais Villages. Who was hungry after Polish sausages at Costco for lunch?

017-WhittierTheBuilding.jpg (142017 bytes)

The military-style buildings at Whittier's ferry dock are no match for the cozy atmosphere of Mizewell,

018-WhittierDocks.jpg (152969 bytes)

 nor for the majesty of the Alaskan mountain scenery. 

019-ChenegaArrives.jpg (123366 bytes)

Fortunately, we didn't have to spend much time in Whittier, because "here come da ferry".

020-ChenegaAtDock.jpg (146968 bytes)

The Chenega is ready to whisk us across Prince William Sound to Cordova.

021-Jill&JanieInChenega.jpg (107576 bytes)

Bob and Char's "next-boat" neighbor in Cordova, Jill Fredston, regaled Janie with tales of her amazing feats of skill and daring-do. 

022-BowPan.JPG (58294 bytes)

The scenery was amazing.

023-KittiwakeRookery.jpg (127009 bytes)

The huge Kittiwake colony was amazing.

024-BigSnooze.jpg (99166 bytes)

The lack of other passengers was amazing.

025-BigSnoozeComp.jpg (107080 bytes)

But the sight of Bob sleeping was the most amazing part of the ferry ride. Could he actually be human after all? 

026-CordovaDock.jpg (156524 bytes)

The Alaska sun did not shine so bright in Cordova harbor, 

027-ClementineAtCordova.jpg (134485 bytes)

but Clementine looks good in any light.

028-ClementineBow.jpg (100913 bytes)

My Darling Clementine was commissioned 8/29/1976, so she will be 33 years old this year. Hey, that's the same as the number of words on a Rolling Rock beer bottle!

034-Companera.JPG (62640 bytes)

On one side of Clementine is Companera and Jill Fredston's "rowboat" Sky Ranger, in which Jill performs some of her amazing feats of skill and daring-do. 

033-ForSaleJoyBrigid'sBed.jpg (160637 bytes)

On the other side of Clementine is Brigid's Bed. There's Joy For Sale in Brigid's Bed, so we landlubbers concluded it must be a floating brothel. Bob insisted the FV stands for Fishing Vessel, but fishing isn't the only "F" word, nor the most common!

029-ThreeCarGarage.jpg (262606 bytes)

There was nothing common about the 3 story garage being built below the house of friends of BnC. Not only is it unusual for garages to be 3 stories high, ...

030-ThreeCarGarage.jpg (267574 bytes)

it's unusual for them to be made of huge pilings and oak planking recycled from an old ferry dock and to weigh an estimated 300,000 pounds.

031-Lupine1.jpg (261873 bytes)

But what is usual about Alaska? Even the Alaskan lupine is unusually bigger, brighter purple and wetter than in the lower 48.

035-CopperRiverDelta.jpg (109568 bytes)

The mist on the mountains is mistier in Alaska, and the braided stream of the Copper River has more braiding than a Rastaferian convention.

036-EagleOnBeaverLodge.jpg (119345 bytes)

Although the eagles in Alaska look smaller than in the lower 48, this eagle makes his beaver lodge perch look smaller than in the lower 48. Eagles are decidedly more numerous than in the lower 48. At some point, we would hardly look unless there were at least 2 eagles at the same time.

037-ChildsGlacierRecArea.jpg (127434 bytes)

Bog was not bored by the signage at the Childs Glacier. We almost missed seeing this display because the bridge to it was roped off.  But National Forest employee Dana was just coming to fix the boards broken by the weight of last winter's snow and he let us pass over. Even in Alaska, it's a Small World After All: Dana's from Caledonia, NY & went to Paul Smith's Forestry School in the Adirondacks in the 1970's.

038-MillionDollarBridge.jpg (150564 bytes)

The teeny Million Dollar Bridge shown crossing Miles Lake in the previous sign is a lot larger in real life, 

039-EarlyVisitors.jpg (186603 bytes)

And seems even larger with humans (c. 1910) for scale. 

040-ChildsGlacier.JPG (102407 bytes)

Panoramas are nice, but they lack scale. Child's glacier is 1200' away and 300' high, oh my.

041-Splash.jpg (196115 bytes)

The sign has some indication of scale - 30 foot waves caused by calving off the glacier face. 

042-OldCalving.jpg (146523 bytes)

The bright blue face of the glacier indicated recent calving, as did the noise and sight of chunks of ice falling into the lake. Fortunately, none of them created 30 foot waves, or we might not have gotten out alive to bring these pictures to you via the Internet!

043-CopperRiver.jpg (96053 bytes)

Just another shitty day in Paradise along the Copper River. Fog or clouds on the mountains is common.

044-WashedOutWaterColor.jpg (49048 bytes)

BnC used to have a beautiful watercolor of mountain scenery on display. But a bilge pump malfunction caused an internal fog, clouds and rain inside Clementine's "saloon" (nautical term for living area), so now the painting shows just one big cloud. Goddammit, Matthew!

045-CordovaViewFromSalon.jpg (61155 bytes)

No worries, if you want to see beautiful mountain scenery, just look out the windows of the saloon or the poop deck.

 

Next page, please