Monday, February 23, 2009

1/2 Way to Anchorage

We've successfully landed in Juneau and I'm happy to report that we made it through the first leg of the ferry with excellent weather. We were able to enjoy every inch of coastline with sunny, mid-30's weather...all from the top deck of the ship. Each day, the mountains would rise higher and higher out of the ocean on all sides of us and each day I'd continue to be awed by the miles of them that passed by.

While it was a tad windy to pitch a tent, there were dozens of lounge chairs (the kind you'd see at a hotel pool) available for us which kept us off the ground and fully reclined. We slept under a covered portion of the deck along with about 10 other brave souls of varied age and background. They helped inspire a sense of camaraderie that got us through the three chilly, windy evenings from Bellingham to Juneau.

Here are our beds:

And a picture of the deck:

Realizing that we are facing some hefty up-front apartment costs and a brief period until we find jobs, we decided to skimp on meals until we get on our feet. Our answer: good ol' PB&J. I managed to enjoy five straight meals before we had a five hour layover in Ketchikan in the early morning...the egg breakfast temptation was just too strong to pass up, but I did pass on the bacon which saved a few bucks. Fearing that we hadn't worked enough variety into our diet, we picked up a box of Cup O' Noodles to substitute here and there for a sandwich. I had one for lunch that day and was back on to PB&J for dinner. So far so good!

In Juneau we spent our day hiking up to the Mendenhall Glacier, which was very easy in the winter since the lake that it calves into is frozen over. We just walked directly across the lake and, walla, glacier. It was mesmorizing.

Here's a picture of the glacier from its base (the jagged triangles clustered near the bottom of the picture above):

Tomorrow we board for Whittier (closest stop to Anchorage)...we should land there on the 26th. This leg doesn't have the islands of the inside passage to calm the waters so I suppose I'll be sea sick this time tomorrow. At least the first half was fun!



Tuesday, February 17, 2009

1/2 Way Point

I'd like to record in the chronicles of time that we've reach the official 1/2 way point of our trip. Sound the horns and send the messenger to alert the townspeople. We're moving to Alaska.

On Friday we board a ferry in Bellingham, WA. We'll be on this ferry for 6 days, one of the six being a layover and boat-switch in Juneau, and after the 6th day we'll have landed in Anchorage. I have mixed emotions about this leg of the journey, the only mixed part, aka negative emotion, being that I intend to get sea-sick if we hit poor weather and the Gulf of Alaska could dish it out if it so chooses. Other than that I'm more than excited to cruise up the rest of the Pacific Coast with all it's natural goodies.

Back in August, Mary and I anticipated this day and packed three boxes of belongings strictly for Alaska. Yesterday we did a little switcharoo in the storage unit, pulling out those three and replacing them with about eight new ones that we'd been storing with our friend Bethany. Just keep in mind that replacing three boxes with eight isn't that easy when your storage unit is already comfortably full. Well, yesterday we went and made our storage unit uncomfortably full, to the point where we were just throwing things up to the top of the heap without worrying about how we're actually going to get them down. Hopefully we don't make the Darwin Awards when we unload this beast. At least we're getting our money's worth.

One other thing. We (also known as I) waiting a tad too long to get our reservations for the ferry so for the first half of the trip, pre-Juneau, we'll be sleeping in the common areas, aka sans-room. Oh well, at least it saves us some cash and if anything, the last five plus months have prepared us for it.

Wish us luck, we'll need it. We don't have an apartment or jobs and we need both in Alaska. Quickly.

Here's an approximation of the ferry route in case you're curious: