"More than anything there is the sense of scale: you can fly for hours and hours of Alaska and you look down and all you'll see is forests, lakes and snow-capped mountains, with no sign whatsoever of human beings."
I truly appreciate Steve Backshall's quote above. The scale of Alaska is off the charts--I mean I knew it was our largest state geographically but being here in person has been eye opening. Looking over at the GIF 👈 where the map of Alaska is superimposed on the lower 48 states gives you a sense of its grandeur (Hold my beer, Texas!). Our cruise basically started in the peninsula hanging down from the lower center of the state and traveled southeast along the inlet shoreline that butts up against the western, Canadian border.
One of our first stops after leaving port in Seward was to travel to Glacier Bay, which happens to be a U.S. National Park (I won't be talking about sailing in high seas to get there the day before--let's just say I went a bit green around the gills... 🤢) Only two cruise ships are allowed in the Glacier Bay inlets per day. We had national park rangers board our ship to tell us about the areas we passed. The big glacier to see is in the pic above 👆, Margery Glacier. The weather was very hazy and rainy, but the blue ice stood out. From a scale perspective--the distance from the waterline to the top of the blue ice was approximately 400 feet high! The bergs floating in front (called 'bergy bits') were 20-30 feet long.
One of the things that surprised me is the normal color of a glacier is black, not blue! As you can see with the bergy bits floating in front, and the right and left sides of the blue ice, they are black because they're covered with volcanic ash and granite sludge from sliding down those mountains. #WhoKnew The snow that started the blue glacier fell over 200 years ago--imagine what those snowflakes have seen...
Moving on from the icy glaciers, we had a stop in the capital of Alaska, Juneau! The port here was cruise ship city. The businesses and restaurants enjoyed the business, I'm sure. In two more weeks, the tourist season ends, and most will close 'til spring...
During our walk around Juneau, we had to stop at the famous Red Dog Saloon--a rowdy place to have a brew and, if you're so inclined, a wee dram from their, ahem, colorful, liquor list, LOL. The waitresses were in gay 90's (as in 1890's) dress, the walls were filled with all kinds of stuffed critters and paraphernalia, and the sawdust covered floors soaked up any spills. A fun time was had by all!
The feature picture and the one above were from the stop in Haines. I loved this quaint village--it gave me all kinds of great writing inspiration! More haunted stories coming from the cold shores of Alaska methinks...
The bay at Sitka was dotted with little rock islands--I'd love to live on one! This is also the town where Alaska was transferred from the Russians to the Americans.
The bay in Ketchikan (the Salmon Capital of Alaska) was like the 405 of Alaska, LOL--loads of cruise ships docked in the harbor.
The cruise was a spectacular getaway. I realized how much we have missed being out in the world the past 2 1/2 years. Knock wood--we'll be taking our next Viking cruise adventure in May 2023--Norway, the Arctic Circle, and a trip around Iceland! I'm already looking for new boots. 😁👢 It's Wednesday, time for #DearDiary:
And the winner is...
This past Friday Bibiana and I had the first drawing for our Wicked Mist swag! I'm pleased to announce that reader (and fellow, fabulous author), Tonya Penrose, won our first drawing! We have 3 more drawings to do--let us know if you buy our book--the earlier you tell us the more chances to win! 💀🌹
An out of this world visit this week from the writers of Twitter...
Author Ann Wilmer-Lasky, The Aurora UFO Incident--A Novel, 5 ⭐
The rumors are flying for the residents of Aurora, Texas in 1897. Cigar shaped craft have been seen hovering in the skies. Life is about to change for one young boy, Caleb, when he meets a being who emerges from one of them. The alien, Atti, has many questions about life on the blue planet. His beings are looking at planets to reside upon--will Earth become their next habitat?
As the two communicate, a friendship forms. Others in the rural Texas town are not as friendly--will the alien visitors be met with violence? Atti's beings have reservations as well--if they decide to live on Earth, will the humans become their victims?
Author Wilmer-Laskey has written an absorbing tale that brings two unlikely beings together in an out of this world friendship. This was a fascinating, heartwarming read--I truly enjoyed the characters, settings (Texas and Mars, a great combo), and the close encounters plot that keeps those pages turning. The truth is out there---a highly recommended read!
Next up in the reading queue:
Love the Viking Orion pools!
Rain or shine, there were plenty of spots to enjoy a bit of pool time on board. I loved the inside pool/spa/snow room area on the 1st deck--a perfect place to unwind. On the pool deck on the 7th floor, we had a day of sublime sunshine. They opened up the glass roof to let the sunrays shine in. I love the engineering on these ships--a convertible top option, LOL!
Welcome to my world. Enjoy the rest of your week and weekend, friends!
Crowns and Kisses,
P.S. Our cruise journey may have ended, but we're enjoying a few days in lovely Vancouver, staying at the Fairmont Waterfront. Pssst...I may have the chance to meet up with another long-time Twitter friend here. This story is developing... 💖👑 Gemma and Rikkhe approve