Greetings, loyal readers! Never fear, your closer-to-the-Arctic-Circle-than-you-are correspondant has returned to cyberspace (hey Cita, remember the Internet? It's back, in dial-up form!) to thrill you all with tales of wrestling with wolves and braving raging blizzards! Translation: cataloguing old maps and teapots and buying groceries at the A&P (which stands for "Alaskan & Proud To Be" up in these here parts). Exciting stuff. I'm going to try to spend my four paltry months in Juneau NOT on the Internet, so I hopefully won't be posting terribly often. But I promise not to abandon this blog (despite my opposition to blogs in the vague and illogical way I have of disliking all technological advances on principle) that's been so good to Rebecca and me throughout our journeys.
So the ferry. Yes it was beautiful. No I did not get seasick. Yes I saw whales and dolphins. No I did not see glaciers. Richard and I spent three days in the company of such fabulously enjoyable strangers as The Man In The Disney Sweatshirt, The Fitness Family, The Amish Couple, The Baby Next Door, The Awkward English Major, U.S. Forest Service Interpreter Jenny, The Kind Ladies Who Gave Us Their Sugar Snap Peas, The Bartender Who Carded Me And Not Richard Even Though Richard Was Drinking And I Wasn't, and The Adolescents From Hell. Among others. There were a LOT of families with young children on board, which was sometimes cute and sometimes irritating, but definitely a demographic which surprised me. Richard and I spent a lot of time looking at ocean and mountains, a lot of time playing cards (Nerts and Loba, what else???) in the cafeteria, and a fair amount of time napping. Nothing like going to bed at 11:00 pm, waking up to full daylight illuminating your tent, checking your watching, and discovering it's 4:30 in the morning. The ferry stopped in Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, and Sitka on the way up. Richard and I got off in Ketchikan (highest zip code! 99901! a fact which we discovered completely at random one day when we were both bored at work in the fall of 2003, never dreaming we'd one day set foot on Ketchikan's hallowed shores) and in Sitka, which has an extremely rich and very cool Russian history. We have some photos, but I'm holding off on those until I figure out how long it'll take to upload them using our quaint dial-up service.
Some Alaska-related things I have learned in the past few months:
1. Juneau is in the middle of a rainforest. And it is.
2. There are no roads to Juneau... you have to come by plane or boat.
3. When your ferry captain tells everyone on board that they'll have the very unusual opportunity to see northern-dwelling flamingoes as the boat passes by a certain point so they should get their cameras out, you should expect to see a pine tree filled with plastic flamingoes and to hear the crew members laughing their butts off.
4. One good way to make your city incredibly clean and litter free is to build it somewhere that lots of bears live, and then print up lots of pamphlets that warn people of all the terrible things that will happen if bears get into their garbage.
Okay, no more from me for now. Stay tuned for updates on my work at the museum, Richard's new job at the outdoor gear store (yes, it was indeed the first place he wandered into on his first day looking for work... proving yet again that Europe and the lower 48 aren't the only places where everything comes up Richard...), and any other unforeseen adventures we may run into!