North To Alaska

April 15th marked the start of our Alaskan adventure, detailed here on a day by day basis for your reading pleasure.

The journey was aboard the Klondike Express, a tour boat operating on Prince William Sound during summer, but spending winter in Seattle. This was the journey to return the boat to Alaskan waters for the tourist season.

The journey was up the Inside Passage of British Columbia and Alaska as far as Juneau. (Only crew were permitted to travel from Juneau to Whittier, across the rough Gulf of Alaska.) This passage is a set of inter-connecting waterways most of the way from Seattle to a little north of Juneau, Alaska. The benefit is these passages are protected from the conditions of the northern Pacific Ocean by many islands. There are only 2 sections where this protection is missing - Queen Charlotte Sound at the northern end of Vancouver Island and a small area straddling the border between BC and Alaska. Fortunately we had quite mild conditions while crossing these two sections, although we did leave early to beat incoming storms, and were prepared to return to port if conditions proved too rough. They didn't, and so we stuck to our schedule. The boat offered incredibly smooth sailing too.

April 15th - day 1
After an early morning ride to Ballard, we join the passengers and crew aboard the Klondike Express for a journey to Sidney, BC to spend our first night.

April 16th - day 2
An early start to a long day's journey. From Sidney to Port Hardy is almost the entire length of Vancouver Island, itself quite large. And for entertainment along the way (apart from the delightful scenery) was a log chopping example, an air show and a fishing boat "rescue"!

April 17th - day 3
Featuring an early morning start to beat an approaching storm, narrow passages, beautiful scenery and even sunshine. But the entertainment program left a bit to be desired :-( This was our longest day, starting from Port Hardy and ending at Prince Rupert, in far northern British Columbia.

April 18th - day 4
Day 4 also had an early start - yet another storm to beat as we crossed Dixon Entrance, thus returning to US waters as we arrived in Alaska. The real joy of today was Misty Fjords National Monument. The day ended in a comfortable hotel overlooking wet and windy Ketchikan.

April 19th - day 5
Our final day on the boat. Another early start, as Juneau, our destination, is quite some distance from Ketchikan, and the crew wanted to have a bit of a rest before their planned midnight departure for Whittier. We saw our first glacier, and more snow capped peaks, and more "miserable" weather. So, just another wonderful day!

April 20th - day 6
Our first "land only" day for five days. We walked over to Douglas Island, then took a sightseeing tour of the Shrine of St. Therese and Mendenhall Glacier.

April 21st - day 7
Our final day in Juneau, which left us with time for another walk and some photo taking, before heading to the airport for our flight to Anchorage, and settling in there and finding our way around.

April 22nd - day 8
Our first full day in Anchorage took us to Seward, south east of Anchorage on Resurrection Bay off the Gulf of Alaska.

April 23rd - day 9
A fine day meant we'd go north. To Wasilla, Talkeetna and the Princess McKinley Lodge for views of Mt. McKinley, among other things.

April 24th - day 10
A day spent around Anchorage. First the zoo, then the Alaska Experience Theater, and finally a walk around the foreshore of Cook Inlet.

April 25th - day 11
A rush trip to the airport, a descriptive tour across Prince William Sound, and arriving home in one piece marks the end of our Alaskan Adventure.