Tag Archives: iceberg

The Alaskan Adventure Continues

The world could be ending right now and I wouldn’t know it. Sure, we have satellite television on board – but the time we’ve spent in our suite has been minimal. Internet access is a premium, so I haven’t spent much of my time catching up with the news online. I’m largely unplugged this week (ironic, as Pluggd is keeping me connected to the Internet for the duration of this voyage). Yes, this week wouldn’t be half as much fun if I wasn’t able to log on and post updates near real-time. And as far as I’m concerned, a couple of times a day is just about as close to “immediate” as you get on the high seas. We haven’t been boarded by pirates yet, though.

Ponzi and I had a wicked time in Juneau yesterday, coptering halfway across the city to land on a glacier. There sits a modest dogsled training camp – populated by over 300 dogs and a dozen mushers. We walked amongst Iditerod champions and hopefuls in the early afternoon hours – but when they took us on a short run “around the block,” we were smack dab in the middle of the action. Certainly, the teams didn’t open up all the way. It was a first for us, though. I’m surprised the weather was relatively temperate, especially at the higher altitude. Even so, I’m glad we picked up suede gloves in downtown Juneau earlier (miles away from and well below the dogsled adventure).

What goes up must come down, and so another helicopter returned us to less-icy ground. The views from the air were spectacular. On the bus ride back to “the city,” we spotted an American Eagle – another first for both Ponzi and myself. I snapped a few pictures through the tinted glass, so I’m afraid the images won’t be crystal clear. When we returned to Juneau’s downtown shopping district, Ponzi wanted to hop out and poke around – but I was ready to eat (as we hadn’t hda a nibble since breakfast). I’m pretty predictable when it comes to my “I hate to shop” attitude, so we shuttled our way back to the Oosterdam for a relaxing afternoon.

Today? We’re visiting the largest glacier in North America.

Do you know Juneau?

Today marks the first day we’ll be stepping off the ship. We’re in Juneau, Alaska – ready to embark on our first dogsledding adventure! I hope to have a few good photos from that excursion. We haven’t quite yet docked for the day, though the views outside our stateroom window have been absolutely amazing. It’s been like watching a long, scrolling postcard from the time we woke up a few hours ago until now. It’s true what they say – the landscape is pretty amazing. The weather is pretty temperate right now, too – haven’t seen a single iceberg float by. I’m a little disappointed that we won’t be touching the Arctic Ocean before turning around and heading back south. It would’ve been “cool” to say that I had been there.

I guess Alaska loves tourists – given the amount of primping and priming the cruise shopping director is giving us through the ship’s closed-network video channel. Ponzi can’t wait to hit the shops, if only to find a totem pole “face” that we can hang on our wall at home. She’s also looking forward to finding a few tanzanite pieces. I think I’m spelling that correctly? I guess it’s a gem that’s native to the area. Maybe I can convince her to go panning for gold at some point during this trip? I did it once in Colorado when I was a kid, turning up a gold flake or two (planted for the kiddies, no doubt).

Thanks again to Pluggd for giving us the opportunity to get online during this cruise on Holland America’s Oosterdam!