A brief detour
Aboard the Sheltered Seas
Petersburg to Ketchikan
We ArriveTwo of Jean Sue’s cousins moved to Alaska in the early 1970s and she’s been meaning to visit them ever since. This was the year.
Using USAir Frequent Flyer miles on Air Canada, we traveled a circuitous route north. Our first stop was Toronto where we overnighted, our brief stay highlighted by a casual, fun dinner with friends from the internet, Taryn and Mike Ellis, fellow foodies. We changed planes in Vancouver where our luggage was inadvertently scheduled to head overseas; fortunately it was found and only delayed our Alaska-bound plane a few minutes. We were told the Toronto ground crew frequently forgets Anchorage is USA. This was not unlike the questions some Alaskans told us they frequently hear: “Can I use U.S. money here?”
Clear skies and great views of the mountains, mudflats, volcanoes and Cook's Inlet geeted our descent into Anchorage. Walking out of the terminal to see the mountains surrounding us on three sides was a sure sign we weren’t in Kansas (or Philadelphia) anymore.
Unfortunately, within an hour of arriving at Rob and Sue Johnson’s house, Bob fell into their sunken family room, hit a display table and broke two ribs and a knickknack. Not an auspicious start. Despite the pain, he persevered for the rest of the trip and we went on to have a fabulous time.
Rob’s son Nathan joined us and we enjoyed a leisurely late afternoon in the Johnson back yard, surrounded by lawn, flowers and lilac bushes. As the sun set about 11 pm, we encountered Alaska’s state bird: the mosquito. Fortunately, most of the state is suffering from a drought and we had just one more insect episode--with no-seeums. We were very lucky.
After a scrumptious dinner of grilled halibut caught by our hosts, Rob and Nathan took us on a grand tour of the downtown area, harbor sights, Earthquake Park, the fishermen of Ship Creek (standing hip-to-hip in a downtown river hauling in king salmon), a porcupine scrambling along the road and the thousands of floatplanes that call the city home. No moose, though. In fact, we never did see a moose in Alaska.
Sue, Rob and Jean Sue
Palmer, north of Anchorage
|© Robert and Jean Sue Libkind|