Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Rest of the Week

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The day was spent completely at sea so no communication with anyone except nature and our inner voices!  Go with the flow and just enjoy it. 

The journey took us up Glacier Bay where we certainly hoped that the weather would give us a break and clear enough to see the beauty of this land and sea.  I read my book most of the day and Mike had another accupuncture treatment.  The weather was foggy, rainy, and very cool -- so no going outside. 

However....it did give us enough of a break and cleared so we could see the Margerie and Lumplah Glaciers!

So it was a GREAT day after all!

Wednesday brought us into Sitka and very sad news that a dear friend had passed very suddenly and way too early in life.  Kind of put a damper on things. BUT was more validation for making the most out of life!! Make this journey before there are no more tomorrows or one day we look back and say "should of done it back then". 

Took a nice mini sub ride through the harbor and saw some beautiful sea life, which we always enjoy!

Once back on land we had a bit of time to explore the town.  It's nice to be able to look at a gallery or two, since we're not in the acquiring mode for souvenirs.

Thursday we docked in Ketchikan.  We had made no plans for any excursion so town was going to be our entertainment.  Mike was still having some twinges in his back so we didn't venture far.  Again, rain, chill and fog.

By 1pm they pulled up the anchor and we were off again to the high seas and headed to Victoria, BC due to arrive by 6:30pm on Friday evening. So.....another day and a half at sea.

I have to tell you that by this time, we were going stark raving mad!!  Neither one of us likes to be held captive and not able to "escape".  This cruise had much too much time out at sea for us with very little time in port.  Just couldn't get our bearings.  We even got sea legs, which took us quite a while to get over.

Anyway, the fog rolled in again and our last day at sea was socked in with nothing to look at outside those windows but rain drops and dark grey fog.  It was sooooo foggy that the boat had to slow down and we were very late getting into Victoria.  At least by the time we docked, the fog lifted a bit and we had a beautiful evening with warmth and some sun.

Mike and I snagged the ONLY true Ric Shaw in Victoria right at the dock.  An industrious young man who is attending university to become an astro physicist. We did an hour and half tour through beautiful historic home districts and the park before being let out if beautiful downtown Victoria just before sunset.

We walked through the Empress Hotel, looked at the harbour, and found a nice Irish Pub to end the day with.  Back to the ship by 11:30pm and our final night at sea. 

We arrived to beautiful sunshine and warmth in Seattle Saturday morning, August 11th.  Had our last breakfast on board and disembarked by 9:30am.

Once back at our car via a very efficient cruise system, we headed south through Seattle, through Tacoma, and decided to do laundry in Olympia.  Now that's a new procedure in our lives!!  The laundromat!! LOL  I'm afraid this one of the many "new" procedures we are going to encounter.

By late afternoon we had arrived at our hotel in Portland where we were meeting good friends, Florence and Ken Luker, for a special evening of dinner and seeing a modern dance group of their first international tour.  A good time had by all!!

Mike and I spent Sunday morning catching up on some work in the hotel room while we had high speed internet. Always good to get the bills paid, all emails answered, and a little real estate work thrown in to complete the mix.

Off to the Pearl District of Portland for lunch, some walking around, and visiting the local book store to buy a new atlas.  Mike and I are real visual map people.  Love the GPS but there's nothing like being able to look at the map to see where you're really going and how to get there.  We poured over the maps while having afternoon drinks at yet another pub before getting back in the car to head south to Eugene, OR, where our friends, Ken and Florence, actually live.

Arrived in Eugene about 6 pm and caught up with Ken, a fabulous guitarist/musician, who was playing at an Alpaca farm for an event.  We had been invited to join him and had a very nice time visiting and learning all about Alpacas! 

Spent a fabulous evening last night at their home laughing, talking, catching up on our lives and maybe a few too many sips of wine into the wee hours!!  Not a good thing when they had to go to work the next morning and we needed to hit the road to keep moving south.  LOL  Worth every moment!!

So now I'm caught up with only what we did today left to tell.  It's now Monday evening 10:25pm, August 12, 2012.  A full TWO WEEKS since we left our home in Kettle Falls, WA to begin our journey.  ONLY 2 weeks....man it seems like a whole lot longer than that already!!

Today we headed down the Willamette Pass toward Crater Lake.  This was a must stop for us!  I'd never been here and Mike hadn't since 1973.

So, soooooo worth the trip!!!  Florence/Ken I can't believe you live so close to this fabulous place and you've not been here!  YOU MUST GO!!!

To our great surprise and delight, our entry fee was a true bargain!!  We had decided that we would buy the pass for ALL national parks since many are on our list of "to do's" while on this road trip. Since one of us was at least 62, the fee for entry for ALL parks was ONLY $10 !!!  That's right, there are benefits for reaching this stage of life!

We entered the park at 1pm and didn't leave until 5pm.  What a beautiful, majestic, magical place!!  No words to describe the beauty!  Pictures will have to do.

The blueness of the water was incredible!! Every shade imaginable!  The day was hot and clear despite the fires in the area. 

So tomorrow we head for Coos Bay on the Oregon coast and start our venture down the coast.  Will keep you posted on how it goes.

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