Alaska Cruise – August 2000 – Day 2

January 12, 2011

Friday, August 11, 2000

Clear. Had breakfast and off for Portage Glacier.

Trips coming and going. Having a hard time getting things where we need them. Henry being good at helping. My logical mind is not working. I have put things in but now not sure where they are. When I find them they are where they should be. HELL to get old.
We had Breakfast at the hotel Berry Patch. Beautiful flowers along the streets as before. Marigolds and Lobelia in the hanging baskets. After picking up more people we are on our way. The Chuqach mountains are on our left as we head for Portage. 128 miles on the Seward Highway. Many one way streets in Anchorage. The Seward Highway was built in 1975.

The trees are mostly Sitka Spruce, paper birch, no pines.

Gold was found on Turnagain Arm in 1898. There is a difference of about 40 feet between high and low tides. The “beach” can be treacherous. It is not like the Jersey shore. It is like quick-sand when the tide is out. All warned not to walk there. In 1995 several people were “sucked up”. They now have a tool to free them.
We passed a lot of people fishing for silver (coho) salmon. They are having a good run this year.

The Explorer Glacier is one we will see as we approach Portage with a population of 8. The railroad bridge goes to Chugach and the highway tunnel goes over Turnagain Pass.

On our way after an unscheduled stop by a beautiful lake. The bus driver, a local for 25 years, was full of information, told us “we didn’t stop here”. His wife was driving the school bus ahead of us and would check on him!!! His excuse would be “traffic”. At Visitor Center we saw a movie and had the Park Passbook stamped.

This is the Begich-Boggs V.C. He was a senator and lost his life up here. His wife, Lindy Boggs took his seat in the Senate.

Hand written Note: (1972? Never found the plane. Cokie Roberts his daughter)

On to our trip to the Glacier aboard the MV PTARMIGAN. What a beautiful trip and a glorious day. We got right close to Portage Glacier. Chunks fell off while we were there. They were small but noisy, even I could hear them. It was quite windy but the sun shone brightly. We didn’t need the extra jackets.

We stopped at the Alyeska Resort for lunch and a ride up the tram to the top of the ski-lift. Henry didn’t want to go. This is Tommy Moe country. He brought back the Gold and Silver medals from the 1994 Olympic Lillehammer Norway. This is a place for MONEY.

We had an expensive lunch, soup and sandwich – Manhattan chowder, smoked salmon salad sandwich (like tuna fish). A pot of coffee at 2.00 a cup. At least you have at least two cups per. Coffee is high 1.50 to 2.00 a cup but least you will get a pot so you don’t mind the price. Food is high because most is brought up from Seattle. Milk is 4.37 a gallon to our 2.89 in the lower 48.

Gas prices were about as they are in the Lower 48 (as they say). On our way back to Anchorage after a great day and driver, Bill.

We saw patches of snow or as BIll would say “Apache here and Apache there”. We saw a lot of tall “weeds” which turned out to be Yarrow, a large yellow head. The natives use it for medicinal purposes as they do many things. They live a sub-sistance life style. There is no sales tax or income tax.

The natives are paid a fee by the oil companies each year, like pension plan. It varies each year.

Back at the hotel we had a cheeseburger and 2 hot fudge sundaes at the Berry Patch ($25.00) about 6:30. I was not hungry so just had the sundae. Later I took a shower and then we got our bags to go to Denali over-night and left our big bags in the room to be sent on to Fairbanks. We will be at the train at 7:15 AM. Moon is out FULL. Promises to be good for the trip to Denali.


Alaska Cruise – August 2000 – Day 3

January 11, 2011

Saturday, August 12, 2000

Off to Denali 7:15. On the car “Deshka “. It is clear. We are waiting to have breakfast on the train. Quite a nice group of young people aboard, early teens mostly. We do not have a table in front of us as before but do have great seats.

Henry HAD “Greatland Special”, buttermilk pancakes, bacon, fresh fruit, coffee. I had “Brakeman’s Special”. Finally pulled out at 8:15. At 9:30 had lunch. At 10:15 going thru some pretty country we got a glimpse of Mt. McKinley, very snowy and pretty in the sunshine. This would be our only glimpse of the mountain, but how striking! RR repair crew at Kashwitna. Lots of paper birch here. Stopped to let the Asian group get off for a grass roots Festival and another group of travelers got on.

During lunch of soup and sandwich, ice cream with berry sauce. They use a lot of berry combos. The scenery is great. Saw McKinley, and Eldridge Glacier (train employee chatter).

They were 50 to100 miles away but the snow on top sure showed where they were. Later had to wait for a train to pass. It had people on it going south. It is customary to do a “moose wave” as they go by. This we did and they did too. Breaks up the “monotoney”. Crossed the Continental Divide at Summit Pass. Here the waters split, one going east the other west .

On to Denali, weather changing into drops. After shopping it stops. Got cards and T-shirt. Into our rooms, then took shuttle back to Lodge. Were doing fine until my left eye decided to kick up with a white spot on the lower lid Tried to find baby shampoo but no luck. The rain was miserable. Went back to room.

We go on a Natural History tour in the park at 7 tomorrow morning. Have taken lots of pictures, I hope.


Alaska Cruise – August 2000 – Day 1

January 11, 2011

Taken from a Travel Notebook of Louise Strode Worthington (1916 – 2010)

This documents a trip that Louise and Henry Worthington took with AAA on a President Cruise to Alaska in August 2000. This information was scanned and reformatted for the purpose of sharing with the family. Where appropriate, notes in the margins or on the pages are noted. Re-formatting has also been done as this was done on Mom’s typewriter, as was her custom.

Thursday, August 10, 2000 – Day 1

Clear, hot and hazy. Rapid Rover pick-up on time for an 8:30 flight on Northwest Airlines to Minneapolis / St. Paul next to U.S. Air.

Guess who we saw getting off the shuttle, Dick and Toni on their way to San Diego to see Rick. What a surprise!

Checked our bags and then on to Security. We made it thru there after Henry took off his fanny pack. Our picture ID-passports were needed at the check-in.

At 8:40 we are waiting in line with 15 others to take off. Huge UPS planes also in line with us. Off at 9:05 Sun is out, a bit hazy. Plane is Airbus seating 3 and 3. Had breakfast at 10:15, cheerios, Juice, coffee, Bagel, jam, banana, Cream cheese.

Flying high, 32,000 ft. clouds below but sun is bright. Descending at 10:45. Should be in port at 10:25. Landed at 11:45 EDT, 10:20 CDT. Plenty of time to get to Gate 29 for 11:45 flight to Anchorage.

Beautiful day to fly. On a 757 but are waiting for more fuel. Starting off at 12.15 but back to the “starting gate” Trouble with the wheel well. Electrical “glitch” Plane is FULL Off again at 1 CDT.

5 ½ hour flight to Anchorage. Supposed to have had lunch. It is now 1:30. Have peanuts and drink. Dinner will be a bit late. Try for 3PM, chicken, mixed veg. roll, milk, ice cream. Coffee anytime.

Landed in Anchorage at 6:30 Alaska time. Saw many glaciers and ice fields as we approached Haines and our descent to Anchorage. It was a beautiful sight. Holland America picked up luggage and took us by bus to our hotel, the Hilton.

There is a 4 hour time difference. (one hour later than Seattle) We checked in and then met our Tour Director, Barbara Hahn. She would remain with us until we got to the ship. Be ready by 8:30 tomorrow morning.

Ate at the Snow Goose and had Pizza. Good. Clear. Did Shop for Lorraine’s Bells. Found two. She will have to choose. Still light at 10:30 ADT. Moon came up about 2 A.M.


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