Alaska Cruise – August 2000 – Day 2

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.


One Response to Alaska Cruise – August 2000 – Day 2

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