The timeline of the getting onto the ferry was tiring to say the least. After I checked out of the RV park, went to the ferry terminal, got my tickets and they informed me they would start loading the ferry about 4 am for a 6 am departure. Groan here… But set about setting my alarm clock and went to park in the lane I needed to be in. It was a hill, I had to turn off the propane – so no cooking, no refrigeration while I waited nearly 18 hours for that to occur. While visiting with fellow ferry riders parking along with me, I happened to look up and overhead was a perfect circle of a sun dog. I have never seen a perfect circle, usually, its an arc of color off to each side of the sun. Its ice crystals and it always means a change of weather. On this one, the sun was one spoke and the circle with 3 other spokes. It was too massive to get a picture of the whole sun dog circle. The local natives were really chatting up a storm on this – wish I knew what they were saying.
|This had rainbow colors on this spoke|
|This was fainter in color|
|no spoke, but boldly part of circle|
Well, went to bed early, like 8 to get some rest. Well… no rest for the weary with trucks coming and going, folks arriving (doing what I had done hours before). Finally dosed off about 1:30 in the morning. Knock, knock, knock at the door – the harbor master informed me to get moved into lane 6. Uh? It was 1:45 am – 15 short minutes of sleep. So I rushed around to get dressed, combed my hair, hopped out of the rig to my amazement – everyone else had already moved!!! I had heard nothing…. so scrambled even faster – thinking I was late. Damn, the lack of knowledge on how all this develops puts unwanted, un-needed stress on one tired lady… So I get over to Lane 6 and guess what…. I just sit there… no movement, nothing. If I had been more awake, I would have remember the old adage of “Hurry up and wait” when it comes to the government. Sat there close to an hour before they started inching us thru customs. I lost my lemons (I got from AZ) and went and got into another lane and waited and waited and waited… at 6 am – when we should have already departed, I finally got onto the boat. I am duly impressed with the folks who load the vehicles. They had me back in on their instructions and guide – trust me, I should have hit a ton of stuff, but they maneuver me to an inch on 2 sides. Oh my god, when I got out and looked. A bare inch between front and back bumper, about 6 inches from the outside wall of the ship and when they parked big vehicles on the other side – it was quite the squeeze to get into the rig to feed the cats. Mind you, I provided entertainment every time I entered my rig – my butt honked the horn. They just laughed at and with me. I can get one foot in, but can’t get the other foot past the doghouse for love nor money – hence the butt horn. Laughing here.
All those times mentioned above? Guess what, the ferry was on Alaskan time, not Canadian time – so everything was an hour earlier and no one told me until I got onto the ferry. Made me instantly exhausted… laughing.
The ferry trip north was awesome… beautiful and prompted great laughter on the last leg of the trip. But first, I thought I was on a direct route to Haines, but we stopped at all kinds of ports along the way. Up until Sitka – we had crystal clear weather – it was amazing to see Ketchikan, Kake, Wrangle, St. Petersburg – with no rain or fog, simply amazing. Beautiful, just beautiful sight to behold. Unfortunately, by the time we got to Sitka rain had moved in, clouds were low… and I so wanted to see Sitka, as so many say its special. Guess I will just have to come back, as I couldn’t see anything. Hoonah was buried in the rain clouds. By Juneau, the clouds lifted enough to recognize Auke Bay, but it was pouring cats and dogs. Up and until leaving Juneau, we had had smooth sailing – not a white cap to be seen. But the wind picked up as soon as we got back out to open waters outside of Juneau and guess what? Snow! White out conditions all the way to Haines.
|Not sure, but think its St. Petersburg|
I am so laughing at this. I finally get home and I’m still dealing with winter. I had mentioned to my friend Cheri on a joking comment “I will get propane before I park, unless its snowing”. Her comment – oh Melinda, its not going to snow, we are having beautiful sunny days now! So when getting here yesterday morning… it was snowing a slushy messy snow at the port. Drove into town, it rained the whole way, decided to just go ahead and get the propane – they had 6-8 inches of slush on the ground, got the propane, went back to Oceanside RV park, down on the harbor, and the snow was sticking here. Damn. Got checked in – got electricity, can dump but can’t stay hooked up in this weather, and their water line busted the day before. No problem, I don’t need water right now. Cheri brought over my mail, and brought me an awesome welcome back gift – two of her handwoven towels – oh they are magnificent!!! One of the two matches my interior – amazing that she did this and pulled all the colors into one towel. Can’t decide which one I like more. Just delighted with both of them! And then we went to Mountain Market for a mocha and lunch – awesome! Then she took me to the grocery store so I could get a few things. She took me to Dalton City Yarn to see the new store and a pitstop to see some alpaca being sold, then she brought me back to my rig to finish setting up, repackaging groceries, fixed an early supper and went to bed early.
Guess what? At first light this morning – peeked out to see if it was raining or snowing or nothing – everything was covered in ice!! But it wasn’t raining or anything. Now, its been snowing for hours. Horizontal snow at that. Temp is a delightful 30ºF. I’m not going anywhere today. I’m not even sure I want to venture across the parking area to do laundry. But I’m home folks and I can’t be happier! I so love Alaska…