Friday, August 28, 2009

Onward to Ketchikan

We arrived in Ketchikan with no excursions planned,
so we went to the Great Alaskian Lumberjack Show.
It was pretty good.....perhaps a little hokey....but okay.
Kinda reminded me of the Alexander Henry lumber jack
fabric......only these guys had thier shirts on............

After the show we just HAD to find the quilt shop..........
I know, I know........what a surprise..........

We only had 6 hours at this port, but we had
heard about a hiking trail called Deer Mountain.
So off we went in search of it.
We walked about 1 1/2 miles to get to the trail head
(all up hill mind you)

We were only able to hike another 1 1/4 miles
because I was afraid that if we went any further
we would miss our ship!
We did have a fantastic view of the surrounding mountains.........

I couldn't resist snapping this picture.
To me it looked like a bear slumbering in the tree.
I guess I just had bears on the brain!

Life aboard a cruise ship is pretty fun.
There is always something to do.
I participated in several Digital workshop classes
taught by a really nice young man who really knew his stuff.
We learned how to work with our digital pictures and
the computer and lots and lots of other cool things.

I took a tour of the kitchen.
Here I am with the executive chef and two members of his team.

One of the reasons we went on this Alaskian cruise
was to be COLD so we slept with our door open each night
so we could really hear the ocean and let in the cool air.
So one night I was awakened by several blasts of the ships LOUD horn!
When I went to the door and peered out I could see nothing but FOG!
Immediately I started having Titanic visions
and got a little nervous!
The horn blasts continued, and I just couldn't get back to sleep.
Eventually I decided that I just needed to close the door ( to block some of the sound) and trust that the captain knew what he was doing......
after all I was pretty sure that he had been thru this before!
Guess he did because I'm still here.
I didn't think of it until the next day, but I guess I ~could~ have
put my life jacket on and went back to bed.
That would have been
a funny sight for Mike to wake up to!!!! LOL!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sitka Alaska

We arrived in Sitka Alaska on a misty, moisty morning
just as the sun was trying to peek thru the clouds.
There were hundreds of tiny islands surrounding the
main island of Sitka. All of them seemed to have
pretty little cabins on was just so lovely and inviting.
Wouldn't you just love to place yourself into
this picture?

Mike and I did not have an excursion planned for Sitka, but
we were told about a totem pole park that was about a miles
walk from where the ship let us off, so we put on our walking
shoes and took off.

On the way we encountered this stream absolutely FILLED
with salmon swimming upstream.
The picture above does not do it justice.
There was hardly an inch of water that did not have a fish in it.
These particular salmon were coming in from the ocean into
fish hatchery, but later we came upon a creek that was all natural.....

So we made it to the Historical Park where there were
about 20 totem poles that had been preserved.
Mike and I started along the little round-trip trail
and were joined by a park ranger who so very kindly
told us all about the history and folklore of the totems
we were seeing. This man had tons of information about
the history of Sitka and its wildlife as well.
He spent about 1/2 hour walking and talking with us until
a man coming from the opposite way reported that he had
seen a bear on the other side of the trail.
Unfortunately the ranger asked us to please turn back....the
park would have to be cleared as they did not want people to
come in contact with the bears.
Well, being the rule followers that we are, we dutifully turned
back. However along the way we found a path that cut back over
to the stream where the bear had been sited.....
So off we went and lo and behold we found the bear!
He was on the shore looking into the stream selecting his lunch.
The stream was chocked full of salmon.....just ripe for the picking....

I must say that it was thrilling to see a bear in the wild.
And making it a little more exciting was that we were breaking
the rules! Well, wouldn't ya know........the ranger caught us
and had to ask us to move along AGAIN.
I felt like a kid with my hand in the cookie jar....he had been so
very nice to us and we, well, we disobeyed him..........


After our bear adventure we walked back into town.
You can't really see it in this picture of the main street,
but, YES! You guessed it........there was a quilt shop!
And I went in it! Are you surprised?

Here is Mike above the city. We climbed up to the highest spot
and were rewarded with this lovely panoramic view of the cruiseship, ocean and the beautiful mountains.
Breathtaking! Truly God's country!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


It's tough to know where to begin writing about my Alaskian adventure, so I guess I'll just begin at the beginning..........

The first place we visited was Glaicer Bay.

The glaciers were not quite as big as I expected,
but they were still pretty magnificent.

If you look closely at the picture above you can
see a large pointy piece of ice that is starting to fall into the ocean.

Now can you see it?
We were standing on the deck and heard this loud CRACK
which would signal that glacier calving is about to begin.
I just happened to have my camera set to take
multiple pictures with a single snap, so I was
able to get the whole process of the large chunk of ice falling off.

There were 18 pictures in this sequence, but
I'm only posting 5 here.

I am constantly in awe of the beautiful things
that I see around me. That little chunk of ice
sure did make a huge splash!
You can see the remnants of another similiar fall
in the right middle of the above photo.

The first Alaskian port we visited was Juneau.
Juneau is a pretty little city which can only be accessed
by sea or by air. I believe we were told that there is
about 24 miles of highway....12 one way from the city
and 12 the other way. There are NO ROADS that connect
Juneau to any other Alaskian cities.

As I have said first stop was the quilt shop!

AFTER that we boarded a helicopter and flew over Mendenhal
Glacier. I've never been in a helicopter before so it was quite

a thrilling experience in itself, but to fly over such beauty was
really breathtaking

Out one window there was ICE and out the other window

was a breathtaking valley of green and blue.

The helicoptor LANDED on the glacier and we got
to get out and walk around.

Carefully walk around...........

and drink very chilly glacier water !

Glaciers are VERY COLD! (go figure!)
Even tho it doesn't look like it in this picture
I was VERY happy to be cold!
It was 115 degrees when I left Phoenix.....
We WENT to Alaska to be cold!!!!!

So where to go to warm up?
Hummmmm..............How about the
While primarily a hang-out for touristy "boat people" now,

The Red Dog Saloon has been around since the
early gold mining days.
We asked our friendly bartender the meaning
of all of the marked dollar bills that were tacked up
around all of the mirrors in the joint.

It seems that miners would come into town,
get supplies, hit the bar and what $$$ they had left
they would print thier name on it and ask the bartender
to please keep it to ensure that they would have drinking
money the next time they hit town.
This bar featured a old timer playing bawdy tunes on a piano
and singing along, sawdust on the floor and tons of memoriablia
hanging from every nook and cranny in the place.
Check out this wikipedia link:
If you ever make it to the Red Dog Saloon in Juneau,
make sure and ask the bartender to serve you up a Duck Fart........
It'll warm you right up..........I promise.
Come on back tomorrow and read about our
exciting adventures in Sitka............
We had a WILD time there...........

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cruisin' right along.......

Don't Mike and I look great in our cruise shirts?

This picture was taken on the first day of the cruise.

We wore our shirts on the plane....

isn't my husband a brave man?

I was embroidering these


No sense planning ahead of time, right?


These is so much to catch up on when

you have been away for 2 weeks!

My husband and I flew to Seattle and boarded a

Holland American cruise ship

bound for Alaska.

We visited Glacier Bay, Juneau, Sitka,

Ketichan and Victoria, Canada.

After the cruise we spent 6 days in Oregon.

In Alaska we saw alot of wonderous things...........glaciers calving, orca whales, humpback whales, A BROWN BEAR!, salmon swimming upstream in droves! and of course a quilt shop in every town!

The week we spent in Oregon

we also saw alot of wonderous things........

Beautiful green valleys, tall, tall pines, apsens, the mighty ocean, clouds that swallowed us up and of course..........some quilt shops along the way.

Let's face it..........I do have my priorities in order!

This wonderful shop features an Alaskian artist,

Barbara Lavelle,

who has created some fabulous patterns.

One of which I bought and am eager to start!

I also bought a pattern called "A Fish out of Water".

It features

salmon swimming upstream,

and one fish jumping out of the water.

Well, when I saw this pattern I decided that I was going to put my fish IN the water..........

whoever heard of a fish flying in the air?

WELL! In Sitka and Ketichan I witnessed with my own eyes that FISH

actually do jump completely out of the water!

So now my salmon will

definetely fly........another pattern I am anxious to start!

Well, I have lots more to write about..........the cruise,

our brown bear experience,

classes on the ship,

about a 1/2 dozen more quilt shops, but alas,

I really need to stop for today and get back to work!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Design Wall Monday

Yep, I'm still working on this Harmonic Conversion quilt.
As you can see I've finally chosen some borders and have
done the first quilting stage AND I have cut away the
puffy batting to create some trapunto.
Next step will be to start quilting it!
To see more Design Wall Monday Posts
go to

It is SOOOOOOOOOO good to be home!
I've been gone for 2 weeks........first on an Alaskian cruise,
and then a week in Oregon.
My husband and I went on the cruise to celebrate our 30 year
wedding anniversary AND to get cool! The weather was
absolutely beautiful the entire trip.........and yes....we accomplished
the getting cool times it was even COLD!
Loved it!
We took close to 1500 pictures that need to be downloaded
so more on the trip later!