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We recently returned from an Alaskan Adventure Vacation. And by we, I am not talking about me and the girls/dogs. This time it was just me and Ken. A friend stayed with the girls.

We started with a very pleasant drive to Bellingham, had lunch with family and then boarded the ferry, part of the Alaskan Marine Highway System. The ferry was scheduled to take us up to Juneau with one stop in Ketchikan, via the Inside Passage. I’ve never been to this part of the world so it was going to be an interesting trip, hopefully with lots of wonderful scenery and wildlife sightings.

The first night out, the ship, the MV Kennicott, lost time traveling along Vancouver Island and the captain decided to travel through open water rather than the inside route. This was not nearly so scenic and the water was rougher. The crew told us that this almost NEVER happens. Oh well.

Later that day, a passenger became ill and we had to make a detour to Bella Bella, which was the prettiest part of the ferry trip. Lots of forest-covered mountains, narrow passageways between islands and peninsulas and overall good weather. We felt sorry for the passenger and his traveling companion because they were dropped off in what could be described as the middle of nowhere. And there was no ferry dock at Bella Bella so they were evacuated in a life boat.

Of course by then we were way behind schedule so the captain got the ship out in open water as fast as possible and we arrived at Ketchikan the next morning, not too late. We were only there for an hour before going on to Juneau, arriving on time on the following morning.

The ferry experience was nice, except for the open water route. It provided a slower, more relaxed way to travel compared to flying. The boat was not crowded with passengers and we had a chance to meet most everyone on it. We had a small cabin that was comfy enough with two bunks and a sink and the bathrooms were just down the hall. The food was better than cafeteria-style and not over-priced. We took breakfast and lunch food and bought our dinners. Beer and wine were also available. There were plenty of places to hang out and watch the world go by or sit and read in a quiet lounge. We had a tour of the engine room.

I would recommend the ferry to Alaska if you have the time for it. It took 2 1/2 days to reach Juneau and we could have gone to many other destinations if we wanted. All of the crew members were very nice and always ready to answer questions or give assistance as needed.

The next day was a little more laid back. Don and Mary flew a kite while Molly tried to catch it. We all went for a walk on the south end of the island and enjoyed long views and watched birds and seals. Back at camp our friend Kim arrived with her boat and we had a lovely afternoon paddle before dinner.

We were up early Monday morning and got out of here before 5 am! It was a struggle but worth it to catch the 9:30 ferry from Anacortes to Lopez Island. The weather was quite nice over there and we were anxious to try our hand at catching dungeness crabs. We arrived at Odlin Park around midday and set up camp next to some of our Methow Valley friends. Others arrived a little later in the day.

It was great to be out of the forest fire smoke and breathe fresh, clean air. The fires have really taken a toll on Methow Valley folks this year, both physically and mentally. The smoke has often been very hazardous to breathe and people are trying to stay inside as much as possible. Most people that move to the Methow are looking for an active outdoor lifestyle.

On Lopez, our friend David came by and was ready to set some crab traps and check some that he had put out earlier in the day. It was exciting to see the traps full of crabs. Many of them were not ‘keepers’ and had to be returned to the saltwater but we did find some legal males. All females have to be let go. We spent the afternoon settling in and before dinner time we returned to check and pull the traps out of the water and were delighted to find some more keepers! That evening we all got together for an epic dinner party with crab, spot prawns, pasta, fresh vegetables, dutch oven cobbler and blackberry crisp. The food was amazing and we were all so busy eating that I forgot to make any images.

Day 1

We hooked up the tent trailer and headed across the mountains, leaving behind hot weather and smoky skies and allergies generated by the smoke. At Happy Creek we all enjoyed a little walk and cool water before heading back out on the highway bound for Anacortes and the big ferry dock. While waiting for our boat, the girls enjoyed a walk on the beach and the scent of saltwater and seaweed. It was Sky’s first ride on a ferry and she overcame her fears of new things and enjoyed the trip to Lopez Island. We arrived to find two of our dear friends from Twisp camped right next to us! After setting up camp, I got out in my kayak for sunset and Ken joined our friend David in his boat just in time to pull up the crab traps! Dinner was served.

A sinus cold has been sucking all of the energy out of me recently. It’s been all I can do to keep up with the basics and we had a family event a couple hundred miles away from here to attend over the weekend. It was great fun seeing everyone and being part of the festivities surrounding a 50th Anniversary Celebration. And I do enjoy road trips and a change of scenery. But being sick away from home is never fun. I think I am starting to feel better this morning.

Here are a few images from the road trip.

 

Obviously, not in the Methow anymore, Toto.

 

 

Nope, this isn’t our forest.

 

These maple leaves are HUGE, almost a foot across

 

Color or black and white?

 

I have enjoyed ferry travel since I was a little girl

 

Did you know that ferries bring Christmas trees?

 

This has something to do with an old movie called Harry and the Hendersons, I think

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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