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I’m just back from a family cruise to Alaska, a trip I highly recommend if you want to see a part of America that is a different world.
(And a big thank-you to the guest bloggers whom I trust kept your interest and blood pressure high while I was gone.)
We saw just a tiny part of this huge place, and it was awe-inspiring: towering mountains, impenetrable forests, mountainous glaciers, rocky cliffs, icy fjords and rivers, icebergs, whales, dolphins, eagles, bears – a feast for the eyes and imaginations.
I understand the draw the place has had for adventurous souls for hundreds of years, although it’s hard to imagine the fortitude of those willing to live in the wildest parts through the dark, frigid winters. And it’s not all cold: Juneau had a milder winter this year than Boone.
(By the way, Alaskans are big believers in climate change. Especially as they watch the glaciers retreat every year.)
Alaska is all about huge spaces. To illustrate: Take your right hand, and make a fist. Turn it upside down. Stick your thumb down and your index finger out. That’s Alaska.
We spent seven days just in the thumb, southeast Alaska. We took the Inside Passage between islands from Seattle up to Ketchikan, Juneau and finally Skagway. Skagway was where the Gold Rush miners in 1898 landed to head into Yukon, most to end up just bone-cold and gold-less, if not dead.
No, we didn’t see Sarah Palin’s house. Wasilla is near Anchorage, up past the thumb. And we couldn’t see Putin rearing his head in Russia. But we were close enough that we’re now foreign policy experts.
It was a great trip, and it’s great to be back. As always with a trip like that, your horizons grow and the petty political concerns back home shrink. But you’re reminded again what a special place North Carolina is, even with Republicans in charge.


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2 comments on “North to Alaska

  1. Anonymous says:

    Aren’t Republicans in charge mostly in Alaska as well? Still beautiful? Did you see any huge plumes of gasses or lakes of oil there from all the oil they pump? Is the environment there devastated from their huge oil fields? Are there masses of indigents and cities full of gangs and daily violence and so forth?

    I’ve spent some time myself in Alaska. It’s a fabulous state…the people have a culture all their own. They are proud people and they work hard at their daily lives except for some of the more populace places. It’s almost like going back into the “older” days in America visiting there. Many of our inner city folks today in the “lower 48” couldn’t survive there for lack of initiative and thinking they would have to bitch and complain and cause political havoc because someone else wasn’t providing for them in one way or another.

    Glad you got to see it, Gary. Maybe it made a light go off above your head. Doubt it, but it’s still a hope of mine.

  2. Anonymous says:

    How can anyone take a white priviliged trip while so many are starving in continental America. Wish I could go.

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