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Alaska’s Travel Diary

Friday, 24 Aug 2007

Location: USA

MapUp w/o alarm by 7:30 a.m.....leisurely got ready for breakfast at the Sweet Tooth Cafe.....eggs, toast, bacon, hashbrowns for me, 3-egg omelet w/ cheese & meat and hasbrowns & toast for Gwynne. We ventured off on our own, each in different directions....Gwynne to the P.O. and Changing Threads stitchery store and I to every gift shop, avoiding the multitude of jewelry stores that seem to be the popular trend around here. I suppose the jewelry stores revolve around the Gold Rush stigma associated with the area. The stones/gems, I came to find out, are not even from this area, many from California. It is a quaint, cute, touristy town on the Inside Passage, w/in walking distance from the dock (for future reference) unlike others, so we've heard (i.e. Juneau according to Bob Jones is NOT). It is now 12:30 p.m. and I've been in almost every store here and plan on going back through now to get a few things that I saw (i.e. in the Christmas Store, t-shirt store, native crafts, etc.). I am known to pick up things and carry them around the store. Before you know it, I have talked myself out of anything I had in my hands and put them back on their respective counters. My bad?
The stitchery/quilt shops lend themselves to themes of the area.....Alaska scenes, animals, Native totem signs, etc. You can get all wrapped up in the moment, but when you ground yourself again, you realize that when you are home, they would all end up in the closet.
It will be interesting on the ferry if Gwynne and I can manage our time wisely w/ no t.v. to depend on for entertainment. I suspect I will spend a lot of time in the lounge sippin' on a glass of bubbly when I am not sleeping, eating, crocheting, playing cards, reading "Lone Survivor", or playing Cribbage. Although the Ferry line has a few programs or things of interest on board, they are not a cruise line w/ a schedule of activities for the crowd. We will only be able to relay what fun we had after we arrive in the lower 48 as we have heard we will not have internet service.
It was a bit of a relief to be finished going through all the customs in Canada and US. When we went through Canada customs 2 days ago, they didn't even ask for identification. The US customs simply asked for our driver's licenses and asked a couple of questions.
We think most of the schools will be in session on our way home, so we don't anticipate a lot of cars on the roads. The drive, so far, has been quite different than years past.....fewer cars, people, etc.....almost feels like the Alaska Hwy. has been abandoned. The season sure comes to an abrupt halt after mid-August in the interior & fishing areas. While here in Skagway, the crowds, although we have nothing to compare them to, are still medium to heavy in numbers. I'm sure during June & July they are heavier. Cruise ships in September have been popular w/ many in the lower 48, but judging from all the 'Sales' on the jewelry & gift shops, it appears their season is winding down.
Any requests from anyone on any Alaska notions, gifts, etc., had better speak now! We will be checking in w/ messages before morning.