Travel Photo Thursday: North, To Alaska!

Travel Photo Thursday: North, To Alaska!

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Last Sunday, the San Francisco Chronicle Travel section included stories by the section’s editor, Spud Hilton, on cruising Alaska waters on both small and large vessels.

Westerdam Sets Sail Sitka

imageOn Mother’s Day, 2009, the paper ran my first published travel story, a piece about glacier touring in Southeast Alaska. A similar story ran about three months later in the Dallas Morning News. And my story about Sitka, where the Russians handed over the keys to Alaska to the U.S. in the “Seward’s Folly” transaction, appeared in the Los Angeles Times the following April.

All three articles were based on my two-week journey through Southeast Alaska in June of 2008. After a stopover in Seattle, I flew to Sitka, took the ferry to Juneau, hopped to and from Glacier Bay in 6-seat planes, rode an overnight ferry to Petersburg, and finished the trip with a couple of nights in Ketchikan and a flight-seeing floatplane trip to aptly named Misty Fjords National Monument.

Here are a few photographic memories of the trip that launched my travel writing career.

 Margerie Glacier

It was only fitting that our trip up Glacier Bay on a tour boat took place on a day when the weather looked as frigid as the ice calving off Margerie Glacier into the dark waters of the bay.

Fairweather Range from Barlett Cove

We were told that June of 2008 was the coldest that month had been in many years. Skies were cloudy and temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s during most of our trip. But when the sun made its rare appearance, it lit up the landscape, as it did bouncing off the snowy peaks of the Fairweather Range on the west side of Glacier Bay.

Tidy Bowl Blue Iceberg

Ice has defined Southeast Alaska, sculpting its mountains, digging out deep fjords. And while at Glacier Bay we saw “bergy bits” floating atop the waves, at Le Conte Bay near Petersburg large icebergs made their way out into Frederick Sound. I dubbed this one the “Tidy Bowl Blue” berg because its coloration reminded me of the toilet cleaner of the same name.

Window Dogs

Walking along Steadman Street, the “main drag” along Ketchikan’s waterfront, we looked up to see these two pooches eyeballing the tourists ambling by below.

This “Doggies in the Window” shot appeared as a “Reader Photo”in the travel section of my local county newspaper, and to make a long story short, ultimately led to publication of that San Francisco Chronicle story a few months later.

A couple of years after that Alaska trip, a Ketchikan tourist representative I spoke to at a travel show hosted by Sunset magazine at its San Francisco Peninsula headquarters, told me this duo is often found hanging out their second story window viewpoint.

(Click on an image to enlarge to full-size. Visit Budget Travelers Sandbox for more of this week’s Travel Photo Thursday shots.)

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7 Replies to “Travel Photo Thursday: North, To Alaska!”

  1. The glacier photos are delicious – can I use that word – just did. I remember seeing this doggi photo of yours before. So funny that they are often seen performing this trick.

  2. When I lived in Vancouver I used to look forward to cruise season as we could see the boats going by from our house – sometimes 5 a night.
    I remember 2008 because we took most of the summer off – and kayaked for about 5 weeks of it. Many of those kayaking days were wet and rainy – especially when we were in the Johnston Strait area.

  3. I think it’s great that you were able to get 3 widely published stories plus 1 reader photo out of one trip. It’s very inspiring. My first print article is going to be published in a local glossy mag next month, and I’m very excited. I hope it leads to more writing opportunities. I thought that dramatic photo of Glacier Bay was going to be my favorite until I scrolled down to the Tidy Bowl Blue berg and the 2 cool dogs photos. So much greatness in one trip!

  4. All of theses shots are gorgeous. The shot of the dogs is definitely one that would get a lot of interest. Hanging out in that window, the two of them just “show” so much attitude.

  5. The dogs are totally adorable — love the shades on the one guy. What a trip that must have been. Your photos are very enticing for anyone thinking about visiting Alaska. Hope I get there sometime.

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