Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Termination or Anticipation?

Termination Dust - Alaska

On my recent travels in Alaska, I learned a new term, "termination dust."  As we made our way on the Yukon and White Pass Rail Road to the Yukon Territory in Canada, our guide announced that termination dust had fallen over night, the first of the season.  The mountains were capped with a light dusting of snow signaling the end of the summer season and the coming "termination" of summer employment for many.

This morning as I turned the corner on to 7th St., I saw our own termination dust on one of the many mountains surrounding our valley.  But with 2.5 inches of snow yesterday at the Loveland Ski Area just 10 miles up the road whetting appetites for ski season, perhaps we should call it anticipation dust!

Anticipation Dust - look closely !

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wonderful Sites and Sights

Now that's a cabbage!  Cole Slaw for the population of Alaska!

My husband and I recently returned from an Alaskan trip that included a cruise of the Inside Passage and a trip to Denali, finally ending in Fairbanks.  Since it's said that a picture is worth a thousand words, I'll let my camera do most of the talking.

Sunset at sea on the Inside Passage

At both the Saxman Native Village in Ketchikan and the Chena Native Village in Fairbanks, I was greatly impressed by the number of youth who were part of the tourist programs. These young people are in positions of trust and importance as they share their native cultures and languages with the folks who come to visit.  What an eye to the future the elders of these tribes have to entrust so much in their young people.

Saxman Native Village Dance 
Chena Village Athabascan Piecework!

In Ketchikan, we had fun watching the antics of young loggers at the Great Alaskan Lumberjacks show,

but not until I had stopped by the lovely Silver Thimble Quilt Shop just across the way to pick up a few batik fat quarters with an Alaskan theme.  If you're in town, I recommend all three stops!

Juneau was literally a washout as it poured all day and both our float plane trip over the glaciers and whale watch excursion were cancelled.  On to Skagway!

Along the White Horse and Yukon Route
From Skagway, we took a fantastic train ride on the White Pass and Yukon Route, seeing the 18 inch path that hopeful gold rushers took to find their fortune. This was followed by a stop at Liarsville, a camp set up by the journalists of the gold rush days where we enjoyed an outdoor salmon bake (best salmon I have ever had!), panning for gold, and a dramatic and humorous poetic recitation. My best find there was a rusted old Singer sewing machine in the combination laundry /fortune teller tent.  My fortunes connected with laundry are simply that it will all be dirty again in a couple of days!
Fortunes Told $1 - no mention of how much a quilt might cost!

At the Rushin' Tailor's quilt shop in Skagway, I found some brilliant material to go with a Matryoshka doll we picked up for our granddaughter's birthday.  Shhhhh!

Back on board, we prepared for our voyage through Glacier Bay where we were blessed with one of the clearest days ever seen, according to the National Park Rangers who came on board to help us appreciate what we were viewing ... but seeing a glacier calve speaks for itself!

Glacier Bay -  Margerie Glacier
We paid for that crystal clear day with cloudy days that followed obscuring our view of College Fjords and back on land, Denali.
According to our guide, Denali is in those clouds!
However, I did find a spot for some locally hand spun yarn by Subarctic Spinners,

and just across from our place at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, a fine shop called Northern Originals for gifts and fabric.  Be sure to stop by if you're in Denali!

Our Alaskan adventure ended with the best sight in all of Alaska - our younger son, Michael, who drove the seven hours from his cabin in Valdez to Fairbanks to join us for a day!

Even after such a wonderful trip, there still is truth in the words of Dorothy, 
"There is no place like home!"