September 20th, 2005

AdultObie Raven

Trip Report 1 -- Hello From Alaska!

I suppose I should let you all know what I've been doing. :)

On Thursday we flew from Long Beach to Oakland and took a cab to San Francisco where we were to meet our ship. Jim didn't remember which pier we were supposed to go to, although he remembered there'd been a change, so he called Princess's 800 information number while we waited for our baggage. The helpful person at Princess said we were to go to Pier 35. Coolness. This was at like 11 or 11:30am. So we get our baggage and schlep it down the block and across the street and down a fairly well-hidden ramp (to one side and a few steps away from the stairs, and no there isn't a sign near said stairs) and then back up about half another block to get to where the taxis line up at Oakland airport. Hint: If you're ever flying into Oakland and you have more than a backpack, and you need a cab, get a luggage cart. Best two bucks we ever spent. :P

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AdultObie Raven

Trip Report 2 -- Ketchikan and Juneau

Yesterday (Sunday) we were in Ketchikan and that was a lot of fun. It's the southernmost city in Alaska, so the sign says "Alaska's First City." They get an average of thirteen FEET of rain per year [boggle] and the lady who led our tour said that they'd gotten seven inches of rain this last fourth of July, which is a heck of a lot of rain for mid-summer anywhere outside the tropics. There were only about eight of us on the tour, which is the smallest tour I've ever been on, but it was cool.

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AdultObie Raven

Trip Report 3 -- Skagway

Today was Skagway, a little town that has about 700 people in the winter and 1000 in the summer according to our guide, who was one of the extra 300 who came up to work the tourist trade in the summer. The entire town depends upon tourism, mostly from cruise ships, and if the ships stopped calling here the town would die. There's literally no other work in town, unless you're one of the handful of teachers (one school, K-12, one hundred and some students), the librarian, one of the... I think it was three nurses who work at the health center (no doctor), or one of the cops (three patrol cars, I'm assuming one per shift). There's also (in the off season) a bar, a grocery store, a hardware store, and one or two other businesses, but everything else in town is some sort of shop or service which caters to the tourist trade, and they make their year's worth of income between April and September.

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