Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Alaska Cruizin'

Recently, Duckie was blessed by being carted along an Alaska cruise by Mark and June Wright! Thanks for taking Duckie along for the ride!

The Zaandam is a cruise ship owned and operated by Holland America Line, named for the city of Zaandam, Netherlands near Amsterdam. It was built by Italy’s Fincantieri yard in Venice and was delivered in 2000. The Zaandam sails out of Alaska during the summer and during the winter sails around Australia/New Zealand and South Pacific. Other cruises include Asian, Hawaii/Tahiti & Mexico.

In Vancouver, Duckie got introduced to a new friend... who spent a lot of time on his phone...

But then it was time to board the ship at the beautiful Canada Place pier...

And get into the spirit of cruising and just relaxxxxxxxx....

and enjoy the wonders and spectacular beauty of the Inside Passage, a coastal route for oceangoing vessels along a network of passages which weave through the islands on the Pacific coast of North America. The route extends from southeastern Alaska, in the United States, through western British Columbia, in Canada, to northwestern Washington state, in the United States. Ships using the route can avoid some of the bad weather in the open ocean and may visit some of the many isolated communities along the route. The Inside Passage is heavily traveled by cruise ships, freighters, tugs with tows, fishing craft and ships of the Alaska Marine Highway, BC Ferries, and Washington State Ferries systems.

Every night the ducks met with some new towel creations...

 In Alaska, Duckie stopped off at Ketchikan, a city in Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Alaska, United States, the southeasternmost sizable city in Alaska. With an estimated population of 14,070 in 2010 within the city limits, it is the fifth-most populous city in the state. Ketchikan's economy is based upon tourism and fishing, and the city is known as the "Salmon Capital of the World." The Misty Fjords National Monument is one of the area's major attractions. For most of the latter half of the 20th century, a large portion of Ketchikan's economy and life centered around the Ketchikan Pulp Company pulp mill in nearby Ward Cove.

In Juneau, is the Mendenhall Glacier which is about 12 miles (19 km) long located in Mendenhall Valley, about 12 miles (19 km) from downtown Juneau in the southeast area of the U.S. state of Alaska. Originally known as Sitaantaagu ("the Glacier Behind the Town") or Aak'wtaaksit ("the Glacier Behind the Little Lake") by the Tlingits, the glacier was named Auke (Auk) Glacier by naturalist John Muir for the Tlingit Auk Kwaan (or Aak'w Kwaan) band in 1888. In 1891 it was renamed in honor of Thomas Corwin Mendenhall. It extends from the Juneau Icefield, its source, to Mendenhall Lake and ultimately the Mendenhall River. The Juneau Icefield Research Program has monitored the outlet glaciers of the Juneau Icefield since 1942, including Mendenhall Glacier. From 1951–1958 the terminus of the glacier, which flows into suburban Juneau, has retreated 1,900 feet (580 m). The glacier has also receded 1.75 miles (2.82 km) since 1958, when Mendenhall Lake was created, and over 2.5 miles (4.0 km) since 1500. The end of the glacier currently has a negative glacier mass balance and will continue to retreat in the foreseeable future.

Duckie even went all polar bear and floated between the ice... brrrr!

In Skagway, Duckie got to ride on the The White Pass and Yukon Route, a Canadian and U.S. Class II 3 ft  (914 mm) narrow gauge railroad linking the port of Skagway, Alaska, with Whitehorse, the capital of Yukon. An isolated system, it has no direct connection to any other railroad. Equipment, freight and passengers are ferried by ship through the Port of Skagway, and via road through a few of the stops along its route. The line was born of the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897. The most popular route taken by prospectors to the gold fields in Dawson City was a treacherous route from the port in Skagway or Dyea, Alaska, across the mountains to the Canadian border at the summit of the Chilkoot Pass or the White Pass

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve constitutes two official park units jointly managed by the National Park Service in the Alaska panhandle west of Juneau. President Calvin Coolidge first proclaimed the area around Glacier Bay a national monument under the Antiquities Act on February 25, 1925.

The Denali National Park and Preserve is located in Interior Alaska and contains Denali (Mount McKinley), the highest mountain in North America. The national park and preserve is over 6 million acres (24,500 km²), of which 4,724,735.16 acres (19,120 km²) are federally owned. The national preserve is 1,334,200 acres (543 km²), of which 1,304,132 acres (5,278 km²) are federally owned. On December 2, 1980, a 2,146,580 acre (8,687 km²) Denali Wilderness was established within the park. Today, the park hosts more than 400,000 visitors who enjoy wildlife viewing, mountaineering, and backpacking. Wintertime recreation includes dog-sledding, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling where allowed.

Husky is a general name for a type of dog used to pull sleds in northern regions, differentiated from other sled dog types by their fast pulling style. They are "an ever-changing cross-breed of the...fastest dogs". The Alaskan Malamute, by contrast, is "the largest and most powerful" sled dog, and was used for heavier loads. Huskies are used in sled dog racing. In recent years companies have been marketing tourist treks with dog sleds for adventure travelers in snow regions as well. Huskies are also today kept as pets, and groups work to find new pet homes for retired racing and adventure trekking dogs.

From Denali it was onto the train!

THANK YOU for hosting Duckie, Mark and June!

Source: Wikipedia - photos Mark and June Wright

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