Sunday, August 23, 2015

Just Walking in the Rain

by Pa Rock
Globe Trotter

Today’s port-of-call was beautiful Juneau, Alaska.   Juneau, population 32,000, is the third largest city in Alaska and also the capital.  It is bordered on three sides by water and flanked on the inland side by a massive ice field, so the only way into Juneau is by plane or boat.    The big cruise ships dock at Juneau from May through October, dumping tourists by the thousands.

Gail and I walked through the tourist area close to the port today – in the mist and rain.   Her first priority was to buy an umbrella, which she was finally able to do.  We stopped at the semi-famous Red Dog Saloon for iced tea.    A saloon gal in an authentic saloon gal dress – the bodice of which was more of a display case than it actually was apparel - waited on us.   The floor of the establishment was covered in about an inch of sawdust.  One of the many displays on the walls was a genuine moose head that was about the size of my car.

Gail was desperate to locate the town’s Walmart, but that never happened.  She can only be away from a Walmart for about ten hours before she begins developing the shakes and withdrawal sets in.

We did a brief tour of the city in the afternoon.   The tour was in a small shuttle bus with regular windows – making it hard to see most of the sights because just about everything in Juneau clings to the hillsides.   We did see the capitol building and the governor’s house, and the driver showed us where the Palin spawn used to have their trampoline.  Our tour also took us across the bridge to Douglas Island for a panoramic view of the harbor and all of the cruise ships.

I have a large, framed photograph of Juneau Harbor hanging in my home in West Plains.    The photo, something that I found many years ago in an Ozark flea market, was obviously taken from Douglas Island.  So, although the twenty-five dollar bus tour was a generally crappy experience, I did appreciate getting to view Juneau Harbor through the same perspective as that photographer so many years ago.

Juneau is a lovely city.  I would like to come back and enjoy it again sometime when the sun is out.

I have been bothered with some serious shoulder pain since a couple of weeks before heading out on this cruise.  This afternoon I sat in one of the ship’s outdoor hot tubs for about an hour, and that provided some pain relief.    A hot tub is something I really need to invest in for the farm.  I’m sure Rosie and Thor Longmire would both love it, and I have one especially brassy little hen that would also probably give it a try.

Our ship, the Celebrity Millennium, will dock at Skagway early tomorrow morning.  If I can find the town’s post office, I plan to mail home some dirty clothes, a maneuver that will give me room in my minimal luggage for a few souvenirs and gifts for the grandkids.  Do I know how to travel, or what?

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