Thursday, July 27, 2017

Outside Passage and Home Again

Leaving Sitka, we turned south to complete our round trip in Seattle after sailing the Outside Passage.  The Outside Passage is the open ocean to the west of the many islands and archipelagos which make up the Western coast of Canada and Alaska.  First, however, we stopped at Prince Rupert (PR) in British Columbia.  PR has only recently begun a push for the cruise trade, having built a new cruise ship dock and enlisted many friendly volunteers to greet the arrivals with maps and information.  I had a pleasant walk around.  The Museum of Northern B.C. is full of well-displayed and interesting information on the history of the area.  A long walk down the waterfront ends in a very pleasant Rotary Waterfront Park.  Rotary has spent much of its energies creating pleasant parks in small towns throughout the world.  The park contains a rebuilt train station from the early 1900’s.   Like many other Alaskan cruise ports, the stop offers various wildlife and nature tours...not really a whole lot to do in town. 

The final day of a cruise is always a bit bitter sweet.  Our last day was at sea in glass-smooth waters with the flukes of many whales visible in the distance.  It was a day to wander the ship, say good-bye to new friends, and try to finish the book you took out of the library the first day.  We had our final dinner in Tuscana, one of the specialty restaurants.  Just like in The Polo Grill, the other specialty restaurant, the best dish turned out to be Colorado lamb.  I wish they didn’t ship all our good lamb out of state, but it commands a premium price.  The last chore was organizing and packing to get suitcases in the hall by 10:00 p.m. and remember to save everything we would need the next day for our hand luggage. 

Starting out fresh on the ship before a
harrowing journey home
The trip home was horrible.  A storm in Denver forced our flight to be diverted to the middle of nowhere (Scottsbluff, Nebraska) to refuel and wait out the storm.  We arrived in Denver to find the airport packed with stranded travelers and all hotels full, so we spent the night on the hard floor with lights glaring overhead and the speakers blaring out announcements every half hour.  We were glad to arrive home!   

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