Light and Color in Alaska

What was that intermission all about? The gardener and I went to southeast Alaska, cruising on a small ship–and also staying in Juneau awhile.  Then we got back and became sick almost immediately. How often has that happened to you? Is it the germs on the plane?

Since I’m not feeling so hot, I’ll mainly post some pix to give you an idea of what we saw. Unfortunately, the photos from kayaking are lost, and that was the most fun of all. But we used a lil old camera I had lying around and for some reason those photos did not turn out or the SD card is locked somehow. I didn’t dare take my iPhone with me on the kayak. However, I did take it on the river raft trip we took during SIXTY MPH WINDS. What an experience.

One of the things I took away from Alaska was how different the landscape depending on the lighting. You should be able to see from my pix that sometimes the natural color of Alaska appears to be greyscale and sometimes the color is vivid.

Here we flew into Juneau, the capital of Alaska. It is inaccessible over land.

That is a color pic, by the way. In Skagway we picked up the train that took us up into the mountains. These pix are out of the train window, but at one point I did stand out on the platform, leaning over. You have no idea how much my fear of heights has improved recently!!!

And here:

We saw creeks and tall trees and other mountains in the distance.

Bald eagles are plentiful in Alaska, but we saw the most on our terrifying and uncomfortable river rafting trip. This photo was taken, though, not from the raft in that wind, but by someone else through a telescope with an iPhone.

Because we were on a very small ship, we were able to get up close to a lot of glaciers, particularly in Tracy Arm Fjord and Glacier Bay. Notice the color changes.

The melting glaciers lead to many waterfalls along the route.

The wildlife was abundant, so abundant I wish I felt like talking about it! Alas, I feel pretty ick today.

Here’s a pretty water pic. No filters.

And on the ship they took pretty good care of our food and drink needs. Crab legs and butter are gluten free.



The liqueurs are for the hot chocolate with giant marshmallows and whipped cream (and candies if you like).

See that white Bailey’s bottle near back on the right? It’s gluten free and dairy free!

I hope to be chattier next week ;). Have a good one!

P.S. OK, I can’t withhold this video. In Juneau, on the last day, we saw first an adult bear run across the road in front of our car–and I mean directly. My phone was zipped in a pocket. Then we saw a cub eating by the side of the road, but the photos are crap because the grasses obscured him. So we stopped at a salmon stream to look for bears. They weren’t there, so we meandered back along the bank and toward our car. That’s when I saw two black bears crossing our parking lot! In the video you can see one of the bears in the way back near the trees and then the low white wall. The group of people and dogs were unaware of the bears until I warned them. The particular concern was that one of the dogs was unleashed and “wandering.”


Filed under #writerlife, #writerslife, Cats and Other Animals, Flora, Garden, and Landscape, Food & Drink, gluten free, gluten free travel, Sightseeing & Travel, travel, Writing

88 responses to “Light and Color in Alaska

  1. Those are great pix, Luanne. It sounds like you had a spectacular trip. I hope you feel better soon and can tell us more. Be well.

  2. There is nothing worse than coming home sick! The pictures are great and it sounds like you did a lot of fun stuff. Not sure you would get me on a water rafting trip there!

    • One woman who had scheduled the rafting trip declined, and later her husband was so sorry he went! We are still sick, but now on antibiotics. I feel better than I did, but not sure about the gardener.

  3. That’s too bad to get sick on such a trip, Luanne. I hope you’re feeling better. At least you have gorgeous pics and memories to help you. I’ve never been to Alaska but would love to.

    • Thank you! I am a little better and am on an antibiotic now. My husband is also on one, but he has been sicker than I have been. Yes, it was a great trip, but it’s a shame to have to get sick from travel :/.

      • Glad to read that you’re better but agree it’s too bad, especially on such a trip. My family still remembers one week of vacation where one by one we got a flu bug caught at school. Only my husband was spared and he spent the week caring for us. Too bad, but it’s a vacation everyone remembers:)

  4. Amazing photos. I can see why my husband wants to visit Alaska.

    • It’s really something not to miss, although I don’t think I could live there. But the natural beauty and ability to be away from crowds of people is fabulous.

  5. Great photos, Luanne. Great post.

  6. Undoubtedly the plane made you sick, Luanne. The same thing happened to me on a recent flight to Ireland. Air travel is not conducive to health. And, you can quote my wife: “Don’t eat airplane food.”

  7. Hope you feel better soon Luanne – I’ve often been sick after a flight, I think it’s the re-cycled air in such a small space. I’d love to go to Alaska, and it must have been a welcome relief for you from your summer temperatures. I’ll look forward to hearing more when you’re better!

    • That’s what I was thinking–the recycle air. Two years ago I got sick when we went to NYC and Maine. That I could attribute to the little girl seated next to me who was obviously sick with a hacking cough :(. I enjoyed the weather. The gardener complained though as he likes it sunny all the time (weirdo that he is).

  8. I am so sorry to hear that you’re not feeling good and yes, I believe that often happens after being exposed to new germs!
    Whenever I see pictures of Alaska taken by my friends who make the trip, I wish I had made the trip when I was younger living in Seattle in the late 1960s. What amazing scenes!!
    Feel better soon…

    • Yes, you did miss something spectacular. I’m so glad that I went, even though the gardener and I both ended up sick. It does make me wonder though how often to push the envelope and take “risky” trips. The gardener is still sick 10 days later although he’s on antibiotics.

      • I know exactly what you mean, Luanne. Pretty and I have been talking about driving to California to go to two presidential libraries we haven’t seen on our wish list, but I confess I have more anxiety about making the trip at 72 than I was when I struck out across the country from Texas to Seattle at 22.
        50 years makes for some extra considerations and a lot more meds than when I was young. I do think youth is wasted on the young. The things I “skipped” telling myself I would come back later on. Good grief.

        • It is so much harder. I now find so many things I wish I had done when I was younger. Kind of mad at myself about it, if I think about it too much ;)! It makes me wonder how many of the people on the cruise with us got sick afterward. I mean, we were two of the youngest ones on the ship. There was a handful of children/teens and maybe a dozen (tops) people around our age and one couple in their forties and the others were 70s and 80s. At least a car trip is easier than flying and you can bring what you want with you.

      • P.S. I hope the gardener gets better soon!!

        • Thank you! I think the antibiotic might be starting to work. Of course, that doesn’t work on his bad hip and bad back that have kept him from working out for two months!

  9. Oh the nostalgia your photos have stirred. Heavenly photos and exciting train ride! Hope the ick departs soon and you are back to your old self quickly.

  10. Dear Luanne, Hope you’re feeling back to normal soon. The photos are lovely and brought back memories of my trip up the inland passage through Canada to Alaska. You are a wonderful photographer!

    • Ah thanks, Elaine. If I had known how beautiful Alaska was I would have either gotten an iPhone 10 instead of a 7 or borrowed my daughter’s “real” camera. I’m glad you had the chance to travel in that area–so gorgeous!

  11. Offleash dogs are a no-no in a public place. Even in remote Alaska. That would have been fun if the dog had chased the bear. Usually what happens is the bear has had enough and turns on the dog who then runs back to the owner with the bear in hot pursuit.Beautiful photos, Luanne. I hope you’re feeling better soon.

    • The dog had run toward us, kind of like a young dog, but the dog looked senior to me, so that particularly worried me, especially with two (visible) bears. It was dumb to have him off leash. Thanks, Anneli, I’m working on getting better!

  12. What a great trip! Thanks for sharing your amazing photos. Feel better!

  13. Hope you feel better soon! I guess with all that traveling (boat, plane), it’s not surprising you picked up something. For me, traveling just wears me down and that makes me more vulnerable to whatever nasty is going around. Just rest and get lots of fluids. You can share more about your trip when you’re better. The photos you’re sharing here are candy for the eyes! Thanks for sharing them. xo

  14. I thought you must be feeling better to have put up a post – but no, just dedicated! Alaska is so intriguing to me, there and the wilds of Canada would have been fabulous to visit. Now I can’t do air travel and have my health so armchair travel is the way I go 🙂

    • Pauline, the gardener started to feel worse after this post went up and the doctor (by some crazy miracle) was able to see him. I went with him, and the doctor looked at my face and decided I was getting a sinus infection, so we are both on antibiotics now! I’m so sorry you can’t do air travel. Is that a new development? I told the gardener I wanted to visit you, and he said it’s far too long a flight for me with my health issues. I’m afraid he’s probably right.

      • After I visited the States a couple of years back it took me three months to get my hearing back and to feel like me again. It really left me depleted. I hadn’t done a long haul trip for some 20 years and was probably out of practise 🙂 It’s a horrid long trip and not made any better by the immigration processes of the US these days. I like that you had the thought of coming this way – if only you can catch a ship 🙂

        • It really is a terribly long flight. Did it take a long time to go through immigration? So awful that you had hearing problems afterward! I don’t know how why they can’t make flying a more pleasurable thing to do.

          • It was such a long and tedious process coming in and going out and the people who man the various stations are simply awful human beings. I saw several women reduced to tears and I had to help one elderly lady put her shoes back on as the immigration people didn’t give a hoot about the state of her health. Treating everyone like a potential terrorist does not say much about the US’s leadership qualities at all. I don’t think there is anywhere else in the world where you have to take off shoes, belts etc and be patted down routinely. I observed how defeated all the people coming in were made to feel – I felt it myself – it was enough to make me feel sick if I hadn’t already felt that way. It’s a conundrum to me how your country can be so filled with truly wonderful people – I met them everywhere I went and they interact on my blog and some are very good friends – and yet be run like a police state. And this was before your current administration!! That’s my rant about coming into the US 🙂 I suspect the way we are crammed like sardines into the lower class sections of planes, cannot move about freely and have to breathe recycled air does not do much for our health. I also suppose that paying three times tourist class for ‘business class’ makes the experience more pleasurable 🙂

  15. Wonderful post Luanne… thank you for the joy-ride… and hope you feel better soon… hope too, that you tell us more about that wonderful looking place… post holiday bugs are the pits, and usually seem to be sheeted back the sharing of germs in the air conditioning…that’ll teach us to add to the pollution by flying !!!!!

    • That nasty airplane air conditioning is the most likely cause. Flying has become such an unpleasant undertaking. To add to the misery, at the Juneau airport to return home, there was CHAOS to tag bags and check them in, and we followed a line. When we got closer to the counter it became clear there were two lines for the same attendant. A lady behind us got mad and said we cut in line!!! She was so huffy. The gardener and I tried to talk to her and explain we were following “that lady there” in the line the whole time. She was still very huffy. Her husband told her to be quiet! Something like that makes me so sad to think that someone would think I would do that and also to act so mean over absolutely nothing important at all. Thanks for listening to my travel complaint, Valerie!

  16. Welcome back! Sounds like a fabulous trip – love the photos. Yeah, those planes seem to be serious germ cities. Get well soon!!

  17. Wow. The pics are stunning. On my bucket list to tour Alaska some day. I hope it’s not all melted away before we get there. Glad a good time was had by all.

  18. Fascinating photography – especially the monochrome – I really like it when a colour shot looks B/W

  19. Such spectacular scenery! Thanks for sharing, Luanne. I’m so sorry you’re feeling awful. Hope you feel better soon!

  20. Ian

    Looks like an awesome trip! Get better. I hate sinus infections… 😣

  21. Wow! Absolutely stunning.

  22. Sorry you’re under the weather Luanne. I came down with an awful head cold the day we flew to Italy and felt sick for the next three days. It was so hot, so when in Rome and all that, took a siesta in the afternoons in our lovely air conditioned room and felt better to go out later in the day. Travel does strange things to the body, I think. Oh I’ve have always wanted to go to Alaska, and I see exactly what you mean about the differing light. What an incredibly beautiful place, I would go nuts to see a bear and all that wildlife…wow, amazing! Thank goodness you saw it first and warned those other people and their dogs. In all the years I lived in CA and camped in the Sierra’s and up in Big Sur and at the lakes, I never saw a bear sadly. But we did see a herd of wild pigs once from our tent! That railway looks perilous, yikes! We’re going to Norway on a cruise in September (booked before we knew about our Italy holiday win) and have an excursion planned on the Flam Railway which is one of the steepest in the world up in the fjords, apparantely, and a boat trip the next day. Now I’m nervous, but if you can do it, so can I (and yes, I am terrified of heights…so I take comfort from you!) Get well! xxx

    • Sherri, the Flam Railway sounds scary to me. But for some reason my fear of heights is starting to get better. Maybe it’s my age? When the kids were little I was particularly frightened because they were a little fearless, and I pictured them hurtling down down down, you know?
      i’m so sorry that your trip to Italy was marred by you getting sick. What a bummer. Hopefully you won’t get sick on your cruise. Is it a big or small ship? I’m trying to picture it :)!

      • Me too, Luanne! I’m already building up to it! I hope my fear of heights improves on the trip! I know what you mean about being more afraid when our children were little, so true. Aww….thanks, but I was okay to enjoy our evening strolls and some lovely days out on the water. Still…couldn’t believe I got a cold for the first time in a year or so right then. But it was a very stressful time before 😦 This time, no sick!! It’s a big cruise ship, not sure of numbers, but not a giant. We have a room with a balcony…although it will be cool there in September, but hopefully not cold! Will take lots of pics. And again, love yours…Alaska looks amazing 🙂 xoxo

  23. Well isn’t that lovely!? Lucky!
    Wonderful photos! Amazing gull shot!
    And that spread! Oh so glad I ate before reading 😉
    Look at that dog run, too!

  24. Wow! What an adventure. Loved hearing about it and seeing the gorgeous photos. Hope you are feeling better.

  25. These are beautiful, Luanne. Thanks so much for sharing. Hope you feel better soon. xo

  26. Trust you’re quite recovered by now – love the spectacular photos!

  27. Pingback: How to Plan for a Trip to Alaska | Luanne Castle's Writer Site

  28. Thanks, Luanne, for sharing your trip to Alaska. These are great pictures! Hope you and the gardener are feeling better. 🙂

  29. So sorry you were ill, Luanne! Gorgeous photos of your sights on the trip.

  30. Your photos of Alaska are really good, and evoke well what it is like to be there. Glad that you tried kayaking. It is so much pleasanter and safer than canoeing. My only kayaking so far was on a trip to Alaska, mostly via a small boat, too small for people to sleep on, which meant that we were able to sample over-nights in small towns. On the kayak, I encountered two unexpected hazards: a fish-hook being lowered in front of me just as I passed under a small bridge, and an eagle diving after a fish just a few feet from the kayak.

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