North America · 19 Days · 23 Moments · May 2017

Offutt's 2017 "CA-AK-Canada Adventure"

31 May 2017

At airport.

28 May 2017

Port call to Nanaimo, BC, Canada. Georgia Park

27 May 2017

Day at sea. Still recovering from Dad's sore throat and Emma's upset stomach, but attended Todd's standing room only turnout for his lecture on piracy. Many fellow passengers approached him after the presentation to ask questions and express their appreciation. Afterwards, Dad and Emma attended a piano bar to listen to Bikly Joel favorites.

26 May 2017

Visited Prince Rupert, BC, Canada.
LATE ENTRY: Arrived in Sitka, AK, and home to the largest city in America by land size. Walked to National Park where Emma walked the beach to hunt for sea shells and critters. Afterwards, listened to local Tlingit woodcarver speak of folklore and saw indoor totem display. Nature walk thru adjacent forest before walking past historic college on way back to town. Across the street, we visited a science center touch pool and listened to a tour of the fish hatchery by a college student. In town, Emma and Papa visited a thrift store where Emma bought shoes, a sweater, and polished rocks (great bargain). They headed to the library where Emma completed homeschool and Papa worked on 'family business.'
LATE ENTRY: Sea day to visit Hubbard Glacier. Unfortunately, the ship's captain did not feel comfortable traversing a field of floating ice that blocked the entrance so we turned around and started the trip to the next port of call.

23 May 2017

Sunny day at Icy Strait Point in Hoonah, AK. Walked to historic cannery, which has been converted to a museum and gift shop. From there, walked 1.5 miles into town of Hoonah. Met staff at City Hall; she was from Nome, AK but moved to Hoonah. She kindly gave us pineapple and apple juice and two small wooden figurines from a 'treasure chest.' Walked to nearby park, harbor office, eagle nest in tree, and small collectibles shop staffed by a pre-teen. Met the craftsmen and master wood carvers who built the Tlinget meeting house and totem poles at the glacier two days prior; Emma gotten to carve with the tools. On the walk back to the ship, Emma collected shells, crafted a momentous wood chip from a bonfire, and observed many whales feeding.

22 May 2017

Arrived at Klondike

21 May 2017

Heading to Glacier Bay National Park.
5/20/2017: Up at 5:30am for the arrival to Glacier, surrounded by chunks of blue, mini icebergs floating around the ship. Upon the approach to Alaska's capital of Juneau, we were met by scattered rain showers that increased throughout the day. Nonetheless, we walked to convention center for quilt contest; State gov't office building, State legislature (new and old), and awesome State library/exhibit. The permanent display featured historical accounts of native and European settlements, a kid's art area, and lots of taxidermy. Afterwards, visited jewelry shops, Orthodox Church, and local shops.

19 May 2017

Awoke to sunny day in Ketchikan, AK. After short b-fast, headed in town to catch city bus to Totem Bight State Park. Walked nature trail to water's edge, where Emma collected rocks. Visited tour shop before heading back to town with locals. At NPS Visitor Center, Emma completed junior ranger sign off to earn bird luggage tag. Watched documentary on Tlingit tribe people; walked thru status displays; and spoke to Rangers about totem poles. Afterwards, visited shops for local charm bracelets. Before re-boarding, stopped by fire boat and discussed efforts by fire chief to replace 30-year old boat using DHS grant.

18 May 2017

Day at sea. Played Wii with new friend (Ananya) at Splash Academy. Caricature and name drawing. Attended precious stone seminar and world geography quiz. During dinner, saw porpoises jumping next to ship -- awesome! Enjoyed evening production show featuring songs of Burt Bacarach. Also had delicious chocolate-covered strawberries.
LATE ENTRY - 5/17/2017: After day at sea, arrived to Port of Astoria, OR where we rode a restored trolley car on the waterfront to: site of moored CG Lightship; movie set of Kindergarten Cop and The Goonies; JC Penney for clothing store closing sale; antique shops; waterfront canneries; male seal hangout and historic theatre. Before embarking, Emma bought bookmark, Emerald stones and other goodies. Back onboard for an evening of string quartet, jazz music and swimming in the heated pool. Timely upgrades to Gold Status as well!
LATE ENTRY - 5/15/2917: After breakfast, departed on foot for cruise ship at Pier 27. Once aboard, we toured Norwegian Sun and our large stateroom.
LATE ENTRY - 5/11/2017: Early morning departure for San Francisco after fuel and food stop. Before starting on 5 1/2 hour drive, stopped at Ross for pair of shoes for Todd's presentation; we bought more than shoes. After long ride on I-5, arrived SanFran. After dropping off luggage (and Mom) at North Beach Hotel, Todd and Emma tried to deliver rental car. Unfortunately site was closed so they--with the help of Emma's pencil and paper--called car company and found alternate drop off at Fishermen's Wharf. On return walk to hotel, they found delicious pizza: brought some back for Mom.
LATE ENTRY - 5/10/2017: After watching documentary about lady who opened theatre (in fluke stopover visit from her home in NY), departed for Tehachipi to continue visit w/ friends. While Todd worked on presentation for cruise ship; travel plans; and other house issues, Emma caught up her homeschooling. Mom did laundry. That evening, enjoyed pizza, hot tea, and games w/ friends. Danced to video app and played apples-to-apples before turning-in for the night.
LATE ENTRY - 5/9/2017: Departed mid-morning for Red Rock Canyon state park with friends. While there, we walked a nature trail, observing beautiful plants, one of which stuck Emma's finger w/ cactus barbs. Saw many critters, including horned lizard and 'corn cobs.' Departed for Death Valley NP. After ~4 hours of long stretches of roadway, steep drives and descents, a few hairpin turns, and lots of A/C, we arrived to the welcome center. Enjoyed roadside stop for refueling & lunch, where we met three young women campers visiting from Lewis & Clark College (OR). They relayed a funny story about being so tired they missed seeing a rattlesnake next to their tent. Discussed their schooling; sophomores studying biology, psychology, etc. One was from HI. After, we departed for our hotel, Amargosa Opera Hotel on the SE edge of the park. Enroute, we stopped at visitor center to watch a film; see scale model of park; and toured LOWEST site in N America! Emma made hole so she could be lowest.
LATE ENTRY - 5/8/2017: Drove to the town of Tehachipi to stay with active duty military friends we had met during a cruise. On 5/9/2017, we visited a studio where the mom (Anna) was displaying her artwork. Also visited a local bakery to enjoy lunch. That evening, we enjoyed dinner at a Thai restaurant before returning to their home to prepare for travels.
LATE ENTRY - 5/7/2017: After an early morning visit to the stream, we departed for Yosemite (again). Since Tioga Pass was still closed for the season, we departed S for King's Canyon. After stopping in the entrance Ranger Station, where Emma bought a Junior Ranger hat, we ascended the mountain by car before reaching General Grant, the 2nd talking tree in N America. Since lodging was too pricey, and the other roads and attractions (crystal cave) were still closed for the season, we departed for Sequoia National Park to see General Sherman, the tallest tree in N America. On the way, we visited Tunnel Log, a downed tree big enough to drive a car through. On our departure, we descended a steep road with a series of switchback roads that led us down several thousand feet drop in elevation in roughly two hours. In a span of one day, we had departed one park; toured two others; and departed for the nearby town of Tulare, CA to stay at a comfortable Motel 6. Whew!

14 May 2017

LATE ENTRY - 5/5/2017: Arrived at Yosemite where, after getting Access Pass, we visited many beautiful sites. Tried to get lodging in park, but found awesome riverside hotel on edge of park. After a delicious noodle dinner prepared by Emma, we went swimming in the indoor heated pool before returning to the room for a late movie.
LATE ENTRY - 5/4/2017: Traveled to Yosemite National Park. Arrived midday, so we bunked in nearby Jamestown where we 'panned for gold,' enjoyed a local park, and had dinner from our snacks (since pizza shop was closed on Sunday).
5/14/17: By good fortune, obtained tix for Alcatraz Island tour. While there, learned about life on 'The Rock' and lives of families who lived/worked there. At Fishermen's Wharf on historic Hyde's Pier, observed steam engine display that operated a paddle wheel ship. Also used display that showed advantages of using pulleys: there were three pulleys, #1 had a three pulleys so it was easy to pull; #2 only had two so it was harder to pull; #3 was super hard because it only had one pulley. Observed display showing how boats were built and visited pier side moorings of tall-masted ships. Afterwards, toured maritime museum and miniature scale models of historic ships. Watched people frolicking (and freeze) in the cool waters of SanFran beach.

12 May 2017

LATE ENTRY-- On May 2, 2017: Took Space-A flight from Hickam to Travis AFB, CA. Surprised to find air show! The following two days, we watched Golden Knights parachutes, cargo plan demonstrations, Navy Superhornet jets, and Thunderbirds. Toured aviation museum where we saw copy of 'Fat Man' bombed that was dropped on Japan during WWII. Visited USO, toured Jelly Belly factory, and ate at base dining hall.