Tuesday, August, 8, 2017
I am getting my days confused. I am pretty sure today is Tuesday. I believe forgetting the days, on about, is a good thing. Occasionally, you may need to know the time, but only when you need to make it back for an all-aboard. Today, the weather greets us with sun. The first morning of it’s kind since we got on the Kennicott. The warmth on my face, so early in the morning feels like hope.
We dock in Juneau about 14 mies from town. A smarter rider, would have kept the bikes closer to the edge of the boat so we could zip on and off, but, alas, I am not that rider. Instead, we see our German riding buddy heading out for a quick tour of town.
Upon loading the bikes in Bellingham, we noticed that the port calls were all very short. It seemed more of a hassle than a benefit, to hop on an off with them. I am momentarily envious, but, don’t feel like we are missing out on much. We opt to walk to the closest community, Auke Bay, 99821, home of the failed Alaskan spin-off of 90120!
After traversing about 1.5 miles we discover that the towns, only diner is now closed on Mondays AND Tuesdays. It’s ok, the walk feels great after being on board for 2-1/2 days. We are treated to a bald eagle showing off at the docks, before we head back to the ship and I get to snap a picture of a local post office.
A quick aside, when I was a kid, my best teacher in elementary school was Mrs. McCloud. She moved away to retire in some small town. But, she was a good letter writer. She kept in touch and once sent me a picture of the countries “smallest post office.” I have never forgotten that, and probably even have a copy of it somewhere. I think she is the reason I have always had a fascination with post offices when I travel.
During the all aboard, I meet Randy. He approaches me asking about my "Death Valley shirt.” He shares with me, that it is his favorite place to visit. He expresses disappointment as he further shares that he now has Parkinson’s and has had to sell his motorcycles. He and his wife are riding up to Purdoe Bay in a jeep, instead of his original two wheel plan.
He, also, shares that he has "broken down” and purchased a 3-wheel spider, but laments that it is just not the same. He ends, with encouraging words for me to “just keeping doing IT.” I offer him his own words back as a thank you. We shake hands and continue on our way. I hope we connect again on the trip.
Within a couple of hours, we are on our way again. The route out of Juneau is filled with Lush Green mountains, fishing boats, blue glaciers and more wildlife. Definitely the best views so far. I am glad we have chose to stay on the boat all the way up to Homer. Tourist boats surround us. They hope to catch a glimpse of what we see, traveling up the full inner channel.
Tonight Bill and I mixed things up. We both ordered the Rock Fish, but supplemented it with an order of Corned Beef. Both dishes were excellent, and the corned beef and potatoes filled the protein gap from our previous nights dinner. There’s not much room for exercise on the ship, so, I have been trying to eat light during the day, sticking salads and a little soup, to match the theme of the prison sheets.
Following dinner, we stuck around and chatted with 2 other riders who joined the ship in Juneau, Percy and Chris. They’ve been riding together for over 20 years. For almost 2 hours, we swapped tales of adventures, ride destinations and advice collected on the road.
We are hoping to catch up with them in Homer. They are taking an alternate route. Getting off in Whittier and riding down. They are not excited about departing the ship at 2:30 AM, so we, kiddingly agree not to talk about it. Seeing these two seasoned veterans dreading the early wake-up call reinforces the wisdom of my decision to stay the extra 12 hours on the ship all the way to Homer. They may beat us down there, but we will arrive well rested and ready to visit the Salty Dog!