A WRITER'S WIT
MY JOURNEY OF STATES is a series in which I relate my sixty-year quest to visit all fifty states in the U.S. In each post I tell of my relationship to that state, whether brief or long, highlighting personal events. I include the year of each state's entry into the union and related celebrations. I hope you enjoy my journey as much as I have. This is the forty-fourth post of fifty.
In Seattle, Ken and I board the Holland American ms Westerdam and head for open sea. It is 48°. We’ve never been on a cool-weather cruise before, but so far we like it. The décor designed for the Dutch firm is subtle and nuanced, not garish like some other lines I could mention. The crew are polite and friendly but not overly so. Not long after we enter our stateroom, we meet our steward for the trip. Each morning that he makes up the bed he will fold a single white towel into caricatures of various animals. See photos below.
Our vessel is at anchor beginning at nine a.m. We will depart near five p.m. Our visit will be the length of a work day, and the group we’re with make the most of it. We all board a jitney, and a guide steps on board to be with us. At least three times throughout our day she informs us how lucky we are that the sun is shining and that the temps are in the seventies. It could be cool and damp, she says. There exists and interesting blend of Russian and Tlingit Indian influences that make the day memorable.
I’m not sure it’s wise, but the captain glides our behemoth ship in close to view the glacier up close. The deck is crowded with passengers especially on the starboard side. I’ve seen glaciers calving on film but never live before. Of course, everyone is bundled up, and we can see our breath while back in Texas the highs are in the nineties. I stare and can’t help wonder what kind of shape of this glacier will be in a decade from now.
We dock at 6:41 a.m. and undock at 12:56 p.m., making for a short visit. Ken and I actually remain aboard and watch the action from our spacious terrace. The town’s shops are painted a variety of bright colors, and I photograph the geographic features that serve as a backdrop: the trickling down of a waterfall, the fog, a thick green forest. It is 57°. I fully understand that we’ve only seen a small fraction of what Alaska has to offer the tourist this week, but I do hope to return one day and see more.
HISTORICAL POSTCARDS & TRUNK DECALS
If you missed earlier My Journey of States posts, please click on a link:
1-Kansas 13. New Jersey 25. Michigan 37. N. Hampshire
2-Oklahoma 14. Delaware 26. Wisconsin 38. Maine
3-Texas 15. New York 27. Minnesota 39. Rhode Island
4-Louisiana 16. Connecticut 28. Iowa 40. Idaho
5-Missouri 17. Colorado 29. Hawaii 41. Nevada
6-Illinois 18. Arkansas 30. Georgia 42. Utah
7-Indiana 19. California 31. S. Carolina 43. Washington
8-Ohio 20. Florida 32. N. Carolina
9-Pennsylvania 21. Mississippi 33. Alabama
10-West VA 22. New Mexico 34. Kentucky
11-Maryland 23. Tennessee 35. Massachusetts
12. Virginia 24. Arizona 36. Vermont