Our Alaska pages:
The room on the
ship was small but comfortable. It had a bathroom/shower, as well as a
TV/DVD player. Because Alaska is so far north, it was not dark outside for
very long each night.
ship's staff was great. They were always friendly, and it was nice to come
home to a clean room with a "towel animal" waiting to greet us. The gold
"coin" is also a nightly gift of chocolate.
The boys entered
a contest to build a boat with "whatever you can find." It had to support
a case of soda cans without sinking in the hot tub. They chose to add
Chinese decorations and call it the "Chinese Junk"--and they won second
prize (earning the "V" cups they are holding)! They also made good use of
an oversized poolside chess set, and enjoyed time wired together with
Gameboys. Unfortunately, Andrew left his Sony PSP on the airplane between
Fairbanks and Seattle, and in spite of numerous phone calls and emails,
we've never seen it since.
"extra trip" was this paddleboat cruise near Fairbanks. The narrator
explained several aspects of Alaskan life and history, and the "Riverboat
Discovery" company threw in many creative extras, like free salmon snacks,
a look at dog-sled training, and getting to watch a sea plane take off and
land next to the ship!
Discovery" cruise also included about an hour on shore, learning about
Native American culture. It was very interesting! The woman who made this
remarkable coat (she's holding the microphone) has also made things for
the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. We also couldn't help notice how
much some of these "Eskimos" look like our students in China.
I love this
photo, that shows an Alaskan family that's ready to travel, whether that
calls for a motor launch, a fishing boat, a pickup truck, an SUV or a sea
plane! A large percentage of Alaska's citizens have a pilot's license
because there are many places that just don't connect to many roads!
This photo shows
more of the ways that Alaskan people get around, including the sea plane,
paddleboat, excursion boat, ferry (you can't get to Ketchikan's airport
without this one!), fishing yacht and water-taxi.
We enjoyed several exhibits related to
totem poles, a form of Native Alaskan art. You can read the sign on the
left (from Ketchikan). The next photo shows Michael talking to an artist
(near Sitka) about his current work--commissioned by a Japanese family to
honor a loved-one who loved to photograph Alaska (as I recall, he died
doing so). It was interesting to see that the artist included a camera in
the pole's design.
people look nervous? I think this "activity" was the first thing we did on
the ship. OK, we did think about the Titanic, but at least we were comforted
to know that we (1) had a life jacket, (2) knew how to put it on, and (3)
knew which lifeboat station were were supposed to wait at.
waiting.... Since we live in China, we are used to being in big crowds all
the time, but I think most of these people (waiting in a hotel to board
buses for morning excursions) only see crowds like this at sports matches
and in malls the day after Thanksgiving.
puppet looked so life-like (when he's moving) that I had to buy him. Look
at the reaction he's getting from my fellow train passengers. Many of the
children thought he was real! The kids Andrew and I teach on Sunday
mornings also love him.
We named the
puppet "Denali." Here he makes our guide, Shelly, smile (she smiled a lot,
and was very helpful and informative). Michael's mom knows that there's an
equally life-like bear-cub puppet waiting at our apartment to greet this
Odds and ends.
This Dutch flag flew on the back of our Holland-America ship, and the
captain had a delightful Dutch accent. The wildflowers were beautiful in
Alaska, even when they weren't exactly "wild." Here is a piece of the
Alaska oil pipeline that helps keep cars running in the "lower 48." It is
mostly above ground because the ground is always frozen!
can we say about the culinary genius of the cruise ship chefs, who created
this midnight dessert buffet? Well, it tasted as good as it looked, and
after eating all that sugar I don't think anyone got to sleep quickly that
What kind of cameras did we
use? Most of the unmarked photos, or those that simply say "www.krigline.com"
were taken with Michael's Kodak Z885 (though some were from Vivian's Fuji
F40fd, as were the ones marked "VKrigline"). Michael also shot two rolls
of slides with his "Nikon FM," but the camera store (in Canton, Ohio) did
such a lousy job of transferring them to digital format that only two were
worth showing here (and that was after lots of help from Photoshop). "Andrew" (or "AMK") used a Kodak C713. Those marked
"Alan" are from an Olympus D580. "Elise" used a Kodak CX6330.
"Grudier" used a Sony Cybershot DSC-P8 (we think)."Kevin" (or
"KKKrigline") had the best camera/lens: a Cannon Digital Rebel XTi.
For our policy regarding copying or using photos/materials
on this website, click here.
For more photos from (and a map of) the USA,
Our main Alaska pages:
Vivian's Alaska photo album is also on line at