John and I went back to Whittier, Alaska. A friend of his invited us to spend last night at her “Sound View Bed and Breakfast.” Until we got to our room I didn’t understand “sound view.”
After all, we hear sounds, but don’t view them. Except in this case. Our room had a great view of Price William Sound in the Gulf of Alaska.
Whittier is a funky little town and port. Except by sea and a one-lane 2.5 mile combined rail-highway tunnel (the longest such in North America) that’s open only once an hour, Whittier is cut off from the rest of the world. Just 181 people lived there at the latest census, but thousands come through on the ferry from Washington and cruises.
We went there for a cruise to view some of the many glaciers in the sound. This is the largest concentration of tidewater glaciers in Alaska.
The rain got harder the longer we were in Whittier. We weren’t surprised because this tiny town in the rainforest gets almost 200 inches of rain per year.
Then the sea got so rough that we noticed whitecaps. Finally, shortly before the cruise ship was scheduled to leave at 1:30 this afternoon, they cancelled on us.
No problem. In fact, two wrongs in this case make a right. The cruise that we really wanted to go on was full this morning. We will come back for it.
Meanwhile, we picked up another one of the prospective cruise ship passengers, a woman from Houston named Lisa. She had come down on the train after leaving her rental car in Anchorage. After a good lunch in the only classy restaurant in Whittier, the three of us drove back to Anchorage.
But first we stopped at the wonderful Potter Marsh at the southern end of the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge. We walked the 1,550-foot boardwalk, which provides access to the northern part of the marsh. Here I spotted a great example of what Alaskans calls the fireweed flower — quite different from Colorado’s fireweed.
What I really wanted to photograph were two swans that we had seen from the highway along the marsh. I miss the swans that we used to have at Tantra Lake, where I live.
Eventually, we returned to Anchorage and dropped Lisa off at her rental car. John and I enjoyed being with Lisa, which more than made up for the cancellation of the cruise