Stampin On Ice: Chilly Waters in Alaska

Did you see my first round of photos from our recent Stampin’ Up! Cruise to Alaska? (see the first post here) The story continues, as we woke up one morning to an ocean dotted with ice cubes…icebergs!  Here is the view up the Tracy Arm Fjord, and yes, that’s a GLACIER at the end of the photo!

The icebergs in the water around us ranged from tiny to the size of a city bus–and that’s just the part we could see above the water.  The colors of the ice ranged from dirty white to snow white to glowing blue–almost as if the icebergs were lighted from inside.  Very cool!  Sometimes it almost looked like the ship was floating in a giant Diet Coke with ice.

In Juneau we also got off the ship and headed up closer to an ice field, throwing our share of rocks into the lake.

The next day our stop was in Skagway, Alaksa. We took a great bus tour up the Klondike Highway and through little towns like Carcross.  We crossed over into the Yukon Territory (our Canadian friends were excited to have visited another of the Territories).  The mountain lakes were absolutely breathtaking, and Tucker enjoyed the chance to tromp in the snow.

Here’s another shot of us throwing rocks in a lake… seems to have been a continuing theme!  The water was REALLY cold though–hard to keep your fingers under for more than 10-15 seconds.

We even caught some glimpses of wildlife along the way, like this cute fuzzy black bear by the side of the road.  Yes, I realize that he’s probably not as sweet up close and personal as he seems from the safety of the van, but still, you have to admit the cute factor.

The highlight for the kids though, was the visit to the Husky puppies and the dog sled rides.  Is this a look of pure joy, or what?  “Mom, can I have one?  Please??”

No, she can’t have one.  But they definitely were cute!  We even got to ride on one of the dog sleds, which for the ‘summer’ is a modified golf cart with bench seats.  The dogs sure loved running, and the dogs we saw were real athletes, competing in the winter Iditarod Race: over 1000 miles in 9-15 days.  Pulling the tourist sleds gives them a chance to stay fit and train during their non-racing months.

The pools were halfway through our dog sled ride, giving the dogs a chance to catch a drink and cool off a bit.

Back in the US, we took the White Pass Railroad back to Skagway.  More gorgeous scenery, and a chance to learn more about the gold miners who flocked to Skagway in 1897 and then had to hike the 33 mile Chilkoot Trail to where the gold actually was found.  The train ride was much easier than hauling 2000 pounds of gear up 33 miles of trail. Thankfully.

And certainly back on the ship the food was much more plentiful and easy to come by!

We tried our own version of panning for gold, back in the Stampin’ Up! Hospitality Suite:

Each day the kids had the chance to ‘pan for prizes’ in a tub of 30,000 Stampin’ Up! buttons.  There were 2 large red buttons, and the kids had to find one to win a prize.  Abby and Tucker reminded us each day to head down so they wouldn’t miss their treats!  One day the prize was Silly Bands, another day a little sack of ‘gold’ bubblegum, another day a gold-wrapped chocolate coin.  Stampin’ Up! did a great job looking out for the kids on this trip!

Don’t worry, I’m not quite finished with the trip… still have to cover our Make N Take projects (think “sneak peek”!) and more.

Happy Stamping!

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