Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Alaskan Cruise Posts

I just posted a bunch of entries about our Alaskan Cruise back in June. I posted them back by the first posts I made for continuity if I ever print this blog. You can see them if you click here.

Getting to Know Paris, Idaho

I grew up in a small town in Idaho with only 700 people, Paris, Idaho.

I love this town. I have such great memories of growing up and they center in Paris. Though I wouldn't choose to live there (not many economic opportunities), I love to visit.

Last week I took Matt's family there for a little reunion. I thought I'd take the chance to tell you a little about my hometown (and surrounding areas). You can also see a few posts that include Paris and Bear Lake here and here.

Paris, Idaho was first settled by Mormon Pioneers in 1863. Before that it was the occasional home to various Native Americans and trappers who started the mountain man rendezvous on the shores of Bear Lake, about 7 miles to the south of Paris.

Bear Lake is 20 by 8 mile lake that is a beautiful blue color due to the limestone sediment that floats in the water (better pictures in the sunlight). It happens to be great for playing and wave runnering.

In Paris, the early pioneers built this beautiful Tabernacle in 1888 where the Latter-day Saints met and still do.

Every small town has its own canyon. Paris Canyon is home to a large spring (and picnic area) that supplies the city with its water.

Bloomington Lake is a high mountain lake in a neighboring canyon. At 8200 feet elevation, it has snow surrounding it most years. The water is frigid, though very tough people have been known to brave it. Though the exact depth is unknown, sonar shows some places to be as deep as 160 feet.

The lake is accessed by a .6 mile hike surrounded by hills full of wildflowers and neon blue dragonflies.

Traveling even more south, you come to St. Charles and its accompanying canyon. In St. Charles canyon, you can visit Minnetonka Cave and its 1/3 mile long tour with 444 steps each direction. It is a chilly 40 degrees year round, which is the average yearly temperature of the surrounding area.

Last, but not least, Bear Lake is home to many hunters. Whether you like to shoot for your dinner or just for sport, you will find plenty to keep you happy. If you are very lucky, you may meet some mighty hunters and their downed clay pigeons that roam the area.

Thanks for visiting. Come back again soon.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One summer week

Two ward parties in my yard (one ice cream social, one moving party)
One vacation to plan and pack
Pictures to order for 5 families
Two church meetings
Two swimming pool outings (including a surprise free day)
An unusual extra work Saturday
One doctor's appointment
Two books read
Very little blogging

One busy summer week!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Giving thanks for cute cards

Thank goodness for people with talent and kindness on the internet. Go here to print these free cards from Cottage Industrialist.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Alaskan Cruise, Seattle

Our cruise ended in Seattle, and since we had a long wait before our flights, we took a bus tour of Seattle. Besides seeing the city and learning all about it, we stopped at the Space Needle,

our very tired-of-seeing-the-sights sweetheart.

and Pike Place Market.

We also saw the road where the term skid row or road (debatedly) originated. It was a steep road that the lumber mills would slide (or skid) the logs down to get to the sawmill. The men who were down on their luck would live along the road waiting to be needed with the logs. And now we have "skid rows" all over without any logs to be found.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Alaskan Cruise,Victoria, B.C.

Like Ketchikan, in Victoria we had only a few hours to walk around. It was evening and we couldn't even go to Butchart Gardens, which was one big bummer for me. Instead we took a little walk around town.

We saw the harbor,

the famous Empress hotel,

the state building,

as well as some shopping. I found out that the Winter Olympics of 2010 will be in Vancouver only 43 miles away and so I got myself an Olympic pin. Who wants to take a road trip???

As we walked home, we took a marked route. Interestingly, it took us through a less nice (touristy) part of town. We ended up on the coast opposite the harbor. It was windy and frigid, but beautiful.

It was a pretty site to see the ship as we came up on it in the twilight.

And then we boarded the ship for one final round of stuffing ourselves before we had to depart the next morning. Ahhh, that feels good.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Alaskan Cruise, Ketchikan

Our next stop was ketchikan. We only had a few hours here, not really enough time to do much. The girls shopped, the men hiked. The men got the camera, so here you go.

Creek Street

the forest

We got back on the ship and had cell phone coverage so we called home from the promenade deck.

That night was another formal night. Here we are in all our glory.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Alaskan Cruise, Tracy Arm

Our cruise took us into Tracy Arm to see the beautiful mountains,




and poem-inspiring wildlife. Okay, you can't see the wild life, but our naturalist told us all about the seals that gave birth on an iceberg. The icebery was saturating in blood and afterbirth. An eagle swooped down and "devoured the afterbirth. Nothing is wasted in nature." The wonderful timing of this story (breakfast) inspired this haiku that Matt entered (not really) in the haiku contest later that day.

Ravenous eagle
Devours blood red afterbirth
You want my sausage?

His talent is aweinspiring.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Alaskan Cruise, Scagway

Our second stop was in Scagway. We took a bus ride, instead of the famous train ride, because it went a lot further into Canada and the Yukon. It was an all day trip and so fun.

We saw a bear,

the train passing over a waterfall,

the Yukon,

the Continental Divide where one stream parts and goes two ways, one to the Atlantic or Arctic Sea and the other to the Pacific Ocean,

whales (back out at sea, this was one of the best days to whale watch),

and the Iditarod dogs, Charity got to hold a little puppy and she loved it.

Scagway was a beautiful stop on our way up the coast of Alaska.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Alaskan Cruise, Juneau

Our first port was Juneau. Like most of our trip, it was overcast and rainy. Juneau averages over 50 inches of rain a year, while other parts of the panhandle (the only part of Alaska we visited) get over 275 inches a year!

As our ship pulled into port, along the thickly wooded hills, there were several bald eagles. They were easy to spot with their bright white heads.

Being on a cruise, you don't have a lot of time to discover the cities you stop at. We pretty much only got to choose one shore excursion or else wander around a bit. In Juneau we took a bus out to Mendenhall Glacier National Park. We walked out to the glacier and did not get to see it in action (nothing broke off, as I was really hoping).

Then we took a hike through the Tongass National Forest. It was beautiful.
We took the bus back and were back in time for a fabulous dinner. The nice benefits of a cruise!