Alaska Cruise September 2008

The Golden Princess pulled in to Juneau, Alaska mid-morning. Skies were a little grey, clouds were hanging low but it was a pleasant day. The mountains rise steeply from the ocean. Juneau is the 2nd largest city in the world in area, it’s just that most of it is straight up and down.

Skagway was our second stop. These granite cliffs have been signed by ships crew, much like the signature cliffs in Wyoming, and the settlers on the Oregon Trail. Partly cloudy day, very pleasant weather, a few sprinkles but very refreshing. Ahhh, clean air!

The leaves were just starting to change and the clouds were just starting to clear on this train ride on the White Mountain and Yukon Railroad. The water fall across the canyon is the Bridal Veil Falls. The train is headed for White Mountain Pass. Because the Pass is in British Columbia we were not allowed to disembark. The engines changed track and moved from the front of the train to the rear, passengers flipped over their seats and changed sides for the trip back down the mountain.

I don’t know what this is!  The train was moving along at a pretty good clip and we went right by this site and I was quick enough to press the button to take the picture. I don’t think Alaska has buzzards.

The mountains rise at such a steep grade that all the views were spectacular. The lichen on the rocks and changing leaves on the trees brought out incredible colors.

This tressle is no longer used but is perfect for picture taking.

Train ride is over and we head back to the ship. Of course, we had to stop in all the shops in Skagway, getting our first look at the native art and crafts. I also discovered this is where Soapie Smith is buried. I knew he was a bad boy in Colorado History and when he left Denver he went to Skagway, and died in a shootout and is buried just outside the cemetery, not with the ‘decent folks’.

Blue ice bergs! We entered the Tracy Arm Fjord with the sun shining and the sky a beautiful blue. The ship’s captain said the weather we had been experiencing was the best in six months, and today was picture book perfect. The density of the ice is why the ice berg appears blue.

Waterfalls are everywhere. When the water and ice flows over the granite it ‘powderizes’ the granite and turns the water in the Fjord a shade of green with the silt.

Because of the perfect weather the Golden Princess was able to go all the way up the Fjord. This view shows the water completely still and the mirror image of the peaks covered in the fresh snow.  Lots of broken up ice bergs are floating in the water. The ship is able to turn around in the space of it’s own length. Many times, because of the mountains rising right out of the ocean, it appeared we were going to sail right into the side of the mountain. The Fjord had several ‘S’ turns that the ship navigated perfectly.

We pulled up to the dock in Ketchikan at daybreak. Another great morning of walking and shopping, particularly at the chocolate shop. They had the best fudge and cherry cordials!  Another beautiful sunny day.  Our next stop would be Victoria, BC, then back to Seattle.

Colorado’s Governor’s Residence, The Boettcher Mansion, Denver – Lower Garden

This view from the upper garden looking south to the lower garden and Carriage House also takes in a grand view of Pikes Peak. The pergola on the left duplicates the design on the original windows of the mansion shown below. The carriage house had not been used for years and is now used for receptions and luncheons saving the interior of the mansion from wear and tear. The lower garden hosted the wedding of one of former Governor Roy Romer’s daughters.

Colorado’s Governor’s Residence, The Boettcher Mansion, Denver – Carriage House

The Ladies restroom and the gentleman’s restroom (below)

are furnished with exquisite mirrors. The gentleman’s with

a black lacquered frame and the ladies with crystal sconces

found stored in the attic. The two rooms also include crystal

chandeliers that were found stored in the attic of the

mansion.

Colorado Governor’s Residence, The Boettcher Mansion, Denver – Dining Room

First Lady Frances Owens, used her talents and the guidance of an interior design firm in Denver to restore the Boettcher Mansion. The walls in the dining room used to be a kind of military green. The First Lady  restored the mansion to it’s original magnificent beauty. The restoration was not paid for at taxpayer’s expense.

Colorado Govenor’s Residence, The Boettcher Mansion, Denver – The Sitting Room

The sitting room in the Boettcher Mansion, now used as the Governor’s residence, is highlighted with the large chandelier in the center of the room. The chandelier was given to the State of Colorado by Ulysses S. Grant in 1876 to celebrate Colorado’s entry to the union. At some time the White House asked for the return of the chandelier, but the state refused.