A trip glitch by Barbara Edwards


ImageOn the Kennicott going into Whittier. Its three thirty am and dawn is breaking. I’m always awakened by the light. I look outside at the water. The mountains rise like the ancient gods to terrible heights. Snow and ice glitter in the increasing light.

The voyage on the Kennicott is an adventure for a staid lady like me. This time we found lots of space in the Solarium on the lounge chairs to sleep. Of the 499 passenger capacity, there are about 200 and most took cabins. Image

How did we get here?

On our final leg across, the Alaska Marine Highway ferry system had to reschedule us. To my vast disappointment, we could get a ferry to Gustavus, but no return to Juneau for the Whittier leg. Fly the agent said casually. That is a common method of travel up here, but I really don’t do well in small cabin planes. And what about the dog and trailer. Oh well. I am flexible I assure myself. Then the leg to Sitka got awkward. 2 am boarding didn’t work out with a five day layover.

With Bill poking me, I asked why we couldn’t get on the ship leaving for Whittier right now. The agent gave me a smile, called the crew and said okay, go get on they have space. It meant leaving our lawn chair and water hose at the campground, but we saved ten days of potting around waiting for the next ferry out.

The dog is upset. He’s confined to the camper with six hour potty breaks.

ImageThe voyage lasts thirty-seven hours with a stop in Yakatak to unload people and cargo. A tiny island it makes me feel lonely to look at the shore.

The full day has us out of sight of land with four foot waves rocking the ferry despite the stabilizers. I can’t concentrate on writing and stare at the rough water. I’ve seen several whales, a pod of porpoises, an Orca and seals alongside the ship.


We disembark in Whittier at six am and the adventure continues. I thought I’d missed the glaciers, but am stunned by the one hovering over the town. ????????????Wow. There are 26 glaciers within a day trip from Whittier.

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