|Spent the day exploring the town and meeting people. There was a cruise boat here today and downtown was bustling with people looking to buy stuff. A couple of merchants complained the internet is too slow to conduct credit card transactions when the cruise boats come in. They just do not have any bandwidth here, and it seems it would take more than money to make it happen.
Down at the harbor, we watched a family of kids pulling in fish after fish. Once the bait hit the water, a fish would be on it within 30 seconds, I promise I am not exaggerating here. Sometimes they just used line, no poles. The fish were "Dollies" ranging from about 8 inches to maybe 13. I believe the full name is Dolly Varden. The kids were supervised by their teenage sister. She showed me the fish they were catching - they look a lot like speckled trout. I have read all along the way that various places are good for catching grayling and Dolly Vardens, so I said Dollies must be really good to eat. She said they don't eat them, just use them for bait for Halibut. Later, I asked the youngest girl if her Dad was a fisherman. She said yes, but he is also a chiropractor.
For several years I have tried to talk Steve into taking a cruise to Alaska. He always resisted. Driving through the area, boots on the ground, was on his bucket list. Not interested in doing a cruise until after he got his boots dusty with Alaska dirt. Tomorrow we start the trek back home so I asked him what he would do differently if he were planning the trip today. To my surprise, his answer was "Skip Alaska". That certainly was a conversation starter! But he has a good point. Most Americans would love to see Alaska one day, and if it is on your bucket list, nothing else will do. If you just want to see Alaska, take the cruise, and buy all the excursions. See the glaciers, the fjords, the wildlife, etc., on excursions and let someone else cook tonight's steak for you. You will get all the experience except driving the miserable roads and eating ridiculously expensive food. Small example: Skagway to Haines by water is 15 miles. By road, it is 369 miles, and don't think you will average 50 mph. Those roads are under construction, muddy, potholed, and generally no fun to drive. Are we sorry we did it? No. We saw a lot of things that could not be seen any other way. Without driving, we would not have been able to talk to people and get a glimpse of their world. (Like today's Dollies). Unless you really, really want that experience, make your life easier and take the cruise. But see Canada from Jasper back through the Yukon and BC. I have to agree with Steve. Driving, I would skip Alaska.
For those of you making bets, no divorce has been scheduled. It was close a few times, but probably no one else would put up with either of us. So, on we go. We should be home in another week. The ferry goes through the inside passage, but has no WiFi. It will be a few days before you hear from us again. Looking forward to seeing you soon.