The trip over to Prince Rupert was long but full of fantastic scenery around every curve (and there were many of them). Doris took over 100 pictures and most of them were pretty good. Lucky for you I only included a little over 20! She also saw another black bear off the side of the road - but still no moose! :( The campground here at Prince Rupert Campground is pretty nice. The sites are about average size but the main feature is that it is only down the street from the ferries. Since this is still in the early season, they gave me two sites to allow me a pull through that I could get satellite coverage. I was able to get the satellite though it is starting to become very difficult to get a strong enough signal to give me an unbroken picture. I anticipate this may be the last stop that I am able to get it. We were able to get all 24 hours of "24" recorded on the trip up so we will have that to watch if we run out of other things to do or the weather is too bad to do them. It rained the last hour or so of our trip yesterday and is expected to rain the rest of the week here and Ketchikan. I guess we had better get used to it as that is considered normal here this time of year.
We are also starting to have a little problem with sleeping, believe it or not. Sunrise this morning (Tuesday the 26th) was at 5:20 a.m. and it actually gets light about 30-45 minutes before that. Sunset tonight is supposed to be 9:58 p.m. and it will be light until after 10:30. That means we are only getting about six hours of darkness per night. It will continue to get worse so that's something else we will have to adjust to. We will be in Haines on June 20 which is the longest day of the year and sunrise will be 3:45 a.m. with sunset at 10:22 p.m. When we get to the Fairbanks/Denali area, it will only be dark about three hours a night and we're not sure it ever gets completely dark that time of year. Don't that sound like fun? It will definitely be a unique experience for us. If we were not so darn old, it would probably be a lot more fun!! :)
The Alaska Marine Highway System (the ferrys) has made three changes to our six stop itinerary. Two of them occurred because the ship we were scheduled on was taken out of service for some reason and they had to use another much slower ship to replace it. That affects our trips from Sitka to Juneau and from Juneau to Haines. The Juneau-Haines change wasn't too bad as it has us leaving three hours later and getting there six hours later than originally scheduled, but still at a workable time - 7:30 p.m. The Sitka-Petersburg change has us leaving 24 hours earlier and getting to Juneau 12 hours earlier. This changed a five hour trip into a 17 hour trip as it makes three stops on the way the original ship did not. They also do not have staterooms on this smaller ship and since we will be arriving in Juneau at 6:30 a.m. now, that should make the night interesting to say the least. At least it will be light most of the trip (see previous paragraph)! :) The third change was to the Wrangell to Petersburg leg. This change wouldn't have been too bad, as the time change was only a few hours, but we now will arrive at 12:30 a.m. and have to find a place to stay at that ungodly hour! I guess when you make a trip of this length one of the key things to remaining sane is to be flexible or as I always told our children "go to hack-it school."
There are only a couple of things we plan on seeing while in Prince Rupert. They have a number of old First Nation totem poles we would like to tour and they also have a Sunken Garden that Doris would like to see. If the rain ever lets up a little we will try to get that done. We also have to make a stop at a drugstore and get some Dramamine as the Prince Rupert to Ketchikan ferry does cross some open ocean and can get rough, better safe than sorry.
Guess what? We woke up this morning to beautiful clear skies. It's a miracle! After putzing around (as Doris calls it) a while we went out sightseeing a little. First off to the Sunken Gardens. This garden is in a hole that was once going to be the foundation for a new courthouse. The courthouse wound up being built next to it and the Prince Rupert Garden Club turned the hole into this little oasis. It's not a whole lot compared to some of the bigger gardens we have seen but it is nicely done and very attractive.
We then went looking for totem poles. We found five different ones throughout Prince Rupert. Some were old and gray while some looked newer and had been recently painted. The First Nation Indians carved these to tell stories and each one does that with the figures carved on it. They are carved from Red Cedar and while weather resisitant, it does deteriate over time. They are still something to see and we expect to see more of them on our trip through the Inside Passage. We did run into a little more wildlife on the way back to the camp site.
The rest of the day will be spent getting the mothership ready for the ride tomorrow. We have to be out of here by 7:30 in the morning so will have to get the waste tanks draind and water tank filled this afternoon to be ready when we get up tomorrow. I don't know what kind of cell service or WiFi will be available as we head up the Inside Passage so these blurbs may be delayed a little as we go up.