Friday, November 14, 2008

The Alaska Ferry

I haven't been getting out and taking a lot of pictures lately (work, school, etc. tend to get in the way), so I thought I'd share pictures of our move to Alaska the first week of August, 2005. We drove from Eglin AFB, FL, across the entire United States to Bellingham, Washington. That was a fantastic adventure that included a few days in Yellowstone National Park. If anyone is interested in those pictures, I will share them as well. We arrived a little early at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, and had some time to check out the terminal itself. The terminal was very nice, and even had some gift shops. I restrained myself, and instead checked out the fliers for local adventures and activities.On the wall, they had a huge map of Alaska. It was really interesting, and we could track the route we would soon be taking on the ferry. This is our ferry, the Malaspina. If you ever have a chance to take a trip on the Alaska Ferry system, jump on it! You won't regret it. It is like a cruise ship, but with a small town atmosphere. The crew is made up of Alaskan Natives from different tribes throughout the state. They are very friendly, and are always willing to share stories and information about their home towns and culture. It was really interesting loading into the ferry. It's amazing how many vehicles fit into the ship. They had the routine down, and it didn't take much time at all to load everyone up and get us checked into our rooms. The kids LOVED our room. We lucked out and got a room with a bathroom. Some rooms shared a community bathroom down the hall. We had two sets of bunk beds, a small sink area, and a shower/toilet room. We also had the luxury of a window. Bellingham, from the back of the Malaspina.As we left the port, we realized that our real journey had finally begun. The shore of the Lower 48 slowly faded away.They had a nice cafeteria on the Malaspina, with a great variety of food. You could have anything from sandwiches to home cooked meals, and the prices were very reasonable. In the area outside our room, they had a display that the crew referred to as the "Dead Eagles." It was entertaining to be given directions like, "Go down one level and take a right at the dead eagles." This was our first Alaskan sunset. It was a beautiful end to the first day of our journey.

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