So, I totally was getting a post together for a recent project and logged into my blog and noticed that I had a draft waiting for me. I completely forgot to post about our Alaskan Voyage!!! Being me, I couldn’t let that go, even though most of you have seen the pictures. What I decided to do instead of just posting a bunch of random pictures like Facebook loves for you to do, I decided I’d post the story about our voyage and the moments that occurred within the Vesely clan. I hope you enjoy.
Our last vacation was amazing. Not only was it a vacation, but it was a tremendously fun experience. Whitney and I hung out with the coolest people on the planet (Our family) and went to Alaska! Whitney and I then spent a few days in Victoria, Canada afterwards.
The beginning of the trip started with us getting up at 2:45am for our flight with an overcast sky with some rain and then getting soaked during a hike in Ketchikan. After Ketchikan, the weather was the best I’ve seen in Alaska. Light peeking through the partly cloudly sky just enough to light everything in a pretty magical way. Because of the conditions of light and the beautiful landscapes provided, I believe these are some of the best landscape photos I’ve taken. I really wanted to share a story of our trip, so I’ll be explaining a few of the photos along the way to allow for others to understand where the photographs can be taken if they so choose.
The first part of our trip started from Seattle Airport. It was a short flight, but a looooong day. It started with us waiting for transportation to the port.
Whitney saying something funny and Su laughing.
After leaving the airport, we took a short detour to Walmart to pick up a few essentials…
Whitney decides to take a nap and guard our stuff after finally getting aboard the ship.
Su decides looking like Joe Cool will ward off any potential burglars.
Apparently Whitney just said something, Su reacted; Ryan and I photographed the moment.
Jason joining in on the action.
Our awesome central table overlooking everyone the first night. Unfortunately, we only had this spot one night due to them screwing up our table assignments.
A couple shots of Seattle before leaving port for our grand adventure.
So, that was Day 1. Lots of fun and sleep and food.
Day 2 started out surrounded by vast amounts of Oceanic goodness. This was also our first formal night, so we needed to make an impression on our fellow cruisers.
The ocean was eerily calm that night.
Picture of my wife and I all dressed up for formal night.
My brother and his wife all dressed up for the occasion as well.
My beautiful wife outside on deck.
Self-portrait taken by my wife.
Su and Whitney frightened by something…
…Maybe it was this? Talk about a photobomb…
…Their second attempt after being so rudely interrupted.
Jason “So Debonair” Vesely
Our family on deck after dinner.
Day 2 was done. We were full, rested, and ready for our first port, Ketchikan!
Ketchikan was…interesting…. Not because of the people because my wife and I got SOAKED. First, we started out in town checking out Creek Street, shops, the nature reserve, and the bay.
Whitney taking a shot of the cool buildings with the creek running in the middle.
Whitney posing for the camera.
This was pretty sweet, so I thought I’d take a shot of it…after putting a coin in of course. If you can’t tell, the right side is a PVC pipe that led from the road down to the well.
Later, we thought, “Hey, it’s Alaska”, so we figured we should either hike a mountain or go fishing. So we did. We had fun. Jeremy took pictures. We got soaked. Like, head to toe soaked. We also passed a few of the crew members hiking the same trail, apparently it’s popular.
A couple shots of the cool scenery on the trail.
Day 3 ended with changing out of soaked clothes, then much eating, drinking, and being merry.
Day 4 was the most epic day for photography that I’ve ever experienced. The scenery and lighting were amazing! Not only that, but we finally got to see the infamous Sawyer Glacier. We headed up the Inside Passage. All of us freezing while trying to stay outside to keep the prime photography/viewing locations. Rogue waterfalls, eagles, sea otters, and bears were seen on this epic voyage…though many escaped my camera. This will be a long section due to the amount of landscapes and portraits that were taken this day, so hang in there.
The voyage ended with a full day in Juneau.
My parents with the Sawyer Glacier in the background.
Whitney and I with Sawyer Glacier in the background.
Ryan and Su with Sawyer Glacier in the background.
Jason with Sawyer Glacier in the background.
Whitney and Su with Sawyer Glacier in the background.
The whole gang (minus the parents) with Sawyer Glacier in the background.
A shot of some fog around the surrounding mountains.
A 100-150 person vessel swallowed by the depth of the mountains.
One of the bends the cruise ship had to make between the monstrous mountains.
The first view of the Sawyer Glacer.
Closer shot of the Sawyer Glacier.
Mountains in the Inside Passage.
A small valley in the mountains as we passed by.
View of the port of Juneau, AK.
View of the port of Juneau, AK.
Some Lupine up in the hills of Juneau.
Ryan taking pictures of Juneau.
Whitney and I overlooking Juneau.
Ryan and Su overlooking Juneau.
When we got up near the top of the mountain, we found someone about to jump off. It was pretty sweet.
The state bird of Alaska (Ptarmigan) guarding it’s babies. It’s pretty cool because these birds will actually turn white in the winter.
The Ptarmigan babies.
Whitney and I took a trip to the Mendenhall Glacier while we were there as well.
Whitney and I in front of the Mendenhall Glacier.
Day 4 was at a close. It was time for Whitney and I to head back to the ship. She ended up relaxing and taking a nap while I went out on the town and met up with my brother and parents. We went to this local bar where we sat, talked, and enjoyed some fine Alaskan beer.
Day 5 was a day to remember. We left the ship at 7am after eating breakfast not knowing what was in store for us that day. We originally were hoping to take a train ride to a glacier and then take a helicopter flight back to the port. When we found out that it was $800….per person…it quickly discouraged us from attempting to go glacier hiking. After spending about 15 more minutes on finding another excursion we’d like to do together, the guide at the port told us there was a hiking trail near there that we might be interested in. After hiking a half mile to the trailheads, we saw that it was a mere 3 miles to Upper Dewey Lake…we figured that was doable in 5 or so hours and we’d get back for lunch. Little did we know…. We got up to Dewey Lake and it felt a lot more than 3 miles! It had taken us quite a while to get to the top as we got up there around 12pm. At this point in time, I was having the hardest time I’ve ever had on a hike. We hadn’t had any food or water since 7am, I was carrying 35 pounds in photography equipment, and we still had about a mile to hike up to Devil’s Punchbowl. This was the first time on a hike that my legs have ever been shaking…and I’ve been on a lot of tough hikes. My wife was a trooper and way ahead of me, but I kept trekking. We finally reached the top and saw Devil’s Punchbowl. On our way back down, I tracked how much we hiked as we didn’t believe the sign. Not only did we hike around 11 miles round trip, but we climbed 4200 feet! That along with not eating, no wonder we were tired.
Even though the hike was brutal because we hadn’t eaten a thing in 7 hours of hiking, it was unbelievable what was just 4200 feet up from the Ocean where our shipped was docked. These are the amazing sights seen on our trip along with some video I took on the journey.
View of the river we followed on our way up the mountain.
Upper Dewey Lake surrounded by the mountains.
Video of Upper Dewey Lake
Video from near Devil’s Punchbowl of Upper Dewey Lake
Video of Devil’s Punchbowl
Panoramic of Devil’s Punchbowl and the valley.
Eventually, we reached the bottom and rushed to the nearest grocery store where we got Beef Jerky, water, Gatorade, and Starbursts to our hearts content. We then went straight to the ship and slept for the next 2 hours. It was quite a trek!
Day 5 was at a close. We had beaten our bodies and it was time to repair for Days 6&7.
Days 6&7 were our return voyage and Victoria, Canada. We got to relax after our long day in Skagway and our hike. We saw Dolphins and Whales off the ship and many awesome sights in Victoria. Victoria is very, well, Victorian, at least in the touristy part of town. It’s probably why my wife loves it so much.
My dad enjoying the view off the front of the cruise ship.
Dolphins I was able to capture off the side of the ship.
A dinner party for our crew. Everyone got involved.
View of the Empress Hotel in the bay of Victoria.
Victoria, Canada’s parliament building. It’s funny because the story behind this building is basically that they built it so large (Even though it wasn’t needed) so that Parliament would have to stay in Victoria.
Whitney posing at Craigdarroch castle in Victoria, Canada.
The fam in front of Craigdarroch castle.
A sweet looking church in Victoria, Canada.
Well, that pretty much concludes our trip epic adventure to Alaska and back. I hope you enjoyed looking through the photos and reading the stories.
Until next time!