A Change of Pace

I’m sure at some point you have done the old “hurry up and wait” thing. We did some of that since I was here last.
We were scheduled to leave Bellingham at 6:00pm Friday on the Alaska Marine Highway, the instructions said we needed to check in 3 hours prior to departure. We planned an additional hour to take care of traffic issues, getting lost etc. We didn’t get lost and traffic was OK for midday Seattle. We had a leisurely lunch in Bellingham and still got to the ferry terminal about 2:00pm It took all of about fifteen minutes to get tickets instructions and find our place in line.
I have known for many years that I don’t wait very well, I think Patty and I share that characteristic. We were almost last to board, after what seemed like an eternity, we left Bellingham on schedule for the 36 hour ride to Ketchikan.
We spent the next 30 minutes or so getting our sea legs and figuring out the lay of the land, or boat in this case. We then settled in for the remaining 35 1/2 hours of the first leg of our little boat ride. I don’t know,if you know it but that is a long time to just kick back and watch the world go by.
I addition to the scenery, which improved as we went north, the boat was an excellent place for people watching.
I’m not sure how many passengers were on board, probably two or three hundred. There was a broad mix of cultural, economic, and social backgrounds. Some completely normal, maybe not as normal as Patty and I but normal, there was some that beared watching and everything in between.
We soon realized watching and visiting with people was a better time killer than watching trees and shoreline, although seeing a few whales on day two was pretty exciting.
Accommodations on the boat range from pitching a tent or rolling out a sleeping bag on one of the decks at the back (I should say stern) or finding an empty chair somewhere inside or a cabin with a bathroom down the hall or do what we did and get a cabin with, of all things, a private bath.
There were young families and there were even some people older than me, if you can believe that and everything in between.
One guy asked us what day it was and then how long til the end of the month, we helped him with that. He then turned around excluded us from a conversation that continued for a while.
The was a couple from Virginia hauling their RV, a couple from Minnesota taking their Harley up north.
There was a group of very well mannered students from LSU going on an educational exchange program of some sort. And two old guys from southern Arizona going to help a friend complete a project.
Some were following new career opportunities or maybe just a dream, others appeared to be on just another leg of a never ending journey to somewhere or maybe nowhere.
For me, it was the first time in a few years that I didn’t lay my iPad on the nightstand just before going to sleep. We went about 34 hours without WiFi or cellphone service. I think that might have been a good thing for me.
The first night we were out, sleep didn’t happen quickly, I wandered about the boat for quite a while, surprisingly it was almost eerie quiet. I settled in a chair with my feet on the stern rail, listened to the peaceful sound of the water and “gathered my thoughts for a long time. I would share those but most of them aren’t worth sharing and the others are too personal or private. I looked back, I looked at the present, and tried to look down the road. I am OK with then and now, we never know about the future but I like what I think I see.
To sum up the boat ride: The thing was clean, we met interesting people, saw some very pretty scenery and it got us from point A to point B reasonably hassle and stress free.
We are in Ketchikan tonight. We had a good day, maybe I can put something together on it in as day or two.
I’m not going to do any pics tonight. The ones I have need editing, I’m tired and we have a boat to catch first thing tomorrow.
I am going to apologize again, I am still having trouble getting my thoughts to your side of the keyboard. Maybe by the time we get home I will learn to write on the road.
Good Night and God Bless.
Thanks for riding along.
Dave and Patty

4 thoughts on “A Change of Pace

  1. Jackie and I will be on the cruise ship this Sunday heading north to Ketchikan. Maybe we will “bump into you ” before both of our Alaskan trips are over.


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