Saturday, July 28, 2012
Alaska and beyond -- Salem & Portland, OR
I recently filled out an evaluation and comments form that consisted pretty much exclusively of superlatives about the Alaskan cruise experience. These small boat trips are not inexpensive but the directness of contact with the land, water, glaciers, wildlife and the chance to learn personally from the naturalists among the crew in areas that the huge cruise ships could not begin to navigate, is worth every penny.
On our tour of the engine room, by the way, we had also learned of all the regulations on garbage and used water disposal that our boat observed in order to keep the land and water of Alaska as clean and undisturbed by human presence as possible.
Ketchikan has developed out into the waters of the straight on whose narrow shore it was founded as its fishing and tourist industries prospered and expanded. All the buildings that you see and a good deal more behind have been built out over the waters of the straight. We didn't tie up near the big ships that towered over the three story town but at a separate town dock a bit away from the center. A courtesy shuttle took us to to a hospitality room from which we all departed to the airport or, in the case of the six of us, to our hotel as we were spending the day to explore the town.
Seward failed completely to make the expected response. He simply packed up all the art, artifacts and other gifts he had been given, and sailed away. He sits in shame forever on his pole, seated on a box representing all the crates in which he packed his swag when he gave the Tlingit leaders the cold shoulder.
After an enjoyable day in Ketchikan exploring Creek Street, the town's notorious red light district back in the 19th and early 20th centuries when it was a national scandal for open prostitution vigorously protected and indulged in by Ketchikan's mayor, we went out of town to an excellent dinner overlooking the straight and airport. The next morning we flew out on Alaska Airlines to Seattle where we said good bye to Michael, Someone, Doug and Leon. We then continued on to Portland Oregon and by rental car to Salem, about 45 minutes south.
My older daughter had asked if I would be willing to build a playhouse for my granddaughter like the one I had built for her and her sister when they were growing up. That one was built out of exterior plywood faced to look like board and bat siding. It was 4'x4' with a simple roof, three windows with shutters, and some pieces of children's furniture inside to entertain friends.
Since the idea of trying to put whole plywood sheets on the roof of a rental car wasn't all that appetizing and as I wouldn't have all my tools with me out there, I searched the web for play house kits, rejecting the cheap-looking plastic ones in favor of one made entirely of cedar that would look great in their back yard. A lot of assembly was required but the diagrams and drawings that were the instructions (very similar to Ikea products, with which we are familiar) looked fine and I ordered it in time to be delivered before our arrival.
From Salem, we drove back to Portland for lunch with a former student of Fritz's and then we drove high above the Willamette Valley to the beautiful home and stunning gardens (floral and vegetable) of Mark and Rodger, friends encountered first through blogging, then delightfully a couple of times since in person. Once we settled there, it was off to Stephen and Rolfe's place back down in Portland in the wonderfully assembled interior of their house and the garden hideaway known as the Boys Fort.
trouvés that he selects, combines and deploys with great imagination and skill. Above is this year's reconfiguration -- previous versions have included a small crystal chandelier hanging into this delightful outdoor room from an overhead branch. I was hoping very much to see Rolfe's business, also called Boys Fort, that is now established in the Kenton district of North Portland after a tremendously successful birth as a pop-up boutique in Portland last fall and early winter. Everybody loved the idea and off we went.
Do visit http://boysfort.com for a look at the "eclectic male vernacular" garments, objects of all kinds, art of all kinds, and indescribably inventive things of all kinds purveyed by Rolfe and Jake France that includes work by a variety of very hip Portland area artists.
The next morning we flew back home across the continent and the vacation was over.
I wonder if the Singer instructions for 1949 also included any advice for men, like me and a lot of other guys I know, who sew regularly . . . oh, wait . . .
Great post. Love those totem poles. Can't believe you didn't ship one home!
I can't help but laugh at that sewing bit. I mean, dated attitudes towards women notwithstanding, can you imagine any business these days using words like "lackadaisically" and "predominates?"
Those 40s and 50s domestic goddesses had a better vocabulary than a certain Chick-fil-A orderin' former governor of a state you recently visited, dontcha know! ;)
I am mad-jealous you got to see Mark and Rodger
Fie on OREGON margatritas! phooey Real proper ones are made here in AZ. do come visit.
Thank you for your kind words & the spirit of your friendship. I long to get Rolfe to New England before we need to use walkers.