Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Skirting the 59th Parallel, Around the Globe

The road trip is rolling down the Alaska Marine Highway, aboard the ferry Malaspina, en route from Juneau to Haines. This is the climatic end to a mad voyage that began a few days ago in Goteborg, Sweden, hanging out in the streets at 3 am , eating kabobs with my brother, Matt.
Now, traveling up the Lynn Canal, the longest fjord in North America, on a spectacular late-May Alaskan evening, enjoying the amenities of the Malaspina: incredible views, a nice shower, egg salad sandwiches and (incredibly) free wireless internet. From the back solarium deck, taking in the 360 degrees filled with memories of past adventures and future ones promised. So much snow on the peaks this year! But summer now bursting through with the long and sunny days.
Now we pass the famous Eldred Rock lighthouse, perched on a basalt plug in the middle of the fjord. It was here, perhaps exactly six years ago to the day, on a paddling trip from Juneau to Haines, where I climbed up the tower late one evening to watch a storm roll up the fjord from the south, and saw whales in every direction. I spent the night in one of the abandoned quarters and spooked myself with every creaky sound, in the morning flying north with a strong following sea, and smelling the breath of a huge bull sea lion for the first, and hopefully last time.

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