How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE

Inlets, Wilderness and a Polar Bear Dip

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Yes, we missed the Magician’s magic show due to a sit-down dinner, and not to compare one as more interesting than the other, I did learn an interesting tidbit this day. When I think of Alaska, I think of BIG snow, but how do people get from one town to another in winter especially when it comes to the trains battering tonnes of snow (or so I imagine)? How do they do it? A snow plow train blower is on display on the edge of town for all tourists coming in and out of Skagway to see.

Pictures are okay, but watching a snow blower on the tracks is another story. It gives me goosebumps to imagine getting stuck on a train surrounded by nothing but snow.

After our meandering visit in Skagway, we passed over a couple sets of railway tracks, paths to park-like settings, and more brands stamped/painted on rock faces.

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The next morning, Mary and I grabbed our earliest breakfast while walkers already traipsed the wet promenade deck wearing gloves and bundled in weatherproof jackets with hoods.

Soon we joined other gawkers as the cruise ship entered Glacial Bay. Rain-slick decks, dripping railings, and the weeping sky discouraged the majority of travellers from coming outside. Darn weather. I hunched in my weatherproof jacket and stuck it out until the captain performed a s-l-o-w 180-degree turn in a space I was sure we’d scrape the surrounding mountains. No damage to the ship and no sea life endangered, I guess the captain had performed this act a time or two.

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The show over, we’d had enough damp weather and clumped inside to warm our bones with a hot drink. Mary signed up for a polar bear dip mid-afternoon in the outside pool. Only three other brave souls from the whole ship entered the contest: a 14-year-old girl; a young man of 20 or so; a young oriental mother with her four or five-year-old son, and my sister Mary.

The announcer read a long speech to stir up a little tension, I suppose. Around 30 or so onlookers—noses dripping with rain—drifted outside to cheer on the contestants. Hoods up and dancing from foot-to-foot, the curious itched for entertainment relief from their chill and boring day. There would be no prizes; only ah honourable mention for the winner. Where? On their fleet of cruise ships? So, nothing for their efforts except a plain certificate of accomplishment.

The show was over in a flash. Holding her nose, Mary jumped up onto the raised wall ledge of the pool, leapt up, and cannonballed into the water. Afterward, she asked how many pictures I’d taken. I’d used my iPad min not a fast-action camera. “One—of you,” I said. Oopsie. I guess I failed as her media photographer.

Inside the ship, Mary headed to the hot tub. I lounged next to a white-robed woman to whom I mentioned my surprise when my sister soldiered up for the dip. “I give the three other people a lot of credit, considering the damp and cold weather. Too cold for me.”

The woman looked me straight in the eye and grinned. “How much you want to bet the outside pool is heated?”

“O-hh.” My sister hadn’t said a word about the water. She shivered for all the onlookers and played her part. When I asked about the water temperature, Mary made a face and said, “My lips are sealed.”

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Next on May 25th – North to Alaska: Bet You Don’t Know These Quick Facts

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

 

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Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

28 thoughts on “Inlets, Wilderness and a Polar Bear Dip

  1. I really don’t think Alaska is for me. I don’t do cold very well. I missed your last post because I was in Canada and persuaded my cousin (who lives in Vancouver) that we should go up the Lookout Tower you talked about before you boarded the cruise ship. It was fabulous and my cousin was delighted as she’d never been and was really excited to see her city from a whole new perspective. And now she has somewhere else to take visitors. I’m so glad you write about it.

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    • So happy to hear you enjoyed the Lookout Tower with your cousin. My, oh my. You never know who will have the opportunity to experience something once you put it out there. I’m thrilled to hear your actually went and did. 😀 😀 😀

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  2. Polar bear jump into the warm water. Loved it.

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  3. Oh that is so funny about the polar bear dip and the pool being heated! Likely not too much though otherwise it would have been steaming. Do you recall Dave and I doing a polar dip a few years back for a charity. Straight into a lake where a hole had been cut in the ice. A once in a lifetime event for this girl!
    The photos of the glaciers are incredible! It does look like tight corners for navigating by the Captain.

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    • Indeed I DO remember your polar dip; my teeth are still chattering.
      I laughed because my sister didn’t want to fess up and acted the part of a freezing dip in freezing water.
      😀 😀 😀

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  4. It’s as brave to leap into what you think is freezing water as to have it actually freezing. So kudos to your sis!

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  5. I’m sure that pool was heated, but what a great show! A few years ago, I was stuck on a train in the snow in the Rocky Mountains. We waited four hours for the snow blower to arrive, watching the sun set and darkness surround us. But Amtrak opened the dining car, served snacks and beverages, and the company was delightful. I did hold my breath a little when we finally started moving, wondering if the tracks were sufficiently cleared and hoping we wouldn’t derail on the down slope 🙂 ❤️

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  6. Great. In Finland, it is a habit to go swimming among ice from Sauna. So it is normal. It’s said that it is healthy. Thank You for those snow blower train videos.

    Happy and safe travels.

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    • Thank you for your visit. Yes, I know about the healthy aspects of sauna in Finland but I’m not sure I’d be first in line.
      My sister is a ham and played her part well. 😀 😀 😀
      I was amazed with the snow blower train and had to share it.

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  7. Bravo to your sister, even if the pool was heated. Beautiful country up there.

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  8. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha! Good for your sister!!!!!!! I suppose anyone who wanted to know the water temps should have jumped in! 😀

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  9. Either way your sister is cool!

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  10. That snow thingummy is extraordinary. It blows minds as well as snow
    .. as for the sneaky swimmers they’re comeuppance is overdue!

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    • I had no idea what the Ferris wheel attached to the train so I Googled the picture in Google images. Didn’t I find one approximately the same as the one I had taken. The name of this contraption helped me find the snow blower video. Mind blowing tom e too.
      Yeah, Mary is a ham. 😀

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  11. Your post made me smile, especially the last part, Tess.

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  12. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    I was AWOL on Saturday and missed the boat.. But have caught up again now with Tess Karlinski on her cruise to Alaska.. in this episode she shares a fantastic train powering through snow and an onboard hoax when it comes to the swimming pool!!

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