I never appreciated the fall foliage I grew up with in Massachusetts until I moved to North Carolina. In New England, brilliant hues of yellow, orange, and red would begin to appear in early September. Here in Charlotte, the leaves mainly turn a burnt orange in mid October. If you go looking for it though, you can still find a burst of color amount the duller hues around the end of November. And what better place to look then the trails around an old gold mine? In addition to foliage, you may spot veins of white quartz that may or may not contain gold, and the oddly placed raccoon skull.
When I visited Creek Street in Ketchikan, Alaska, its raised boardwalk was lined with small shops and packed with tourists jostling for a glimpse of salmon and sea lions in the creeks below. But in the early 1900s when Dollys House first opened for business, Creek Street was a much different place. When Dolly Author decided to quit waitressing and open a brothel in Ketchikan, Alaska, Creek Street was a red light district, known for men disappearing after visiting with prostitutes that roved the streets at night. She bought a little green house in the red light district with the intention of opening a reputable place where men could enjoy female companionship. Her plan worked. Men were willing to pay much more to visit Dolly safely in her one woman brothel instead of risking getting dosed with bad whiskey, robbed, and flipped into the creek by an ill-intentioned streetwalker. Dolly stayed in business until prostitution was outlawed in the 1950s, turning her last trick in her 60s. Dolly designated her home to be a museum …
Shipping container covered walkway in Skagway, Alaska.
As soon as I stepped off the cruise ship and walked down the gangway onto land, Icy Straight Point took my breath away. It was the first of four stops in a 7 day cruise, and also the most unspoiled.
Entry area to a local haunted house, Scarrigan Farms. During the Halloween season it gets an eerie Crystal Lake treatment, but the rest of the year it serves as the backdrop to wedding receptions.
My favorite part of travel is finally walking through the plane door and getting that first taste of new un-inhaled air
By the time this posts I will be in Alaska, on a cruise ship sailing through the inner passage way. In between watching for wildlife, photographing glaciers, and a railway tour of the Yukon, I plan on taking some time to restart my reading habit. I’ve come up with a cold weather/Alaska themed reading list to start while on this trip. It’s probable long enough to carry me all the way through the fall season, but at least I have plenty of options while I’m traveling. My blog will be on a little break for the next week while I travel, but I will still have a daily quote each morning. Frankenstein 30 Days of Night The Call of the Wild/White Fang Into the Wild The Cloud Atlas Polar Nights Shutter Island Murder on the Orient Express
My sister and I both have long lists of places to visit saved on Pinterest, and in 2016 we resolved to start visiting some of the local spots we had saved. One of those was the rhododendron tunnel in Craggy Gardens, located north of Asheville in the Smokey Mountains. If you’re local to the area, I highly recommend visiting. Take the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway to the Craggy Gardens visitors center. There are several trails to explore, but if you take the The Craggy Garden Trail, you will pass though a rhododendron tunnel exotic enough to belong in a tropical destination. We were so exited to see it that we forgot that the trail would actually lead somewhere, in this case to fantastic views of the surrounding Smokey Mountains. Since the Craggy Gardens area is higher in elevation the weather can change quickly, so come prepared. During my visit it went from light rain to fog, before the sun finally broke through.