Thursday, October 20, 2011

To The Yukon!

Hello followers, friends, and visitors and welcome to John's Island. Those of you who know our founder know that he is a train nut, aka "railfan", and also a fan of big ships and ocean travel. The opportunity to combine those interests occurred this past summer and we would like to share some of the memories. We are in Skagway, Alaska (via Princess Lines Sapphire) and taking the White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad into Canada. It sounds like a long trip but actually only takes about 1.5 hours (3 hours round trip from Skagway.) The interesting thing about this journey is that it follows one of the routes used by miners to reach the area of the great Klondike Gold Rush in the late 1800s. The photo above shows the train along one of the piers in Skagway where cruise ships dock. It's just a short walk from ship to board the train. 

The WP&YR Route provides a nicely done map and brochure describing the trip and one of these will be available as you board the train.

So, here we go, up to White Pass and the border between Alaska, USA, and British Columbia, Canada. We will let the scenery speak for itself, with just a few comments. Be sure to click on the photos for larger views.

Below:  After climbing into the mountains for a while and now looking back toward our point of origin. If you have really good vision, or a pair of binoculars, on this day cruise ships could be seen down in the port -- middle of the picture.

Passengers are allowed on the platforms between cars to take open-air photos.

Another portion of the trail can be seen across the valley.

Below: Still climbing ... looking down, you can see where the train was a few minutes ago.

There are several tunnels on the line. The fascinating thing is that they appear to be carved out of solid rock.

Below:  This steel cantilever bridge is quite a story of its own and was the tallest of its kind in the world when it was constructed in 1901. As you can see, it is no longer in use and the new bridge is visible in another photo.

In the photos below: The famous Trail of 98.  Read more about the Gold Rush here.

Top of the Pass and Canadian - US border. Now, those of you still reading will know that our title here is not exactly correct. At the border here one enters the Province of British Columbia ... the Yukon Territory is still further, but yes, this is the Yukon Route!

At this point we switch sides of the train so everyone gets a fair view of the scenery either coming up or going back down. The engine is brought around and will now lead us back down to Skagway. Some shots of the scenery on the way down follow.  We were told that this was an exceptionally clear air day, but there were thin clouds above.

Approaching the end of our journey it seems fitting to feature a shot of caboose 901 in the yard near town.

And finally, back to the Sapphire Princess. Thanks for going along and hope you enjoyed the rail / sea adventure. Read more about WP & YR here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Skyscraper Sunset

This time of year our horizon is blocked by the skyscrapers around us. However, we still enjoy the sunsets like this one, on a mostly clear day, as the sun sets behind one of the tall buildings. A few thin clouds provided a nice backdrop. The days are rapidly getting shorter as the time stamp on this photo is 5:52 PM.

Later, our peek view of the Olympics had a bit of color ...

Thanks to all for stopping by John's Island.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Orange Sunset

October 14, 2011 -- Tonight's sunset looking over the Olympic Mountains from downtown Seattle, WA.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pot of Gold?

Around John's Island headquarters we had a bit of rain yesterday afternoon and just as the sky was clearing looked out to see this rainbow over Capitol Hill. If you've read our Profile you know the whole "gold" thing. So, we were kinda excited to think we might find some gold close by. But exactly WHERE is the end of that rainbow? As we usually do, we consulted the web for some help to find the Pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow. Consulting Wikipedia we found: "This place is impossible to reach, because the rainbow is an optical effect which depends on the location of the viewer." The search for gold continues.

Everyone have a good day! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Full Hunter's Moon

Hello to all followers and visitors and thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Today's photo is the (nearly) Full Hunter's Moon over Seattle this morning, October 11, 2011. Technically, the moon won't be full until about 7 PM Pacific Time this evening, but hard to tell the difference in this shot. There is quite an interesting tradition of naming full moons. The Farmer's Almanac has a nice write up here.

Friday, October 7, 2011

October 7, 1938

No, it isn't my birthday. And no, I wasn't born in 1938. However, I just discovered that 1938 had the same alignment of days as 2011. If only I'd realized this back in January! You see I have an old 1938 calendar on the wall here. I like the name and design: "It's The Wheat" ---  It seems fitting for Montana where a lot of wheat is grown and where we maintain a secondary office for the Island. I took the calendar off the wall today and snapped a photo of the page for October. Maybe I will post the pages for November and December later at the appropriate time. Not that time is a big deal at John's Island! Anyway, do you like antiques? (If not, you may not like our name sake!!!) Most of all, thanks to all of you for looking and commenting!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Better Traffic

It's once again time for our Executive Team to leave the Island and head to the Rocky Mountains for the annual Autumn Retreat.  This year we were close to our destination when we encountered some interesting traffic. We wondered what our colleagues back in Seattle would think about this. Although we were delayed slightly, we liked it better than what we encounter back home.

In the photo below, we see the usual one who fails to conform. Management needed as usual.

We especially liked the dog, who seemed to be having the most fun.


Robbery in Progress So tempting! [Click on images for larger view] Yummm! My neighbors recently hung a bird feeder in one of their trees. Th...