The MS Amsterdam sails on Thursday, but out of caution, and knowing winter in Southeast Alaska we left Sitka on New Year’s Day. While we did not need that caution our prudence was justified. Last night, after more than a week of wonderful clear, cold winter weather, a front moved in. The streets were icy and there was a winter storm advisory for New Year’s Eve and Day. When we drove home from our early New Year’s Eve party at church the sidewalks and streets were glare ice and it was snowing. We went to bed early and slept through the fireworks. (They started at about 8 PM and the cat’s disappeared, perhaps that’s why we slept so well).
But the ice just kept on coming and the plane that gets into Sitka from Anchorage and Juneau at around 11:15 in the evening and leaves at 6 in the morning didn’t make it in because of the ice and storm. By mid-morning the temperatures had gone up to the 40s, the snow was rain and the cats reappeared and so did Dave to take us to the airport and reassure the cats that they were not abandoned. Our plane got in on time and left a little early, but Instead of the lightly booked flight we expected, the plane was full with the combined load of the early morning plane and our cadre of flyers heading back to school, work or, like us, off on vacation.
I love the “Milk Run” along our coast. While the takeoff did not show Sitka at its best, it did show a pretty typical skyscape, of mountains, clouds and mist. Ketchikan weather was worse but as we got over the Northern BC coast the mountains and glaciers glowed bluish. At around 4:30 we landed in Seattle, flying right over the Emerald City with a loop that gave us a view of Mt. Rainier and then banking over the Port of Tacoma, we glided into SeaTac airport.