Posted by: cassymuronaka | March 19, 2009

Alaska, Part I

It’s a little late to be cracking wisely about Alaska, but it has taken me since last August to do a second edit of photographs I shot during a cruise, some of which are posted here.


The trip was the gift of my mother-in-law to her three children, their spouses and offspring. And because of it, I actually knew who Sarah Palin was before she was nominated as the 2008 vice presidential candidate of the Republican Party. But that’s a story for another day.

Alaskan cruises are as tightly regimented as military parades. You only get to go these cities, and, by God, you had better be back on the ship by this time, or we will leave you to be eaten by wolves. Or, in the case of Juneau, we will leave you to chart your own private plane or boat because there ain’t no road in or out of this town.

Some of these tiny destinations are little more than excuses to suck the last dollar out of your wallet. And the relationship between shops owned by residents and those in the traveling carnival seasonally set up by the cruise lines apparently is as cool as the blue glaciers framing parts of the state. Natives are very clear about marking their turf through the “locally owned” signs placed in their store windows. And, as one shop employee told me, they are more than just a little bitter about “the cruise lines just closing everything down” during off-season, which hurts the local economy.


Still, the shopping is not without its unique, provincial charms. For example, there is little chance that I will stumble upon a fur jockstrap during future travel in other parts of the country.




  1. The jockstrap photo is a bit disturbing

  2. Worse than the wolf heads????

  3. Definitely worse than the wolf heads…

    and what are those little black bits that look like they’ve fallen off?

  4. Little fur flower pins. Can’t you see trying to wear one of those in LA?

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