Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Morel recipes, silks, and dancing!

With our 38 morels, Tess and I were able to make two whole dinner recipes!

On night #1, we tackled some morel cream sauce on fettucine.

The taste was great, but the sauce was almost soup. Whether it was a recipe issue or a not-enough-time-to-simmer issue, it just wasn't exactly what we hoped. So we stuck it in the fridge overnight, and since Tess had the following day off, she doctored it up by pouring off a little sauce and thickening the rest with flour, and brought it to Michael and me for lunch in the middle of the day! What a freaking champ!

The next day, we busted out the frozen puff pastry (I would love to try making puff pastry someday, and I have several recipes, but it's gonna be a project, and I really don't have the counter space here for extensive rolling), blanched some asparagus and sauteed it up in butter with the remaining morels and a bit of garlic, squished it into the pastries, topped it off with a bit of parmesan, stuck it back in the oven for a couple minutes, and voila!

Tess has a couple pics, but hasn't sent them to me yet. I'll post them when she does!

I can't even tell you how incredible it was. The earthy morels with the creamy, tender asparagus and buttery, flaky pastry melted into heaven in my mouth.

Let's just say it was a good time.

On Wednesday, we all trouped over to the rec center to take Renee's silks class! Renee is our Monday Belle and has lived in Skagway for nine years, although she still travels to do shows elsewhere sometimes. Before Skagway, she worked several seasons for Tokyo Disney, which is where she learned silks (also called ribbons or aerial tissue). For rec center members, her classes are only $15 for drop-ins or $100 for a ten-class card. We thought we'd give one class a try before deciding to buy a ten-class card, although we were pretty sure already that we would totally love it.

We were super right! Renee starts the class with partnered stretching and Thai massage, followed by strength training for arms, shoulders, and core, finally followed by actual ribbon work. We learned the basic hand lock, an “egg” hang (lock your hands in the ribbons and then pull your knees to your chest!), how to tip over upside down in the egg position and then extend our feet straight up (and then do crunch-type exercises that way by lowering and raising our feet along the ribbons!), how to climb the ribbon, and how to do a basic foot lock! It was so cool I can't even handle it. Ten-class card, here we go!

And then Thursday was dance night at the Gold Rush Brewery! Our new friend Gregory, who is the manager there, is teaching a weekly blues dancing class. Meridith has a bum foot right now, and Steph was feeling like a night in, but Tess and I went out – and had a great time. The class was easy but not too terribly slow, since people were picking stuff up well, and then the actual dancing was awesome. By the last hour or so, Tess, Gregory, Gregory's friend Brian, and I were the only ones left, so we got to partner up with each other pretty continuously and have some pretty rockin' dances. Yay, dance night!

Since then I've pretty much just been working! I've knocked down seven days out of thirteen in a row, and I'm still going strong! We went out to the BrewCo tonight just to hang around, have dinner/drinks/fooseball, enjoy each other's company. What was cool was that it was a bunch of our Skagway friends, not all of whom even knew each other. Greg and Brian were there, plus the '98 show crowd, including Allison/Jon/Tegan, plus some friends of Jon and Tegan, plus Mike from the Brewery, plus some friends Tess made on her day off today, including a guy Steph and I had met at Bonanza a week ago. Cool to see all at once how many people we know and like here!

And now off to bed for me! It's Sunday night, and I'll post this in the morning, I hope – or tomorrow late night, if there are too many cruise ships in already in the morning (highly likely).

Monday, May 19, 2014

In which I turn out to have had a way more eventful week than I thought I had!

I keep thinking it's going to be ok to post only twice a week or so, because who needs to post every day, and then we do tons of things and I'm suddenly way behind! So this is another biggish post – get ready ;)

On Thursday, I taught piano lessons! I agreed to teach half hour lessons to the three kids in one family. I'm pretty excited about it. These first lessons, they didn't have books yet and I was just meeting the kids and getting know where there piano skills were and what they were interested in, so each lesson was only twenty minutes, and I was in and out in an hour. I'm eager to get into lessons, to get to know the kids better, to exercise some pedagogical skills, and to be a little more in touch with the year-round Skagway locals. The other gals in the cast are getting their fingers on the local pulse at least a bit by trying out different churches every Sunday. Since I'm not interested in church, I'm hoping that teaching lessons will do that for me a little bit! There are apparently other families hoping for lessons, since the local piano teacher is out of town for the summer, so in the next couple days I'll post on the Skagway Swap facebook group to let people know that I have some limited availability to teach.

After I got back from teaching and the gals got back from dinner at Starfire, we headed out to meet up with our friends Chris, Adam, and Gabby – the ones we met at the lodge in Dyea. They'd invited us up to the RV Park where they're staying for forshpayz and wine at the picnic table outside their (rented) RV. The seven of us hung out for a while and chatted at first, munching on leftover popcorn Steph and I had grabbed from the theatre and fresh-toasted bruschetta the Oregon gang had whipped up. It was great to start getting to know them a little better! They're a bit nerdy, which I really appreciate.

After not too long, other people stopped by. Mike, the brewery owner and the Oregon gang's boss; Gregory, the manager and dance teacher at the brewery (he used to play violin in pits, and then for some years he made violins, and then he found that too lonely, quit, and has since done other work plus also in the last four years gotten way into social dancing, particularly blues); and a few other people who live in the RV park, including a mom (Jess?) and her kid Logan. We hung around for a couple hours, eating and drinking and frisbeeing and talking, until it started to get cold and buggy, and which point Mike invited us all over to his place for a campfire. So we spent the rest of the night around a crackly fire, chatting and listening to music and, well, just being in Alaska! Finally it was (mostly) dark (around midnight) and we headed home for the night.

On Friday, we were supposed to have three shows, but because one of the two cruise ships scheduled to port in town that day canceled and the other had fewer than a thousand passengers, we sold no tickets to the first two shows and therefore did not perform them. Of course, we had to be in full makeup and costume until five minutes before each show was scheduled to start, just in case we got a sudden influx and could go on! Apparently this used to happen much more frequently both early and late in the season; this year the theatre has been doing extremely well. Allison and Jon were thrilled that we had lasted this long without a cancellation.

Anyway, instead of doing those first two shows, the gals and I rested a bit at home; got ice cream at the Kone Kompany (I really do hate arbitrary Ks, by the way), where I said hi to McKenna (whose name is not Michaela) and John; and I spent my usual hour or so on my bench in the sun. (Well, there are two benches, really: The bench on the post office side of the street is my morning bench, and the bench on the Bites side of the street is my afternoon bench. I appear to be becoming a town fixture.)

The evening show was the town show. Locals can see the show for free at any time, but the town show is the specific night dedicated to them, when everyone comes. And I mean the place was packed. Every seat was full, all extra folding chairs were full, and what little standing room space exists at the gills was full. It was great! I must have been pretty excited at the top, because as soon as I started my little intro rag I realized I was top-speed-ing it! But I made it through at said top speed with no bumps, and the show got underway safe and sound. There is really nothing like performing for a completely full house of somewhat intoxicated people determined to have a great time. And everyone was super sweet on the way out, including McKenna, who gave me a hug! I think that means we're friends :p

Plus, Niles and Skipper had brought up a whole tray of homemade pastries/cake in honor of the town show, so that was great too! And Jon bought us all a drink and some snacks afterward at the Aerie – the Eagles' Lodge, which is in the same building as the theatre. I felt like I was in on something quite mysterious and fraternal, although it was really just a room with some people and a bar.

On Saturday we did two shows, got tacos at the once-every-second-Saturday craft mart (so. good. and so desperately needed. Tacoooooooos), chilled out at home for a bit, and then needed to get out of the house. Plus Sunday was our day off, so we could properly go out! We hit up the Station – the only of the three bars in town none of us had been to yet – for a quiet drink, and then moved on to Bonanza. Bonanza started out as a pretty quiet drink also, but it was dance night, so before too long it was pretty crazy in there. The gals and I had some fun dancing, seeing old (by which I mean new-ish) friends (Greg, who is always, awesomely, corralling people to dance; Mike; the redhead who works at the jewelry store next door) and meeting new ones (Trevor, who is from Phoenix and in town for the summer, and his friend Kale, who is from Oklahoma and in Juneau for the summer). Tess and I met one woman in the bathroom, when she started talking to us from the other stall about how her sister had just called her to let her know that she's seven months pregnant and got married last week! Once we burned out a little on Bonanza – I would have been happy to keep dancing, but it was just so loud – we headed to a house party down the street that we'd been invited to the day before by Nick and Jess, whom we'd met on the street! Jess is a portrait artist, although he spends most of his day working on the Fast Ferry, and actually he'd taken a photo of the cast after the town show so he can draw us! The party was pretty calm by the time we got there, but we stayed long enough to determine that Nick and Jess are pretty normal, chill guys, and that their house is awesome, so hopefully we'll hang out with them again!

On our way home, we saw a few very pale streaks in the sky – first glimpse of the Northern Lights! We're hoping to catch them for real in September, when it gets darker again.

It was almost two by the time we got home – by far the latest I'd stayed up since I left New York! We all crashed, and had a slow Sunday morning. But by the middle of the day, Tess and I were antsy, so we went morel hunting. It took us several tries to get to our actual destination, since I had been there with Michael but wasn't totally sure where it was (it turned out to be slightly outside of town; hence the confusion), but once we got there and really got hunting, we hit the jackpot!

Thirty-eight morels!!!!!

It was super awesome to find some for the first time and also awesome to get some quality time with Tess and with the Alaskan outdoors. Now we gotta look up some recipes!

And now I'd better go to bed – three shows tomorrow, and the start of a thirteen day, thirty-nine show work week! See y'all on the flip side :p

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

In which s'mores are delicious and foraging is unsuccessful

The last few days have been packed with awesome!

On Friday morning, Meridith got a call from Bill, who was down at the helipad, that there were seals out. So we walked down to the canal and lo and behold! Seals! Playing out in the water! Adorbs.

On Friday evening, we went to Trivia Night at the Red Onion, which used to be a brothel and still gives brothel tours. The place ended up pretty packed by the time trivia started! Michaela and Lenny were there and joined our team. We scored pretty squarely in the middle – no real literary or nerdy questions for me! – but had a few drinks and a lot of fun.

Saturday was locals-get-to-do-tourist-things day (we got a flier about it). Sugar Mama's was selling cupcakes for a dollar – Tess picked up a red velvet one with cream cheese frosting to share – and after the show but before rehearsal we stopped by Glacial Smoothie for one dollar cookies. They were out of cookies, since it was almost closing time, but we grabbed coffee/smoothies to give us a little boost for rehearsal, and we also discovered an adjacent little boutique with cute clothes and nice shower gel and stuff. There's no other store like that in Skagway! The gal running the place – I forget her name, because I didn't note it down! – says that that's exactly why she started it.

And after rehearsal, we went to the corner outside of the Red Onion, where the flier had informed us we could catch the shuttle up to Dyea for s'mores and a campfire. Sure enough, the shuttle came around – but we were the only people who boarded! Oh well, we thought. We can have fun with just us :) The shuttle driver is named Floyd, and was pretty friendly. The drive to Dyea is beautiful and takes you past Smuggler's Cove, one of the places I want to take the short hike to. When we got to the ChilkootTrail Outpost, there actually were a few other people there, and as we trailed in, Cathy, the owner seemed just thrilled to see us. “I've never gotten so many people!” she said. She debriefed us on the history of Dyea, which was a booming gold rush town before Skagway was, since it's near the entrance to the Chilkoot Trail, which was the only way through the mountains before the railway was built. She showed us around the lodge, which is just beautiful, and even let us take a look at her super gorgeous, open living space. She also fed us to-die-for smoked salmon on crackers, and taught us the best way to make a s'more (you put the whole s'more between the prongs of a two-pronged utensil, and slowly turn it over the coals).

The other people at the lodge were also here for their first summer, and had actually just arrived that day! Their names are Chris, Adam, and Gabby; they're in their mid-twenties; they're originally from upstate New York but lived in Salem most recently; they've left Salem theoretically permanently but don't know what they plan to do after this summer; and they work at the Gold Dredge Brewery just outside of town. Also there was Gregory, whom I didn't get to know quite as well, but who also looks to be in the vicinity of my age and who is a dance instructor who'll be teaching social dance at the Brewery every Thursday. I can't wait to go! Anyway, we all hit it off pretty well, and I got Gabby's number so our two groups can meet up to hang out. Yay new friends!

Once we'd toured the lodge, we walked down the hill a bit to where Michael and friends of his were gathered around a campfire. With the supplies Cathy had leant us, we tried the new s'mores technique – and whoa if that wasn't the best s'more I've ever eaten in my life. I caught mine on fire about eighty million times, but it turned out perfect anyway, with toasty graham and gooey crunchy marshmallow and chocolate that actually melted. Yum! Now I want one of those tools!

Floyd drove us back down to Skagway, stopping for us to get out at a viewpoint on the way, and dropped us off at home. We changed out of our smoky clothing and went out for a quick dinner at the BrewCo, which was offering appetizers half-off. We turned in for the evening, shared out Tess's red velvet cupcake, and passed out!

Sunday was our day off. It was the first rainy day since I've been here, and it was actually pretty nice to have an excuse for a day in. My day in didn't last too long, though, since around noon – while the other gals were at church – Michael came home and asked if I wanted to go hunting for morels! We took off and drove to a trail off the road to Dyea, where we scoured the woods for mushrooms. We met with no success – Michael had said it might be a day too early, but he wanted to get the jump on it just in case – but traversing the loam and enjoying the woods was pretty great all by itself. (Although, infuriatingly, we found out later that Tegan had found forty in almost the same places. Apparently she is just about the queen of foraging.) It drizzled pleasantly the whole time, and we ended up down at Smuggler's Cove – not the same route by which I would hike to it from town – which is just breathtaking. On our way back up the hill, we saw a couple of red-headed sapsuckers, which are fun to see because their heads are so brilliant! On the drive home, we stopped at the organic market, which was fun to explore (vanilla beans! hickory smoked salt! spices!), and then drove past the dock, where we saw arctic terns. Talk about a lovely bird. They're snowy white, with elegant forked tales. As Michael puts it, they'll just break your heart.

Michael, by the way, has lived in Mexico with a girlfriend; owned an antique shop on Telegraph Avenue; owned a Mexican restaurant in Baltimore; hung out with jazz musicians in New Orleans; lived in New York City (not necessarily all in that order); lived on a boat off the coast of Miami, where he had a job with a fancy name I can't remember, involving analyzing core samples from the ocean; and has now retired to Skagway, where he spends his winters listening to Great Courses and his summers playing for the show and foraging in the woods. He is just about the coolest person ever.

On Sunday night, Douglas the British librarian/tour guide/radio DJ had us all (Jon and Tegan, Allison, the five of us over Bites, and his own two roommates) over for dinner, which was lovely! Roast chicken, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and totally killer potatoes. Plus I brought brownies, which were a hit. Plus the company was delightful. We had a lot of fun.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

People of Skagway, II

Aysha works in some or other gift shop round about 4th St. and Broadway. Curly dirty blonde hair, here for the summer with her girlfriend! She is the one who pointed us to the spare furniture on the curb on on 12th St. the other day.

Andre is the manager in the Gold Rush Jewelry store, where Nikki (our flatmate) works. He gave us forget-me-not earrings! Other workers there are Eddie and Alex, and Ali the guy who sets the jewels.

Delaney and Michaela are twins (Michaela has the bigger forehead-freckle) and work in the Kone Kompany with Ashley and John.

Cathy owns the jewelry store closest to the theatre and has the best dog in the world, a fluffy spaniel-type something or other named Louie. Adam also works there and is friends with Mike, who owns a dog named Barley and also a brewery uptown. Other workers there - Mary (older and tan and blonde) and Megan, and a few others whose names I didn't catch.

Katie works at the popcorn store!

Bud and Eve were hanging out in Bites on Broadway; Eve owns the dog camp in Dyea.

Charles owns the glass shop adjacent to Bites!

Will is the border crossing guy. We actually met him briefly when we stopped at the rec center during our day 1 tour, but we re-met him today in Bites.

Jean owns the Russian Christmas and Yarn store adjacent to Broadway Bites. She has shoulder-length, wavy gray hair and a son who lived in Brooklyn for a long time but just bought a house near Westchester. She encouraged me to learn to knit.

Joanie owns the art and gift shop across the street, where her nephew Steve also works.

Douglas works at the library and recommended some history books. He is also a DJ for the Skagway radio station, and a guide on the Streetcar Tours. We're headed to his place for a cookout tonight!

Josh works at the hardware store and has lived here for a year, although his buddy started telling him to move here 7 years ago. He said he shoulda listened.

Miss Bee used to be a can-can dancer decades ago. We met her in Bites, and she said we should peer into her cabin up near Carcross. We also met her daughter at a campfire in Dyea last night!

Cathy runs the lodge up in Dyea and is determined that Dyea be given its due as the original gold rush town in the area. She was so welcoming to us. But you'll get more about that later! She and Michael are old friends.

Grandma Jenny is beloved by all and knits things for everyone in the winter. She's in Michael's group advocating for a new senior center, and Michael says he gets her to do the presenting to the Skagway City Council when he needs something to get done, because no one can say no to her!

And I know there are more, but they're escaping my mind right now! Some of these people will appear again in stories from the last few days (there's a lot to tell, actually, and I'm excited to get it down :)); some of them may never appear again on this blog. But I've been enjoying meeting them and taking notes!

Friday, May 9, 2014

In which I catch y'all up on many Alaskan adventures

I have so much to catch up on! Watch out folks, this might be a long one.

First off, here's a picture of all the gals at Yakutania Point; it was on Steph's phone so I couldn't post it earlier!

Stephanie, Meridith, me, and Tess

Anyway, back to the story, on Saturday morning, we went to the Skagway Community Sale, which happens at the beginning and end of every summer season. Everyone brings their stuff to the rec center the night before, and the rec center sells it off – almost everything for a dollar – to raise money for programming. Meridith took a picture of the line outside, and I wish I had done the same, because it was ridic! Lined up for the 10 am opening were probably more people than I had seen yet in all my week in Skagway added together. And when we went in, it was pretty havoc! A little stressful, actually. Although there was plenty of stuff to go around! The clothes were like mountains along the tables! The shoes took up a whole wall! There were tables of books and tables of junky kitchen stuff!

Tegan – Jon's wife – had come with us, and because she's a better shopper than I am, she helped me find a couple clothing items: A warm, windbreaker-y jacket; a little black hoodie with birds and “love Alaska” on it; a cream, wide-knit top; a beat-up olive tank top dotted with holes (on purpose). I would never have found most of this stuff on my own – or I would have fled, intimidated by the volume and the havoc! – so it was nice that Tegan was keeping an eye out for me. I also picked up some extra clothes hangers, three books, a pair of heeled boots, and, best of all, a cheap but working electric hand mixer. I desperately miss my Cuisinart hand mixer, but this will for sure do the trick while I'm here!

Anyway, we had a couple shows, and then the afternoon off, and Sunday off as well. So Saturday night Jon and Tegan invited everyone over for dinner. They whipped up some totally fab bean dip and lasagna, and we all hung out for a few hours. It was great to actually have some time to socialize with the whole company, especially our choreographer Julie, who doesn't stay the whole summer.

On Sunday, we geared up and left the house for a hike by 10 am. We took an eastern trail out of town...

...up to Lower Dewey Lake (about 1.5 miles)...

...and then on to Sturgil's Landing (another 2 miles). Get ready for more pictures of mountains, because the beauty around here is out of control.

Passing through the mossy vales was like passing through an enchanted glade. 

Everything was so green – and I bet it gets greener later in the season.

The ground is soft, almost spongy; the Tongass Forest National Park is actually rainforest. After a steep and rocky descent for the last half mile, we emerged at Sturgil's Landing, a little promontory overlooking the canal. You know, I keep thinking the views can't get any more incredible here – and then they do.

Anyway, below the promontory was a little water-level, tide-pool-y, rocky beach, which we picked our way down to and explored. Mussels and strange balloonish seaweed abounded.

We ate a little lunch in the sun – the weather was perfect – sat quietly for a while, and then headed back!

The walk back was a little quicker than the walk there – not so much uphill, and not so many stops for pictures! My knee started bugging me on the last half-mile descent, but other than that it felt great to have trekked 7 miles by 3 pm! We spent the rest of the day chillin' out, doing a winter-themed puzzle that Tess had found at the Community Sale, and eating leftover lasagna for dinner.

So that was Sunday!

We had another show on Monday and a couple more Tuesday, plus post-show put-in rehearsals, as once we really get going the roles will rotate regularly. Also on Monday we had family taco night, which was delicious. Tess has a great taco night photo up on her awesome blog. We all look very beautiful in it.


And on Wednesday, we took a company trip to Whitehorse! Julie needed to get dropped off at the airport, since she's leaving us for a contract in Vancouver, and we all thought we'd come along, for the adventure and for the Walmart (ugh, but necessary). So the company rented an 8-seat van and we all piled in. The drive out there – on the only road out of Skagway – is breathtaking (duh). I forgot my camera, but I'll again refer you to Tess's blog if you want pics. We passed through Carcross (permanent population: 12), and within about three hours arrived triumphantly in Whitehorse. We dropped Julie at the airport (goodbye, Julie! We'll miss you!) and headed into town. We grabbed sushi for lunch, since it's not an option in the Skags, and we were truly, utterly satisfied by it. A little pricey – I'm used to purchasing sushi only during the many times it's half price, haha – but soooooo good. We had a few minutes to walk around the few blocks that exist of downtown Whitehorse (it's not actually that much bigger than Skagway), grabbed some Starbucks (!!! water in the desert !!!), and then headed out to the Walmart, where I spent more than I hoped but less than I feared on such items as mascara, a trash can, Clif bars, heat protection hair spray, sunscreen, a baking sheet, a mixing bowl, a silicone spatula, measuring cups, measuring spoons, a 9x13 baking dish, and a 9x9 baking dish (haha, can you tell what I care about?).

Home again, home again, jiggety jig, spotted a black bear by the side of the road on the way (!!!), passed uneventfully through customs, and rolled back into Skagway before 6 pm. We stopped on the outskirts of Skagway to check out the Gold Rush Cemetery, which is the home of Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith's grave, as well as the grave of Frank Reid, town hero. As you'll find out if you come see The Days of '98 Show, they killed each other in a gunfight on the dock! Above the cemetery is a short path to Lower Reid Falls. I didn't have the right clothes on to explore on the rocks (plus also my knee hurt), but we'll definitely return later in the summer when we're dressed right and the water is lower, and climb around on the falls and cross the creek into the cave on the opposite side, which Jon recommends.

Tess got pretty good pics of each of us by the falls!

At any rate, a perfect day-off excursion!

And that's all for now, folks! I miss everyone!

Monday, May 5, 2014

In which Friday is utterly lovely

Friday was just the loveliest day! It's been getting warmer and sunnier every day, and Friday was darn close to my ideal summer day. I could use another five degrees, of course, because I like that oven feeling, but really it was just about perfect.

First of all, we opened the show! The house was small – about 20 people – for the 10:30 show, but they were loving it. Meridith and Tess, who are currently playing the whores “Molly Phewclothes” and “Squirreltooth Alice,” get to pull an older guy up on stage every show and do a couple numbers with him. I've made myself a little game where I try to predict whom they'll pick, and so far I'm three for three! The 10:30 guy just stood there and grinned himself silly the whole time; it was super cute. The guy at the second show was a little chattier but still well-behaved and having a good time. And both of their families were psyched! Show #1 we pretty much nailed; show #2, at 2:30, was a little sloppier despite our best efforts, but the audience (30-something for that one!) still had a great time.

Second of all, in between shows, Meridith and I couldn't pass up the totally beautiful, warm sunshine, so we took a walk down to the dock after lunch and sat by the water with our books, reading a bit and chatting a bit and looking at the canal and the Carnival ship docked there. (The ferry dock is not the same as the cruise ship dock, if you're wondering how it's possible for the ships to be coming in!) So that was delightful – plus, on our walk to the dock, we stopped in the jewelry store where our flatmate Nikki works. While we were chatting with her, she called over her manager, Andre, who got to know us a little bit... and then gave us each a pair of forget-me-not earrings! We were totally shocked. I mean, I'm sure they're not a big deal in the scheme of a giant store full of $10,000 rings, and I'm sure he hopes we'll walk around town telling everyone we got these cute earrings from that store. But it was still really sweet, and now we have lovely earrings for free! With the Alaska state flower! That makes two free pairs of cute earrings in two days, actually - Allison bought us all earrings color-coordinated with our costumes, so we can wear them during the show.

Third of all, after the shows, Meridith and Tess and Stephanie and I took another walk around town. We picked up a bunch of postcards – I sent twelve, so lots of you should expect them soon! – and got ice cream cones from the Kone Kompany, which we ate in the sun on a bench in front of Bites on Broadway. We stopped in a few stores in between, getting to know assorted locals and summer-locals. They'll show up in a People of Skagway post!

Fourth of all, after we went home and ate some dinner – I made grilled cheese with a few bacon strips that Michael donated to me!, and fried it in bacon! – we went out to the BrewCo for a couple beers. At the BrewCo, we ran into our pilot, Chris! He stopped to chat with Tess and me, since he remembered us (mostly her, but a little bit me) from sitting co-pilot with him. After a few minutes, he offered to take us flying for free anytime he has an extra seat or an off-shift! He said he would take us to Juneau or around the glaciers! Tess got his number so we can get in touch. But then she looked for it this morning and she had forgotten to save it! Fortunately, he came to the show today, as he said he would, and she got it again :)

Fifth of all, after the BrewCo, we remembered that one of the women we met in the shops had mentioned that the house she and the other workers in the shop were staying in had been overfull of stuff, and they had put a bunch of it outside on the lawn for anyone to take. So we headed up to 12th St. and found the house with a bunch of stuff on the lawn... and grabbed some of it to take home! We'd been wanting a few more pieces of furniture, since there aren't enough chairs in the kitchen for all of us, and there's no living room or anything for us to hang out in, so we were thinking about putting a couch or something in my room, which is the biggest. So Meridith and Stephanie grabbed a chair, Tess grabbed another chair, I picked up an ottoman, and Bill carried a little table/shelving unit for Meridith's room, which had no surfaces in it!

And that was the whole day! Next up - People of Skagway, restaurants I've been trying, and our very first day off!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

In which we hike to Yakutania Point

The hike to Yakutania Point was fun and beautiful! 

First, on our way out, we saw this cool multi-story birdhouse flagpole.

Anyway, the hike to Yakutania Point can really only barely be described as a hike, since it was probably about a quarter of a mile and very easy. But we crossed over a bridge...

...and found ourselves on a dirt trail instead of pavement, and surrounded by trees! 

We could occasionally peer through for a glimpse of the Lynn Canal.

We've been meeting lovely dogs all over town, and the trail was no exception. One older man with glasses and a cane – he looks like an interesting guy – came down the trail with his chocolate brown dog George. And when we got to the Point, there was a family hanging around finishing up a picnic, with two friendly dogs, Bailey and I forget the other one's name. Most of the dogs around here are big but super friendly and well-trained – the best kind! We stood around for a while making conversation, petting the dogs, and looking out at the water, but then the mosquitoes were coming out, so we headed home. 

Yakutania Point

It was the first time we'd really gotten to explore at all – and the first time I got much exercise of any kind, since the other gals can-can themselves silly but I just sit on my ass at the piano for hours – so it was really nice.

Anyway, I've typed up a bunch more stories to post here, but this seems like the natural finish for this point, so I'll close here and save the rest for another day! Although I may get behind in the storytelling here, since tonight we'll be going over to Jon and Teegan's for dinner, tomorrow we're going on a hike, and Wednesday we're going to Whitehorse! Oh, well. I'm sure I'll catch up someday :) Plus, now that I've figured out that I can use my iPad as a personal wifi hotspot for my computer, I should be able to post more often again. Ttyl!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

In which we walk through town to the dock!

Yesterday was just the most beautiful day!!

We had a super productive rehearsal - finished cleaning the show and got through two run-throughs - so they freed us way early, at 4:30, for the rest of the day.

The gals and I decided to take a walk through town, and on the way we ran into Renee (she's local now, but also in the cast), who suggested a little trail out of town, to Yakutania Point.

I think I mentioned how strange and empty (and historical) the town seems. Here are a couple pics to illustrate!

 empty streets of Skagway

 and the mountains looming, surrounding!

 Some of the storefronts are still completely empty.

Actually, we've learned that the cruise ships own a number of the shops - particularly the jewelry shops - that line the streets closer to the dock. I suspect that those are the ones that are completely empty still. The Skagway locals and other Alaskans who own the other shops have mostly started setting up already, plus I expect some of their merchandise lives there year-round (instead of being shipped off to the Caribbean or whatever). Most of them have little signs in their windows that say things like "Alaskan-owned store" or "locally owned for three generations." It's easy to tell anyway, though, since you can go in and chat with the workers and the owners!

 The ice cream shop - The Kone Kompany - where I've already met two of the workers!
I've bought fudge from their twice,
and once the weather warm I can't wait to 
start on the ice cream!

 This isn't open yet, but I am excited to try it when it is!

This facade was just too weird and cool not to take a picture of!

We ended up down at the dock, passing by the little railway (which we'll definitely have to take one day!).

 Train! I love trains!

 Lookin' back towards town!

Here's the zoom-out.
Incredible, right?

When we got to the edge of town, there was the sunken ferry dock! Word around town (I stole that phrase from Meridith's awesome blog) is that they're working on raising it and repairing it now, and it should possibly be fixed by May 9th.

The dock! It sank!

Ok, now I have to start rehearsal. Next post I'll actually get to our little hike to Yakutania point! And eventually I'll post the whole album on facebook. I took a TON of pictures - I've been very restrained here on this blog!


The view from my bedroom windows!