The Yukon and My Own “Inner Passage” Towards Self-Alignment and Well-Being

Slowly, slowly the Alaska cruise ship glided along the “Inner Passage” to Glacier Bay while I sat slumped in a leather arm chair in the library, engrossed in a book, every now and then glancing out the floor to ceiling wall of windows at passing banks of trees outlined by mountains.


I looked up again and saw bubbles on the water, then a circle of bubbles, then several circles of bubbles. Right in front of me a small pod of humpback whales arced up, tipped their tails to the sun, and then vanished beneath dark water. The bubbles appeared further down the bank of windows as the ship continued its glide to the north and the whales moved on, fishing, in the opposite direction.

So I got to see whales!


So I got to see whales! This was a “to do” on my list of reasons for taking a long anticipated cruise from Vancouver, Canada to Glacier Bay along the famed Inner Passage.

Land of the First Nations people, tough wildlife, crisp, cold air, glaciers, mountains, and endless ice blue sky.


Deciding to just go rather than wait for family and friends to be travel buddies, I booked the trip’s components online, packed a carry on, and stepped onto my cross-country flight to the land of the First Nations people, tough wildlife, crisp, cold air, glaciers, mountains, and endless ice blue sky.


At the Vancouver Airport (YVR) the commuter rail stop was made navigable by help from a passerby. Once in city center, the route to the hotel was walk able in the bright morning light. With a map of the city, I walked several neighborhoods, even locating the cruise ship dock for departure, and found the commuter rail back to the airport for my return to the East Coast and my “regular life”.



While my trip plans were focused around the sights of Alaska, I discovered the Americas’ legacy of the First Nation peoples who came across the Bering Straits, populating this continent. In Vancouver there was an excellent museum accessible by bus ride to University of British Columbia, then short walk across campus. A free guided tour of the UBC Museum of Anthropology’s collection created a new context for my cruise, and I attended shipboard lectures by native guides, and museums and reconstructed villages at ports of call.



Trying to see the vast, magnificent landscape from a perspective that embraced the abundance of fish, fowl and forests for all creatures enriched my trip and opened up my own “inner passage” towards self-alignment and well-being.


Alice has the “curiosity bug”, and her favorite phrase of the new millennium is “let’s go!” In the late 60s she visited many countries in Western Europe as part of the typical college tour, landing in Paris for a 6-month stay and cooking school. Her often solo travels resumed in 2006 as vacations from management responsibilities in healthcare and nonprofit organizations with trips to Asia – China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, then the Mediterranean – Turkey, Malta, Sicily, Greece, and the Dalmatian coast, and recently Easter Island in the Pacific. When not planning for a new learning adventure, she enjoys gardening, reading, and playing bridge.

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