We’ve been in Juneau for the last few days. We’re there for a couple of health appointments that we weren’t able to take care of in Haines. I’m also taking my new short story book around to bookstores. I’m glad to tell you that Hearthside Books, Juneau’s primary independent bookstore, now has a few autographed copies of Shy Ghosts Dancing available for sale! Purely by coincidence, our trip also coincides with the latest Harry Potter movie, which was pretty terrific!
Unfortunately, as is common in Southeast Alaska, weather has changed our travel plans. I got a call the night before we were due to return to Haines from an employee of the Alaska Marine Highway System, to tell me that the Fairweather had been canceled due to high winds in the Haines area. He assured me that we were scheduled for the next morning at the same time. Winds were still too high for Saturday, so we’ll have to take an early morning ferry Sunday. That ferry is one of the larger, standard ferries (I try not to use the new euphemism for the non-catamaran ferries, “slow ferry”).
I have to point out something here: I really, really love our Alaska Marine Highway! How many air travelers get a call from the airline telling them their flight’s canceled? As I recall, you have to go to the airport and read it off a board somewhere. The beautiful state ferries, old and new, fast and “standard” passing by in front of our view mountains add a little luster to our homestead day. For us, a trip on a ferry is a travel event, as well worth savoring at arriving at our destination.
This delay isn’t welcome. We’re having a good time, but we’re ready to go home, and had been looking forward to it. Juneau is full of Christmas lights; a light snowfall has made it look very seasonal. There are Christmas plays in the theaters, Christmas music in the auditoriums, stores, and office buildings—it truly is, as the song says, “Christmas time in the city.” But the song running through my head right now expresses our sentiment better, because there is indeed, “no place like home for the holidays!”