The White Pass and Yukon Route were brutal, but, if you wanted to join the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897, it was the route you took. In 1900, train tracks were laid and gold ore began its journey to Skagway, Alaska where the ore was loaded onto ships. That train and Skagway are still active to this day.
This beastie is mounted on a retired train, which is on display in the heart of Skagway, Alaska. Imagine this coming at you! The video below shows this monster in action.
Tomorrow we explore the wilds of Juneau, Alaska and I’m told there may be bears wandering around.
My twisted little mind drifts to the story I wrote for “A Year of the Sun Flower Muse” called “Travel Safety and the First Rule of Bears.” Here is the gist of the story:
1. If pursued by a bear, you need only remember to run faster than the slowest member of your group.
2. If you are alone, haul-ass towards the group and see #1.
My immediate problem is this: It may be just Lilly and me and she’s in pretty good shape. I was busy trying to hunt up a couple of senior citizens to join us when, as luck would have it, Lilly wrenched her back in the ship’s gym and is now all gimped up. Three thoughts: 1. Gyms are vacation buzzkills and should all be burned to the ground, 2. I am definitely faster than she is now, and 3. When she wakes up and reads this, being chased by a bear may be the least of my worries. Happy Travels! 😊
“If there’s one thing in my life that’s missing
It’s the time that I spend alone
Sailing on the cool and bright clear water” (Little River Band)
This is my view this morning. It’s been a hectic couple of months and I welcome the peace of the open sea.
The cemetery Spider has told on me…
Today, as I’m leaving a restaurant that serves delicious specialty tacos, I see another Bold Jumping Spider on the side of our truck where the cab and the bed meet. “Hey, here’s another one,” I said, “I’ll get a picture.” And as I did, I saw it’s face, its eyes, its nose; “I have seen this face before, but where?” It was the face of a man, deviously smiling and wearing a really cool pair of sunglasses.
Suddenly, without warning, it jumped through the air towards me, landing on my hand. I promptly freaked the sh*! out and ass-over-tea-kettled backward. The spider then jumped from my hand back onto the side of the truck and just sat there glaring at me; daring me to again, come close and take another picture. I, with my tail firmly tucked between my legs, raced into the truck and slammed the door, whimpering like a little girl. I was beaten and the damn spider knew it.
I told Lilly to haul-ass and make sure she took a different route home; this (insert expletive here) was making it personal. I looked out at the side mirror (you know objects are larger than they may appear) and saw the little terror crawling on the side of the truck towards the cab. We’re doing 40 mph and yet, still, here he comes; the intrepid hunter.
Stopping at the handle, he, again, stared at me as if possessing the ability of a Jedi Knight to will those of weak-mind into doing its bidding. I suddenly pulled my hand back towards my lap, which oddly, had begun reaching for the inner door latch. I realized this creature was stalking me, watching and waiting for a chance to freak me out again and claim this truck as its own. The haunting melody of Jaws began echoing in the recesses of my mind. I’m desperate, trapped. I suggested running this side of the truck against a brick wall, building, anything, just scrape it the &%#! off! I’m fighting for my life here. Slowly, it crawls up on to the window’s ledge, watching me through the glass. The face, still smiling. It appeared to be relishing the moment; toying with its human prey.
I’m lost in awe at the size of brass balls this spider must possess. It would stop, stare and then shake its ass at me; taunting me through the window. Then at the front of the window’s ledge, it sat again, staring. Then its “face” began to shift side to side revealing its hidden incandescent fangs. I’m sitting on the edge of my seat giving a play-by-play of its little dance when Lilly, who is now completely annoyed at the folly, says, “just roll the damn window down and flick it away!” Such a bold move! I was mildly tempted, “it’s not a frickin’ Chihuahua!, I protested. It’s huge, and it might just jump into the cab and then what will we do?” “Idiot,” she replied.
Facing emasculation, I asked Lilly to pull the truck over in a parking lot. This treacherous little monster must never know where we live or, like its vindictive cemetery cousin, it will spread the word or whatever they do, and this torturous hell will never cease.
It then began to climb up the side of the mirror and when it turned its back, I jumped out of the truck. I found a stick near a bush and bravely stood opposed, staring into one of its “only God knows how many” eyes. I thought my odds of victory were about 54/46 and valiantly lunged forward. The spider, expecting my attack, dodged and squatted as it prepared to leap and deliver its death blow, but I countered quickly and with an unexpected backhand flick and twist, knocked it off the top of the mirror and onto the ground, a single strand of its fine spider’s silk was left blowing gently in the breeze. The spider landed about two feet under the truck; broken and defeated. I tossed my stick towards the bush and raised my hand towards the heavens as I drank to my ancestors from the proverbial well of victory.
But then, to my amazement, the wretched creature arose and began crawling towards me. “What is this dark magic you possess?” I exclaimed. I reached for my stick; it was too far away. This spider was bent on hellish destruction; a killer of men, and as I backed away, it continued to advance towards me. But, like a seasoned chess-master, I sorta-patiently waited and as he was blinded by rage, into my trap, he crawled. I squealed for Lilly to “hit the gas!” The wheels of the truck spun and though he tried to escape, it was too late, and they plowed his plotting, stalking, conniving, evil ass over where he then became one with the tire. I remained vigilant for a minute or two, expecting the monster to rise again, like a phoenix from the ashes, and strike me swiftly from behind. Finally, certain that evil had been truly vanquished, I climbed back into the cab and departed the glorious battlefield; victorious.
So, I went to a rural cemetery, wandered around for a bit and then returned to my car. Apparently, I left it unlocked, because he’s on the inside looking back at me through the glass. The car is yours pal, I’m not opening that door!