I’m back from my vacation to Alaska! Re-Entry has been an extreme problem. I just can’t seem to catch my stride yet. The packing and repacking to leave pretty much wrecked the house and the 3 cats (mine and a friends) were less than happy to be left behind. It’s been a week and the “surprises” have been tapering off and the bad kitty behavior seems to be settling down now. They get to sleep all day while I have to go back to work. It takes me until 9:00 a.m. to get my eyes fully open. I did manage to squeeze in about 1,500 words yesterday on my post apocalyptic story.
The weather in Alaska was very similar to SFO Bay Area so we felt right at home. We tromped all over Ketchikan, Skagway, Juno and Vancouver. Back on board our cruise ship, it was great to just lay in a deck chair and stare out at the glaciers while sipping hot cocoa and eating ice cream! I was very apprehensive about a Cruise Ship with all the bad press. I have to say that being onboard the Diamond Princess was nothing but a great experience!
Internet connections were scarce or costly during the trip so I will write in a later post more about our trip to fill you in. My traveling companion was Sarah Mocchini (www.hookedonfiber.com) and she was so much fun! Everywhere we had a port of call she dragged me to all the yarn and fabric shops. Oh darn, had to buy some fabric to bring home! I learned all about Qiviut (musk ox yarn) and actually got to touch some of the unspun fibers and fondle the finished yarn and products. It is a hollow fiber without scales. That means that it will not felt like wool and it is incredibly light and soft. It is one of the rarest fibers in the world and is a homegrown Alaskan (and Greenland) commodity. The musk ox does not like to be domesticated so they fence off a large area and pick the fibers up from bushes and herd them through a shoot to pull the fibers free as the oxen travel through.
The musk ox is called “oomingmak” by the Alaskan Natives which means “the bearded one”. The musk ox is an ice age mammal that was once endangered and is now thriving in the semi-domesticated farms in Alaska and Greenland. It is the softest fiber I have ever touched and its insulating capability far exceeds that of wool!