Last week, we visited Juneau, Alaska , where my family and I encountered sea lions, whales, eagles, a glacier, a bear and ate wild caught salmon — sans Sarah Palin. This week, we bring you inside Glacier Bay on the most perfect, crystal clear, blue-sky day.
Glacier Bay was once a single sheet of solid ice known as the Grand Pacific Glacier. At roughly 4,000 feet thick and 20 miles wide, it has retreated 65 miles over the past 200 years leaving the bay and 20 separate glaciers in its trail.
Come with us to the Lamplugh, Johns Hopkins, Grand Pacific and Marjerie Glaciers as our Holland America cruise ship, the Amsterdam, enters in on calm, serene waters disturbed only by calving ice. It’s a gorgeous ride into pristine territory where Mother Nature is fully in charge.
NOTE: Yes, we take to the water this week, as do the Palin’s in Sarah Palin’s Alaska. Unlike Palin’s version, no halibut are clubbed between the eyes as means to escape the woes of public criticism. I typically fast forward through Palin’s show to gather information and rival it with my own, but I simply couldn’t watch as she taught her daughters to shoot guns and club animals as a way to both escape from and deal with their issues. I promise, you’ll find none of that here.
Having cruised Alaska’s inside passage 2 years ago, I thought it would be fun to produce my own version of Sarah Palin’s Alaska for your viewing pleasure. And why not? Since Palin is as much a tourist in her own Alaskan adventures as this born and bred New Yorker, my series is equally valid yet with no political agenda in sight.
Welcome to Kim Clune’s Alaska, the Juneau episode, where my family and I encounter sea lions, whales, eagles, a glacier, a bear and eat wild caught salmon – sans Sarah.
FIRST AND LAST IMPRESSIONS
When Sarah Palin’s Alaska premiered on Sunday and completely shattered TLC’s ratings record, I’ll admit, I watched – although, when the phone rang, I told my husband to mute the TV so no one knew. Yes, I had the same morbid curiosity as millions of American viewers. I am ashamed, but I secretly wondered, as my friend Deb said, if “maybe she gets eaten by a polar bear.”
That wasn’t out of the realm of possibility. Fishing less than 30 feet from a family of protected brown bears, “it’s clear from the video that she violated the [state] guidelines,” said Alaska Wildlife Alliance director, John Toppenberg, on ecorazzi. Palin did get dangerously close as her daughter taunted both mom and cubs. Obviously, anything goes in terms of fame and a $1.2 million per episode fortune.
Having seen Palin’s version of Alaska, I’m over it. I wonder how many others feel the same. The show focused more on her than Alaska’s pristine wilderness and wildlife. It was never Palin that I cared to see but one must watch in order to comment.
AND NOW FOR THE POLITICS In Defense of Animals
My Alaskan videos may not have a political bent but that doesn’t mean I haven’t got an opinion.
Aside from the ugly Facebook squabbles from the Palin daughters – gay slurs included (apparently acceptable daggers when cubs are defending the momma grizzly), or the endless cycle of speculation about a 2012 presidential run, I’m most disturbed that Palin is portrayed as an everyday naturalist worthy of leading us through the tundra. The bristling environmental hypocrisy is astounding after Palin’s record of:
suing the Federal government for protecting Alaskan Beluga whales as an endangered species
urging the Secretary of the Interior to remove polar bears from the endangered list because it would hurt Alaska’s oil economy
supporting drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Bristol Bay where hundreds of thousands of caribou use the refuge as a calving ground and the Bay is the most important onshore denning habitat for female polar bears
Of course, there are a popular petitions on CREDO and Change.org opposing Palin’s involvement with Discovery Communications, a brand that had traditionally represented all that is good and green on this earth. If effectual, the opposition could resolve Palin’s pleas for privacy on a series she allows to enter her home and the homes of 5 million strange Americans – but it likely won’t. Our only hope seems to stem from a wilderness misstep. Stay tuned …