It has been a busy summer. Our family stayed at home in Juneau. The summer brought record breaking sunny days and warm temperatures. The Z family took advantage of the great weather; hiking alpine trails, boating and fishing, camping in remote cabins and the kids each enjoyed a week at Echo Ranch Camp. July brought wedding celebrations of long time friends and Independence Day festivities. August produced a bumper crop of blueberries on the surrounding islands and mountain trails. The Southeast Alaska State Fair, held each summer in Haines, Alaska contracted the Alaska String Band to perform for a weekend in August. So we boarded the Alaska State ferry, Malaspina, cruised up the Inside Passage and spent a weekend in Haines. Driving a few miles up the road which heads north into the Yukon it was a battle to fight the urge to let fly all responsibilities and hit the road. We resisted this temptation, and ferried back to Juneau and our own 40 miles of road once again.
We began the summer season playing music on the top of the Mount Roberts Tramway and lunches at the Gold Creek Salmon Bake. Holland America Line and Norwegian Cruise Lines welcomed the Alaska String Band on board a number of their cruise ships while they were docked in the Juneau port. Looking back on the summer months we gave approximately sixty-five performances of the Southeast Alaskan Odyssey Show. Happily it received glowing reviews and many people have said they carry home fond memories of meeting our family and watching the show on their Alaskan adventures. Our family loved the experience of “show business” in the theatres on board the ships…..working with the sound and lighting technicians & cruise directors….. stages with curtains that rise up and fall down…..and dressing rooms with lighted mirrors and racks full of show costumes. Quinn loved the surplus of meals and Abby especially enjoyed making friends in the swimming pools. We all enjoyed meeting the various crew members and entertainers which came from all over the world. Because of the fantastic amount of beautiful days we even ventured out on South Franklin Street a number of times to busk for locals and tourists alike.
Paul managed to build the roof over the front deck on our home this summer. This created a new favorite hang out for us. Melissa spent all her spare moments a slave to the sewing machine, designing new kuspuks. She was disappointed to miss out on the gardening this summer for lack of time, but has vowed to grow a garden in the bus when we tour this fall.
As the summer days accelerated, the days grew shorter and the inclement weather began to settle in. Our days grew fuller with preparations for a fall music tour planned for the middle west and southern states. School books were dusted off and Quinn and Abigail took off with sums and products with a whole new zeal… (not!). Laura, interested in continuing her education in theological study worked through the process of applying for admittance to Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, Illinois. New to office, Alaskan Governor Sean Parnell celebrated with a picnic at Sandy Beach. The Alaska String Band was privileged to provide entertainment for the two thousand plus well wishers which attended the event. Our summer music season wrapped up with a few more local gigs, a fun night at the Mountain Music Festival on Mount Roberts, the Odyssey shows for the cruise lines and a final worship service at Auke Bay Bible Church.