A Trillion there, A Million here – zeroes where it matters!

Glacier Bay, Alaska

Apple hit the 1 Trillion mark – very fitting that it was Apple and not Amazon. I love Amazon and buy a lot from it. Amazon made possible buying at very competitive prices and in turn fostered competition. I remember still when it went public – it shot up from $15 to $30 on the first day and I was like – Wow, that’s a 100% jump, it would be crazy to buy it. Well, today Amazon is around $1800 and you can figure who was the loser. However, I got in on Apple in 2003 and since then it has been a great ride. It was at $7, split adjusted for the 7-1 sometime back in early 2010s and I can’t complain. Hitting the 1 Trillion mark is sort of iconic in the stock market’s history and I thinking the battle of ‘Premium Vs Inexpensive’, the former should win. There is a lot that goes on into making a premium product – the thought, the design, the team and years of similar thinking has developed a reputation for quality for Apple. The same tag of quality hasn’t stuck with Amazon or even Google.

I was looking back at my blogs and see I would write about anything – like watching a movie to just saying I will working the coming weekend. But times change and now-a-days the ordinary doesn’t elicit picking up the pen, er keyboard. This is so much so that I didn’t even write about a fabulous cruise to Alaska. Our second visit to the Great land was just spectacular. Breathtaking beauty is an understatement. It is so overpowering of your thoughts and your mind that I would constantly compare with the man-made mess that is our urban cities.

The Grizzly family led our bus for quite a while at Denali National Park.

A second visit to the Denali National Park rewarded us with many sightings of the Grizzly bear and her families, moose, caribou. And the spectacular Denali range. The great mountain was hidden by the clouds but the surrounding landscape is sufficient to give you an inkling how divine it would have been to see it a second time. If you go into the park, there is a visitor center deep inside (about 90 miles in) where the buses stop. From there you might be able to see the peak. What isn’t evident from there is the base of the mountain is about 30 miles away. Imagine that and you will get a sense of how nature can be overpowering in its build and dominance over puny mankind’s makings. The stop at Talkeentna was every so exciting with the gushing river carrying huge fallen trees like match sticks. The trip this time around was more enjoyable as we were a group of families visiting.

The seven-day cruise from Whittier was superlative in that it took us very close to many a glacier.

Lake Bennet, Alaska

Standing in front of the glacier and watching the cavings reminds you of the building of Mother Earth and goes on within its bowels. Miles and miles of glaciers pushing through the mountains, literally carving them and then finding their release into the ocean. When you hear statistics like 70 miles long glacier and 2 miles wide and 40 stored tall above the surface of water, you might get a sense how huge mother nature’s creation is.

Stopping at Glacier bay watching the display is a very unique experience. What is surprising is people would go on cruises even 100 years back to Alaska to the same bay! Skagway, the city where the Gold miners would stop first before their 500 mile boat ride to the Klondike mines is still preserved as it was more than 100 years back. The train ride (the first coach still the original one built in Philadelphia) takes you through breath-taking beauty to Lake Bennet. Words can’t describe enough the what lay in front of us. What is though provoking is that people risked everything they had, even their life to find a piece of gold enduring such hardship as never imaginable. The mayor of Seattle gave up his job to hunt for gold in those days.

Train ride to history and back – Skagway to Lake Bennet

Juneau, the charming capital city of the state, is in the midst of mountain and glaciers and water. It is the only fully water enclosed capital city in America where access is only by water. Rafting down the Mendenhall river on a chilly morning was a different way to look at the glacier and also watch salmon quickly speeding by and vanishing. It was a unique point where the glacial waters met the fresh spring waters. A visit to the Salmon capital of the world – Ketchikan and a peek at the brothels serving the visiting shipmates gave an inkling of life a hundred years earlier.

 

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