Monday, August 23, 2010

It is the tradition in Skagway to paint the logo of your ship on the rocks by the dock the first time your ship visits. As you can see this tradition has been going on a long time.  Now it is a challenge to find a spot on the rock that isn't already occupied. Needless to say the easy rocks were gone a long time ago. Just to give  you some perspective this mountain face is as tall as the ship, which is about 250 feet high.
I remember 15 years ago I was on the Rhapsody of the Seas when it visited Skagway for the first time. It happened to be my first time in Skagway as well.
With great interest I watched a couple of guys from the paint crew climb precariously up a makeshift scaffolding to paint the name of the ship on a high rock.  At the time it was easy to spot because it stood out on its own where, "no man had gone before." 

I was determined find that sign last week when I was there again.  It proved harder than I thought.  I walked up and down the pier, but the bushes have gown and the colors have faded so much that the Rhapsody sign did not stand out like I remembered.  
I finally spotted it and was a little shocked to see how worn it was. I understand 15 years in the sever Alaskan weather can do some damage, but this looked like an ancient relic. You can see the faint outline of what used to be the right half of the sign.  The date and three of the letters of the name are gone and what was a hairline crack is now a full blown fissure.
Has everything changed that much in a decade and a half?  Time is so relative, and seems to get more distorted the older I get.  To an 18 year old kid 15 years is most of his life, to me it is just a moment.  For me a decade can quickly go past without much fanfare. Time changes with time. 
I guess the lesson here is: Humans think they are making a mark on the world forever.  As you can see from this picture the earth has a different time table and different set of priorities.  Even when we humans build something that survives only stone remains.  Humans can mark the earth for only a brief moment in time, before she brushes us aside for eternity. 
At first I was appalled that visiting cruise ships would deface the mountain with such high level graffiti, but now I understand that the rocks will eventually erase the trace of the infraction and forgetfully move on.  But for at least 15 years I can say, I was here for the first time, and there is the mark to prove it. 
As you were,

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