Smith Mountain Lake Mystery Writer

Contemplations from a quiet cove on Smith Mountain Lake.

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Location: United States

I'm a Southern gal who loves life, my husband and our family (which, to date, includes 13 grandchildren). I enjoy being with friends and family. But I also like being alone and thinking up plots for future books. I've published two novels, both mysteries, and I'm working on my third. For more about my books, visit me at If you ever hear me say, "I'm bored," please get me to the ER immediately! Paddling my kayak and snapping pictures of the critters I see relaxes me. Beach music has the opposite effect--when I hear those old "doo-wops" I want to dance.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Alaska. Adventure. Excitement. I love all three. So while enjoying Skagway, I was ready for something different, happy to leave Skagway and cruise all night on Glacier Bay toward Icy Strait Point, which is located near the city of Hoonah. Although called the largest Tlingit Indian settlement in Alaska, Hoonah houses only 800 people. Note: click on photos to enlarge.

On the way to Icy Strait Point.

A view snapped through the dining room window 
as we feasted on a delectable seafood dinner.

Below is a reflection of me taking a picture from one of the decks. When cruising, we often enjoyed eating breakfast or lunch out there.


A small slice of civilization above.

Two tenders wait to transport passengers to Icy 
Strait Point. I took the picture from the cruise ship.

Coming in to Icy Strait Point and the little village of Hoonah.

Tourists and fishing keep this village afloat.

Hubby Ron and brother-in-law Bob on one of the nature trails.

Ron peering through the roots of a tree.

The flowers here were abundant and gorgeous, a photographer's paradise. So excited about all the picture-taking opportunities, I became separated from Ron, Bob, and sister-in-law Nita. Not to worry, I thought. And then I realized I had no purse, money, cell phone or boarding pass to get back on the ship. An hour later Ron and I found each other, but I now understand how panicky a lost child must feel. Ron and I have learned now to always pick a meeting point in case we get separated.

Just one of the many pictures I took. I couldn't decide 
which photo to show you, so I've included both the one 
above and the one below. Which do you prefer?


As we were boarding the tender for the short trip back to the ship, I saw the kayakers below heading out to explore. Most of them looked like novices eager for an adventure.

 Enlarge to see the guide's rubber boat with motor in the upper right hand corner.

From the tender I watched whales surface near the kayakers. So did their guide. He immediately circled the kayakers and herded them closer to shore. The whale nearest the tender was blowing; I saw steam coming out of his hole. Wish I'd been in one of those kayaks! I watched until they were out of sight. 

For any of you who like zip line rides, the world's longest cable ride at 5,330 feet long with a 1,300 foot vertical drop is located in Hoonah. Even though I'm afraid of heights, I thought about making this my first zip line adventure. After all, I reasoned, it would look good on my obituary. I changed my mind when I learned that I'd accelerate to a maximum speed of 60 mph on this 1.5 minute ride. Learned later than a man had had a heart attack that day while "zipping."

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