So, um, what are we looking at?


Some of my relatives from Vancouver, British Columbia enjoy going on cruises. During one cruise along the Alaska coast, they found a large number of passengers gathered on the viewing deck and gazing toward the shore in awe and amazement.

My relatives looked out toward shore but couldn't identify what it was that drew everyone's attention. Was something interesting happening on shore? Was there a whale in the ocean?

After failing to identify the source of the awe and amazement, one of them asked one of the awe-filled passengers, "So, um, what are we looking at?"

The other passenger replied, "Why, the snow-covered mountains, of course. Aren't they gorgeous?"

My relatives were less impressed, because they live in Vancouver, where a view of snow-covered mountains is what you get every winter.

They surmised that most of the people on the cruise are from parts of the world where they don't get a view of snow-capped mountains on their daily commute.

I'll be on my first cruise next week. The blog will be running on autopilot. This means that I won't be around to approve comments manually. Only comments from validated users who have previously commented on the blog will get through automatically.

Comments (11)

  1. morlamweb says:

    I have a similar feeling regarding leaf-peeping season (when the leaves of deciduous trees change colors from green to yellow to orange and red). It’s apparently a popular thing to do in the autumn season of the Northern hemisphere. I don’t understand it. I get to look at the leaves every day from my house and on my daily ride to the office. I don’t understand the appeal of driving hours out of my way to see them.

  2. Brian says:

    I don’t imagine there’s much in the way of snow-covered mountains in mid-October. Most/all of last year’s snow will have melted, and this year’s snow (if any) will be pretty meagre.

    If you wanted something to illustrate “parts of the world where they don’t get a view of snow-capped mountains on their daily commute”, you should have shown something like my commute here in Dallas – no snow, no mountains, not really any hills.

    1. R P (MSFT) says:

      Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker (both visible on my commute if the weather is cooperative) have year-round snow, and I was noticing last night (also on my commute) that the higher peaks of the Stevens Pass region of the Cascades appear to be accumulating some snow again already.

    2. DWalker07 says:

      Maybe there’s not much snow in Dallas, but I lived there through more than once ice storm. I think there was SOME snow mixed in with the ice.

  3. 12BitSlab says:

    Raymond, enjoy the cruise. Mrs. 12BitSlab and I have been on many cruises — probably about 40. It is a great way to get away from the phone, voice mail, email, etc. Sometimes being completely disconnected is a vacation unto itself.

  4. Timothy Byrd says:

    Hope you have a great time – will it be an Alaska cruise like your relatives took? Or something in the Baltic Sea so you can practice your various viking languages…
    https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20180309-01/?p=98205

  5. viila says:

    No matter how extraordinary, there is always someone for whom that is just Tuesday. For me that experience is snow and the midnight Sun. Living in Finland we get snow every year, and during midsummer we have nights that are never dark. For me those are yearly experiences, but there are people who will never have seen either in their lives.

    It wasn’t that long ago in history that most people didn’t travel, ever. With our modern perspective, it is odd to think that for many people throughout human history, even something as common as the sea would be outside their personal experience if they didn’t happen to live in a coastal region.

    1. pmbAustin says:

      I was 30 years old before I ever saw the ocean. I’ve seen it many, many times since, but it was an amazing experience that first time.

  6. cheong00 says:

    Possibly like aurora. Most of us would got awe-filled when we see it, but those who frequently travel between American-Asian night plane would be less amused when seeing it.

  7. mvadu says:

    Have a nice time off Raymond.. My first cruise is still “the” best of my vacation memories..

  8. BZ says:

    I’ve seen plenty of snow cover, but real mountains only in passing, mostly just hills, and nothing tall enough to have snow cover in the summer. Still, I would appreciate a beautiful view whether I see it all the time or not. I go to the same places in the Poconos during the summer every year, and haven’t gotten tired of the waterfalls. Though I guess if I lived there and so them every day it would desnsitize me somewhat.

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