Sunday, August 21, 2011


We decided to take a one day cruise to Juneau with Fjordland Cruise.  It was a wonderful experience.  The trip from Haines to Juneau takes 4½ hours.  We spent time watching whales (humpback and orcas), sea lions, bears (black and brown), bald eagles (of the 100,000 bald eagles in the world, about 50% live in Alaska), swans, mountain goats, and other wildlife.  The weather was not splendid but there was so much to see and do, that again, we put our rain gear on, and enjoyed it anyway.  At the cruise, they offered breakfast and dinner (delicious clam chowder). 

A Lighthouse for sale!

Once in Juneau, a tour guide took us on a bus to downtown, and after showing us around, he gave us 3 hours to stroll the town on our own.  We visited the museum, few galleries, and shops and had lunch (fresh halibut fish and chips).  We could see the governor’s residence (which is undergoing renovations at this time) and enjoyed the history of this place. 

Once the 3 hours period was over, our tour guide took us to the Mendenhall Glacier, where we spent 1½ hour.  The Mendenhall has a small population of bears and when salmon are in Steep Creek, right at the glacier area, the numbers of bears and viewing opportunities increase.  So, yes, there were some bears feeding on salmon… what a great diet! 

The Mendenhall Glacier was an experience on its own.  There is this beautiful blue glacier seating among five great mountains and waterfalls.  It was impressive to see the size of the icebergs on the Mendenhall Lake comparing to the people canoeing around it.  At the visitor center you can watch the 11 minutes movie, “The Magnificent Mendenhall”, enjoy the view from the observatory, listen to a ranger’s talk, explore the interactive exhibits, and peer at mountain goats and glaciers.  I couldn’t help but ponder a panorama of the icefield.  We took pictures, and more pictures… and then, some more! 

On our return, we shared experiences with other passengers and crew, and enjoyed another session of wildlife viewing.  We strongly recommend this trip to anyone planning on visiting Alaska any time.  You will love it!  

Poor Matt... running to the bus!

Question:  Does it always rain in Juneau?
Answer:  No.  Sometimes it snows!  They get about 150 inches of precipitation a year; they call it "liquid sunshine"  So, lets go to get a liquid sun tan!

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