Published: August 8th 2012August 8th 2012
Juneau is much like Ketchikan when it comes to the town facts. It rains 300 days out of the year, it’s also an island and it’s the 3rd
largest city in Alaska with 30,000 people. There are a few differences. Juneau does host a local university which averages as many students as PurdueUniversity according to our guide for the day who attends the college. The main difference between Ketchikan and Juneau is the gold. Juneau has MountRoberts which has 400 miles of tunnels left over from the gold mining days. The mine put out close to a billion dollars (today’s price) worth of gold. It appears there is still gold left in them there hills. Permits are being filled to continue the mining gold. The dirt removed was used to build up the local city. The mountain hosts a cavern that is big enough to fit a football field.
Ok so enough fact sharing; let’s get down the fun stuff – the excursions. I took on a 9 ½ mile bike ride in a rainforest and along the coast of the ocean. Because it rains 300 days of the year this day was no exception. We made it
to the top of the mountain and the rain started about 10 minutes into the ride. Thank goodness I came prepped for the weather. We had some folks on the tour who were not familiar with riding on wet roads. I unfortunately got two of them in front of me going downhill. The wife of the party freaked out and slowed down to much which caused her husband to come to a dead stop. I had about a bike and half length in front of me but when I hit the break I felt the front tires start to slide out. I released the brake and ran off the side of the road to avoid hitting them and taking out myself also. Thank goodness I was on a mountain bike and not a road bike. I was bouncing over potholes, rock and deep pockets of gravel. I was able to maneuver back to the road with no mishaps and just kept them behind me the rest of the ride. We crossed over a lake where we stopped to watch the salmon. lay their eggs and we also were spotted a bald eagle up in the trees. There seems to be
lots of them around Juneau.
Once the bike ride was over we head back to town where we took the tram up MountRoberts. I got some great pictures despite the fog. MountRoberts is home to a bald eagle sanctuary. A few years ago an eagle was found with a bullet in her beak. The shot caused her to go blind in her right eye so she is not able to function in the wild. A sanctuary was set up for her care and feeding. Amazing when she is not eating she will pose for pictures so I was able to get some good pictures of her.
The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering around the town area. The ship didn’t depart from Juneau until 9pm that evening. I stopped in a shop called “The Russia Shop” to take a look at their Bubska (nesting) dolls. I found some in the store at the low price of $4,500. Given the hand painted details on these dolls, I can understand the asking price. They were just beautiful but not beautiful enough to come home with me J
Around 6pm we headed out to a Salmon bake. It was ok but honestly I have barbequed better salmon at home. I didn’t feel it was worth the money I spent and I suspect most folks felt that way since everyone headed for the shuttle back to town about 45 minutes after arriving.
Tomorrow we head for Skawgaw. Highlights:
Getting lots of exercise to work off all the food I’m eating on the ship. Lowlights:
Having trouble finding hotspots to update my blog. Princess Cruise line wants .79 cents a minutes with a $4.95 set up fee for internet connection and the connection is slow. The cost is forcing me to search for wifi hotspots in the local towns. I figure this is the most economic way to go after one of individuals in my group spent $30 to send a work email using the ship network. Why $30? That is how long it took to send an email using yahoo mail with their connection.