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Published: June 26th 2008
After virtually no sleep for either one of us, we got up at 5 am, grabbed a cup of tea and a couple of breakfast bars and headed for the ferry. We are taking the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry to Juneau, with a stop in Haines along the way. We did not have any problems driving down the ramp and into the ship with the box on the back of the van.
The ferry ride was smooth and nobody got sick (meaning me). There were glaciers and waterfalls interspersed in the mountainous landscape along this 5 ½ hour trek on the Inside Passage. Eldred Rock Light was one of the highlights of the trip. Dall Porpoises, Whales and Sea Otters were seen but since the ferry doesn’t stop or slow down for wildlife, I have no pictures, except for the back of a whale as it went down and the head of an otter. It was so windy that staying outside, on the ready, for wildlife viewing was out of the question.
Entering Auke Bay, we got our first glimpses of the Medenhall Glacier. It is quite impressive and dominates the coast, and can be seen entering the harbor
Our ferry to Juneau
by boat or arriving by plane. Juneau is only accessible by plane or by boat, as it is surrounded by mountains and water. There is a 40-mile long road that takes you along the bay and ends at Echo Cove. It is quite a scenic ride.
We reserved a campsite at Spruce Meadow RV Park located near the Mendenhall Glacier. What a great campground. The facilities are clean and the staff is friendly and very helpful. However, we learned that there is bear activity here, so we decided not to attach the tent to the van, in case a bear tried to get into the box, which would be inside the tent. So we will cook and eat outside the tent and just relax and watch movies inside.
We went grocery shopping at Fred Meyers and gassed up the van. Shopping in Skagway is very expensive and if you don’t get there on Tuesday when their fruits and vegetables arrive on the container barge, you have a very poor selection. Gas was about 10 cents less here in Juneau than it was in Skagway, but we have a Fred Meyer’s Reward Card and saved an additional 10 cents
We made it until 7 pm before we crashed for the night, thanks to a couple of cat naps that sustained us. Bed never felt so good.
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