So, Juneau’s awesome! The weather was a little shitty in the morning – spitting rain and overcast, but by 10am the rain stopped. Good timing because at 10:30 we headed out on our excursion!
We took the bus up to Mendenhall Glacier – our driver was fun, full of jokes and stuff. We had 1.5hrs at the Glacier which really wasn’t enough… I easily could’ve spent another couple hours there to hike around the trails. (Even if there was a sign indicating “possibly bear encounters”, I was game)
I love glaciers, I really do. The colours are just amazing, and the patterns within the ice are mesmerizing. A got a bunch of photos of the ice flows in the lake at the bottom of the glacier, and then of course a ton more photos of the glacier itself. I scuttled thru glacier muk and guk to get closer to the ice flows – I almost lost a running shoe in the process haha. That would’ve sucked.
I then followed a group of school children (yeah, totally looked like a stalker haha) because they seemed to know a good trail to get closer to the glacier and the rushing
waterfall. I was right – they had a bunch better trail than the one marked on the map.
After the glacier, me and Mom went back to the boat for lunch, and then headed out for some shopping! It’s fun looking thru all the crap they have haha. A lot of the same stuff regardless of the store we’re in – jewelry, weird campy things with bears and moose on them, ugly shot glasses, ulus, salmon, stuff from the “Hatley” company. You know, the norm 😉
Our last part of the day was the tramway! The clouds had cleared now, so we had an amazing view on the way up – you don’t realize how steep it is until you get off and look back down. At the top landing they had a rescued eagle (she was blind in one eye and a previously-broken beak from being shot) that they use for educational purposes. Seeing an eagle up close is quite something – they’re such majestic creatures.
Mom went around the gift store as I decided to try and hike up the mountain a bit… unfortunately I didn’t get very far since most of the trail was
still closed due to avalanche threats/snow. I did go about 15min into the trail though – tons of snow all over which made things a little slippery (I was wearing my pumas lol, not the best grip in the world), but I’ve done enough trails to know when to keep my centre of gravity low and squat a little as I go. It was worth the trek – some additional great views of the city down below, and tons of birds around the mountain.
One observation to make on the way back to the tramway station: tourists come be so idiotic, it’s not even funny. I seriously don’t know how tourists don’t die on these trails (or others like them in other countries too). Near the tramway station, about 5min into the trail there was one particularly narrow (one person at a time) part of the trail that wasn’t technically closed, but it was covered in snow and was quite icy. There were metal rods connected by a rope – now, this rope was supposed to simply demarcate the trail – ie. if you step on the wrong side, you’re going to tumble down a cliff…
do a bunch of tourists do? Pull themselves thru the snow by yanking on the rope. Right, because that makes a lot of sense when you can see
the rods shifting.
I watched from a few feet away as the rope pulled and the rods teetered dangerously close to falling out of their stands... all it would’ve taken was one of the rods to pop out and the row of about 10 tourists would’ve fell down the valley. Fail. Total fail.
Anyway. That was the mountain top. I met back up with Mom and then headed back down towards the boat. The show tonight was Don Gavin – the comedian! YAY! I always love the comedians on board, I’m a sucker for the laughs. I didn’t feel overly well while sitting in the theatre (a slight headache), but I powered through it – the laughter did help 😉
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