Quest to the Pacific Northwest - Juneau, Alaska
August 12, 2015
Wednesday we docked in Juneau and unfortunately we had the worst weather of the trip - cold and very rainy. Many people did not even venture off the ship that day. The in-laws were both getting over colds, and the Accountant opted to sleep in, but the Engineer and I donned rain gear and headed out to Mendenhall Glacier.
So thankful for my rain jacket and Marmot rain pants today! First time I have needed the pants the whole trip and they worked great. We hiked 2 mi roundtrip to Nugget Falls which is near the face of the glacier. The glacier is receding so you can no longer get close to it unless you hike around the other side of the peninsula, or get a helicopter to drop you off. I got a video clip of the roaring glacial falls.
Saw all types of moss and lichen along the trail that made beautiful natural, but miniature waterfalls in the rain. We also walked along the Steep Creek Trail where the silver salmon were running, but unfortunately, the local bears were not making an appearance right then. Although we saw bears at the conservation center in Anchorage, it would be spectacular to see a bear in the wild.
We took the shuttle from the Glacier back to town and stopped for a beer and a bowl of salmon chowder in the saloon in Juneau. The Red Dog Saloon is the local, campy watering hole complete with sawdust floor, corseted barmaids, and an old time piano player. Some impressive taxidermy too. See the bear chasing the lumber jack up the pole in the photo?
Original plan was to meet the others for seafood in town but since the weather was so awful we headed back to the ship and met them there for lunch. Ship sailed at 3 pm so everyone took advantage of the quiet afternoon to read, play trivia, and then nap before dinner, which was our second formal night. All the food has been great on the ship, and we only ate at the specialty restaurants twice, instead opting for the main dining room for dinner on the other nights. After dinner, we usually catch a show or go somewhere to listen to music. The in-laws particularly liked the piano player/crooner Liam Ryder who played in the piano bar most nights. On Wed he did a 1 hr show in the lounge and all of us really enjoyed that.
Thursday we are docked in Ketchikan, the last port of the cruise.