S: Juneau, Alaska - July 4, 2012
BC: DEPARTED | JUNEAU | 4 JULY 2012
1: JUNEAU | JUNEAU | ARRIVED 4 JULY 2012 | is located in the Gastineau Channel in the panhandle of Alaska and it is the state's capital. The population is 32,164 and it is 3,200 square miles.
2: I can't believe it!! I am finally going to a place I have dreamed of ever since I was in high school...a place where moose and bears roam, where the sun comes up in the wee hours of the morning and doesn't go down until almost midnight. Alaska Here I Come!
4: TRACY ARM FJORD Visiting glaciers is one of the highlights of a journey to Alaska. There are an estimated 100,000 glaciers in the State, covering three percent of the landscape and creating most of its rivers. Glaciers are rivers of ice that flow from ice packs high in the mountains, where more snow falls than melts. In constant motion, they can move ahead at speeds of several feet a day, or sudden surges of as much as 300 feet. Some are retreating, or shrinking due to increased melting or a lack of new snow to feed them.
6: Tracy Arm Fjord is over 30 miles long and in some places only about a mile and a half wide.
10: The breakfast of Champions was often croissants, salmon, bagels, pancakes, bacon and hash browns.
13: Taku Lodge The thought of taking a SeaPlane ride to a lodge for a salmon feast sounded so cool when we first talked about it. The more I read about it, the better it sounded. As we prepared to board the plane, it was even more exciting. The ride was awesome and once we arrived, we were in for a big surprise greeting.... mosquitoes. The lodge was a very homey place and the 9 residents were extremely friendly.
14: Taku Lodge Bear Warning Hmm, will we see bears?
15: Taku Lodge was built as a hunting and fishing lodge in 1923. Over the years many people have owned the lodge. It is only inhabitable during the summer months and over the winter it typically gets 12 feet of snow.
16: The food was amazing. I had never eaten salmon and it was definitely worth the wait. I think it was the best salmon in the world. It is caught weekly at a river about 10 miles away.
17: Once we got used to the mosquitoes, it was tolerable. Of course, this was after we covered ourselves with repellent.
18: It wasn't very long after we arrived that we were told that there was a bear outside. When we went outside, to our surprise there were three bears. The one in the tree eventually came down and the other two clearly had the run of the place. One of the residents walked around with a stick and hit the ground if the bears got too close to any of the tourists. It was pretty amazing seeing bears in their own environment.
23: Our Taku Lodge excursion, was definitely one of the highlights of our trip and an excellent way to spend the 4th of July.
27: After watching the bear and enjoying the salmon feast, we went on a trail walk. It was pretty neat. I don't ever think I have seen trees this tall.
28: The scenery was unbelievably beautiful and it was hard to take it all in. Good thing I took a lot of pictures!
30: One of the most interesting observations at Taku Lodge was that McWade and the bears were never photographed together... hmmm!
31: In the Gift Shop, we spoke with one of the 9 residents of Taku. After asking her how she came to live in a place with only 8 other people, she said she met a guy, fell in love and this is where he lived. She was from Oregon and loves living in Juneau, even if it is only 5 months out of the year. | Taku Glacier is 5 miles wide and is Juneau's largest glacier. It is one of only a few advancing glaciers in the world. This opening is called Hole in the Wall Glacier. | This mosquito did not make it!
32: SEEING ALASKA BY SEAPLANE is a definite MUST DO. The size of the glaciers is unimaginable until you hover above them. The Tongass National Forest is almost 17 million acres and to see a part of that from a bird's eye view is something I'll never forget.
34: The views from the plane were amazing!
35: Beautiful | Magnificent | Splendid
38: The FACES of FOOLISHNESS | Cops... They are everywhere!
39: At the RED DOG SALOON, it is tradition to write on the tables and chairs, so when in rome....
40: Goodbye... | Not something we see too often at home.
41: I looked for a moose, but the closest I came was seeing Sarah Palin. | Juneau is a beautiful place. It was a great place to spend the 4th of July. While the experience was awesome, it was even better sharing it with good people.