Monday, September 7, 2009

Juneau AK

Mist over Taku Harbor

We are home from Juneau, AK! After wading through 700+ pictures (I love digital cameras), narrowing down the 20 pics of everything to the top 3 or so of everything... and taking a nap to rest my eyes...I've select just a few to post.

We met up with Scott's folks there, arriving only about 20 minutes before they did. His parents lived in Juneau back in the late 70s, early 80s and I think this was the first they'd been back to visit. Scott and I were in Juneau 9 years ago for his 20 year High School Reunion so not much had changed since we were there last. The Glaciers continue to recede and the tourists are still coming in on the huge cruise ships.

Juneau is isolated by mountains and water, accessible only by air or water. The area has grown alot more than Scott's parents ever expected some 25 years ago, the biggest draws being Alaska government (state capital), tourism and commercial fishing.

The folks stayed at a hotel, right in front of their old house. It was still standing, looked the same but was being used for storage (not lived in). Scott & I stayed in the home of high school friends of Scott's. We enjoyed the homey accomodations and chatting late into the evening.

Each day we played tourist and were able to meet up with a few old friends in the area. Here's a summary of our activities.

Day 1 We took a driving tour of the area. 4 cruise ships were docked downtown so the place was mobbed with people, we didn't stay down there long.

We stopped to check out the boat we had reserved for the next day with Nordic Tug Charters. It was pretty fancy being a 37 foot luxury tug. I made sure I picked up some Dramamine when we stopped to stock up on food for the ride, and prayed for calm waters.

Day 2 The day was overcast (typical Juneau weather) but very calm! We headed out to Taku Harbor in the boat, me clicking pictures of everything possible, trying to catch the beauty of the clouds, mist, mountains, water, boats, .... and keeping an eye out for animals.

Taku Harbor was a place they anchored at night to sleep when Scott, his brother Keith and their Dad commercial fished years ago. We were returning this day in memory of Keith who died just 2 months ago, in July.

The only people in the misty, calm harbor, we enjoyed the quiet and the scenery despite the deep saddness we felt with the loss of a family member.

Docked in Taku Harbor

Grass & trees growing from the old dock pilings.

Old cabin in Taku Harbor
It even had an old wringer washer in the entryway.

Waterfall in Taku Inlet

On the way back to Juneau the clouds began to lift and clear. We saw sea lions swimming near shore. I wasn't able to zoom in very close but I did get some head shots that were recognizable, not just brown spots floating on the water.

We did see a whale that surfaced a few times but I couldn't get good pics showing it was a whale.

Day 3 More tourist driving, visiting Mendenhall Glacier, Skater's cabin, boat harbors.

Day 4 We took the tram up the mountain from downtown Juneau, enjoyed the view & had lunch before coming down. Only 2 cruise ships were in today so we were able to walk down the streets and check out some of the shops.

Downtown Juneau, view from the top

Juneau valley, view from top

Waterway into Juneau

Day 5 The 4 of us left Juneau, headed toward our home the valley. The folks will be here with us for a couple of weeks before they head back to Florida.

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