It's Juneau ! Founded during the gold rush in 1880, the former gold- mining town counts among it's riches some of Alaska's most spectacular scenery. And Juneau can only be reached by water or by air. There are no roads into the city of Juneau. Everything, from groceries, gasoline, mail, all items that are need to exist...must be brought into Juneau by one of those methods. They do have a freeway, I imagine it's about 10 miles long. They have a huge Fred Meyer Store complex, a Costco, a McDonald's and they are building a Wal Mart. Our excursion driver pointed out the freeway overpass that's being built to accommodate the new Wal Mart.
Our first stop on our excursion was at the beautiful Glacier Gardens. It was truly a beautiful place and so well managed. Guests are carried thru the many miles of rain forest gardens in 4 passenger golf carts. All along the way, Nick, our driver was narrating, telling us about the history of this beautiful 50 acre paradise. Please follow the link I've provided to read more about this unique "Garden of Eden."
From there we re-boarded the bus and continued on to the famous Mendenhall Glacier. Unfortunately, we didn't have very much time here and were not even able to visit the Visitor Center. But we did have an opportunity to walk along the board walk provided over the stream, where salmon are already coming up to spawn. There were park rangers there, to answer questions and watch for bears. There was a lot of evidence of bear activity...grass mashed down where they had lain, dead salmon half eaten...enough evidence to be thankful for the watchful eyes of the rangers. And then we walked up to the viewing area provided for gazing across at the beautiful blue ice of the glacier. If you follow the link I've provided for the Mendenhall Glacier, they even have a web cam that shows the area from the Visitor Center. Once you are at the site, you can also click on the fish cam and actually see the salmon swimming by. There's also lots of other pictures and information about the area provided at this site.
On our way back to town we passed the beautiful Governor's Mansion. It looks like it could be Scarlett's Tara in "Gone with the Wind." Follow the link and you'll see what Imean. Nearby is the aging Capitol Building.
Last year, Lynnette and I discovered a little quilt shop on the second floor of the Senate Building. I had actually called the store about a month ago, to ask them to hold some fabric for me. I'm not a quilter (I'd like to be... I guess I'm a journaler instead) but I wanted this special fabric for a gift. So while Bob looked around in another shop, I went up the stairs to Changing Tides. They have tons of beautiful fabric with an Alaska theme. Also scrap booking stuff with the Alaska Theme. Once again, I bought a raffle ticket, the raffle to benefit The Alaska Special Olympics, ends in November. The prize...a beautiful full size quilt. Will they ship it to the winner in Washington state...yup!
We stopped by to take a peek in the famous Red Dog Saloon. Reported to be the final home of Wyatt Earp's pistol. It's very unique, sawdust on the floor, all kinds of stuffed animals and fish hanging on the walls and always packed full of people. We walked thru, so Bob could take a look and walked back out again. We considered eating there but there wasn't an empty seat in the house. Follow the link I've provided to see more pictures and read more about this very unique "watering hole."
We went from shop to shop, sometimes window shopping, sometimes actually going into the different shops & looking around. In the window of one store we saw a beautiful necklace, it was either garnets or rubies and diamonds. I thought it be a nice thing to wear... say...to Wal Mart. Well, Bob had the nerve to go in and ask the price...$150,000. Who could buy such a thing?
I really wanted to go up in the Mt Robert's Tramway. But it was so foggy, that I knew once I was up there, I wouldn't get to see much. My friend Barbara and her hubby have been up there on a clear, sunny day and they said you can see for miles & miles.
Finally, our legs, feet and my left knee gave out and we headed for the shuttle stop so we could go back to the ship. We were due to pull away from the dock in Juneau at 8pm. On the ship, looking back at the harbor, we saw a beautiful sight. The other cruise ships with their lights reflecting on the water. Shortly after 8pm, we began to gently pulled away from the dock. We were sailing again.
After dinner, the food service staff was setting up the much anticipated "Sweet Indulgence Buffet" on two levels of the Centurm. Besides dinner, I'd eaten a "death by chocolate" dessert, and I knew if took even one bite of any of those goodies...I'd be down for the count. So I walked around, snapped some pictures and went back to the cabin to read my book.
Day 3 of our cruise was over........