Continuing on with our Alaskan adventure, our second port after Ketchikan, was to Juneau, Alaska. I was excited for this leg of the trip because I would finally be able to visit our cousins who live in the area. What better way is there to get a “local” point of view? Plus, the company is stellar.
We were met immediately on the docks by our family from my dad’s side of the family. I didn’t grow up with them & only met them on a couple of occasions. Social media connected us in such an easy way that it was easy to build our Juneau plans.
After the excitement of seeing (and meeting) family, we immediately walked over to the Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway. It offers a lot in one location from views of the waterfront to the amazing vistas of the mountains & water channel. I didn’t expect to get right to it but here we go!
The tram ride includes on board entertainment with an enthusiastic host (at least ours was pretty nice!). Along the ride, it was easy to spot the bald eagles along the tree line and the views only improved the higher up we went. These birds are so amazing and they were so easy to spot.
We opted to pull away from the crowd and let our cousin lead the way along the trails. The trails we were on were just fine for kids. My 4-year-old maneuvered them just fine. My 3 year old enjoyed the hike from his daddy’s shoulders. Not wanting to squander our one day in Juneau, we moved on to view the bald eagle exhibit and enjoy a quick lunch at the diner at the top. Yes, dining is available at the top of the mountain and I must say – very tasty! (By the way, rates are cheaper if you’re with a local. Woot woot! Yay for family.)
We made our way back down the mountain and went on to collect more family before heading to the Mendenhall Glacier. This is where I was really grateful to be in this city with family. We truly enjoyed visiting this area at our leisure. The glacier was amazing to look at. We hiked a little further up to get a closer look and to see the enormous water fall (Nugget Falls). So beautiful and majestic. I loved it so much!
I took my time on the hike back. I put my macro lens on my camera and took a breath of the crisp air. I kept my eye out for mushrooms and unique blooms. Most of all, I enjoyed the relative stillness around me. The waterways were quiet the further you walked from the waterfall and the reflection in the waters were so clear.
For most of the journey to Juneau, it was the wildlife I wanted to see. I wanted to see bears eating salmon and eagles flying. Well, the eagles we checked off. Now those bears…..
Well, there were none in sight. We decided to walk the pathways along the creek to enjoy the last of the light. My cousin pointed out a porcupine sitting in a tree. Did you know that porcupines can sit in trees?! We took the next turn and there in the trees was a mama bear with her cubs, likely coming down for their dinner according to the park ranger. Naturally, I left my 70-200mm lens in the car since we had planned on leaving shortly! Doh! But there they were, working their way to the water for some food.
The ‘i’ felt dotted on our visit for me. We made our way home for dinner and the spread was AMAZING. Fresh King Crab legs from Alaska cannot be beat. Forget the rice and delicious home-cooked Filipino food. Give me another leg, a side of Dungeness crab, jumbo shrimp and another leg. Sweet, flaky and utterly deliciously.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos because my hands were occupied with eating.
Did you miss the previous leg of our Alaskan adventure? Read about Our Day in Ketchikan, Alaska