Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Honeymoon part 4 - Juneau, Alaska

Juneau was awesome. So crazy that it's the capital and it's such a small city! Our guide told us that they had one of the, or maybe THE, ugliest capital buildings in the country. It was pretty terrible, but I liked it all the same.

 The view from our balcony in the morning. Mountains!

 Coming into Juneau. Our ship, and the Disney ship that was cruising the same course, were the first of the season. These Alaskan cities thrive on tourism, so it was neat to be there on their "first day" of the summer season. It definitely wasn't quite summery yet, it was still pretty chilly.

 Okay, those specs on the water? BALD EAGLES. Like 6 of them just flying around catching fish. Alaska has so much wildlife everywhere. So wild!

 For our first excursion we went to see the Mendenhall Glacier. I took a geology class a year or so ago, so I was nerding it up. Although it may not look very big, this is just the terminus (end) of the glacier, it actually goes miles and miles back like a giant frozen river between mountains. It was unbelievable to actually be standing in front an actual glacier. These things are lean mean eroding machines, they create mountains and valleys! They are the reason areas like this are so beautiful.

 It was chilly at first but after hiking around, we were sweaty!

 The lake was still half frozen and there were icebergs floating around!

 We hiked down to check out the water fall.

It was so loud, such a beautiful sound.

 It was huge. That red thing is a lady standing below it.

 We got really close! Our butts got soaked from all the spray.

 I'm sure it gets larger and larger as the snow continues to melt. Can't imagine what it would look like at it's peak!

 Icebergs! The ice gets that bluish tint after being compacted after decades and centuries by tons of ice and snow on top of it.

 The view from the visitor center.

 Next we went and checked out the Tongass National Rainforest at Glacier Gardens. There are something like 17 million square miles of this particular rainforest. Later on in the summer it is much greener, we were still a little early. We took one of those long golf carts up this crazy windy path from sea level to 580 feet.

 Blurry views along the way, everything was so green and mossy!

Very damp. A mudslide a few decades back had done an extensive amount of damage to this area, so there were lots of trees that had fallen over.

 Once we reached the top there was an amazing view of the Mendenhall Valley, which was actually created by the Mendenhall Glacier that we saw earlier. That body of water way near the back is were our ship was docked.

You can see some of Juneau behind me. And I look ridiculous.

The guy who built the gardens created these series of connecting pools and streams to prevent mudslides. This one was shaped like a heart. How very appropriate for a honeymoon.

One of the many streams.

 Their gift shop had some cool animal hats, of course Brendon had to try them on. He does a convincing bear.

 Once we were back in the city we wandered around, explored a little, and did some souvenir shopping. And I found this cute bear!

 Look at our ship looking all snazzy and majestic! I couldn't get over how beautiful the mountains were at dusk. They glowed! Can you imagine seeing this everyday? I don't think I could ever get used to it.

And of course, our nightly towel animal. I felt so bad taking them apart. I though seriously about hiding them all in cabinets, but that would be a little ridiculous.

Part 5 will be our stop in Skagway, my favorite day of our trip. So many magical mountains!


  1. I LOOOOVVVEEEE Alaska in the summertime. Looks like ya'll had a blast!

  2. It was beyond beautiful! :) Best trip ever!