RVSpinner-Florida to Alaska (and back) 2016 travel blog

Nugget Falls

Mendenhall Lake and Glacier


Arrived at Juneau at about 1AM and we found our way to the campground. Spruce Meadow Campground, it is owned by wonderful people. I called the owner, Corinna, when we got off the ferry and she was waiting for us when we arrived. 130 in the morning and there she was to get us safely into our campsite, albeit in her robe and flip flops. She got us settled in and hooked up and told me that whenever we are up and about in the morning to come down to the office and check in. We slept in, and went to the office about 11. She showed us a map and explained all the good places to go. We went out to breakfast downtown and then drove across the bridge to Douglas Island and up to the top of the ski resort. Well, not much of a view there, so back down the mountain and across the bridge. Decided to go to the Mendenhall Glacier. I had nice memories of the glacier when I went there with my mom and sisters about 13 years ago.

The glacier was smaller than what I had remembered, and it was, it has receded over .33 of a mile since that time. The visitor center was pure cruise boat hell. There were 6 cruise boats in town, and that means an additional 12,000 plus people. People pushing and shoving and in a rush to go no where. We saw the visitor center movie and then decided to hike to Nugget Falls, about a 2 mile hike. Well, it was like walking in midtown Manhattan during rush hour. After months of camping and not spending time in crowds, it was not the most positive experience. The falls were beautiful and it was nice getting that much closed to the the glacier. The blue color of the glacier is unlike any other shade of blue. Once the glacier calves, the piece that leaves the glacier shortly looses that color. The Mendenhall Glacier starts it life as snow that falls at the Juneau Icefield. Over years, the layers of snow build up and compresses into the glacial ice. The glacier is actually a moving river of ice, which takes about 250 years to make it down to Mendenhall Lake. The glacier retreating is due to the amount of snow fall not keeping up with the melting of the glacier.

Corinna told us that it was Taco Tuesday at the local Mexican restaurant so we went there for dinner. Glenn sampled many different types of tacos and I had a veggie taco salad.



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