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


Finished filling out some paperwork this morning and Glenn took care of some business. Used the fax machine at the campground office. Went back downtown to the cruise ship area, only 4 ships were in today, to take the Roberts Tramway up the mountain. The tram is run by the native venture, Goldbelt. The tram operator gave us some background on the area and the Tlingit culture,which we are now quite familiar with. In the visitor center,there were carvers working on a totem pole, which was fun to watch. Totem poles are carved to tell a story, or to honor a person and/or an event. They are not used for worship.

Inside the visitor center, we watched a movie about the Tlingit culture and then stayed in the theater for a performance by the Alaska String Band. This is a local band, comprised of a mom, dad and their 3 kids (only one was present at this performance) who write and perform songs about Alaska with an Alaska video feed running on the screen behind them. They work with local photographers to capture scenes relating to their songs as well as scenes of classic Alaskan sights, wilderness and wildlife. They just finished filming a PBS special which will be aired later this year. We really enjoyed their performance. Afterwards it was time for lunch, which we ate in the adjacent restaurant. I had indian tacos, and instead of meat they used lentils so it would be vegetarian for me. Glenn continued his quest to eat as much fish as possible.

The parking meters near the tram allow a maximum of 2 hours parking. We wanted to go for a walk and enjoy the view, but the meter was running low on time. A heavy cloud cover surrounded the mountain, so there wasn't much of a view. We boarded the tram back down the mountain, walked around the cruise ship area with all of the trinket shops catering to the cruise ship clientele and then returned to the campground.

Glenn rested in the campground and after a brief rest, I drove back to the Mendenhall Glacier. It was late enough that all of the cruise ship crowd should be gone and hopefully the bears would be out. There were only a few people at the Glacier and i stopped to speak with a couple of women, who were from the area. They just got back from a camping trip to many of the places we had visited, all the way down to Banff and then returned to Juneau for fishing and to prep for winter, which is on it’s way. I walk the boardwalk trails through the woods and alongside the river. There was plenty of salmon in various stages of spawning, from the sockeye bright red and green to almost dead. Great fishing for bears, but none were present. Walked down and took a last look at the Glacier and then left. I drove north to check out the Shrine of St Terese retreat grounds, but by the time I got there it was getting dark another and it was deserted. I looked out over the north end of the island, took some photos and called it a night.



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