|Juneau, June 14
Today we were in Juneau, the capital of Alaska. We took a tour bus to the Mendenhall Glacier and then walked out fairly close to it. Later we took a tram uo the mountainside right near our ship. It was cloudy (and later a little rainy) and about 50 in Juneau and about 42 at the glacier. It didn't feel bad as we dressed accordingly.
Our driver/tour guide shared many interesting facts aking the way. We passed a former Walmart that shut down due to not enough business. The people wanted to support local businesses. We passed an area with several Eagles and learned that the brown ones were adolescents. Juneau is an island only reachable by boat or air. They wanted to build a bridge but could not as the island is surrounded by glaciers and they couldn't build a bridge on top of a glacier. I noticed gas is 3.55 per gallon here. We passed the local McDonald's which is the only fast food here. 42 is the average temperature. The park ranger said it gets down to 32 and the lakes freeze. Our driver later said it gets down in the teens. There is a Costco which has the same prices as on the mainland. They get 3 shipments a week. Milk at Safeway is about $6 a gallon and not as fresh as Costco as they get more frequent shipments and it costs less. They get 70 to 80 feet of rain at the glacier and about half that in Juneau. In winter, sunlight is from 10 to 3. The Tongus rainforest in Juneau is the largest in North America. It's about half the size of the Amazon rainforest. We passed some deer, but we didn't see them. There were lots of wetland birds, including blue heron and others. We learned about how to remember the types of salmon here. It's called 5 finger salmon. The thumb is Chum, index finger Sockeye, middle finger King Salmon, ring finger Silver, and pinkie is Pink. Some people live in their boats at the docks year round despite temps getting down into the teens.
We did some shopping and walking around after lunch and then hit the hot tub upon returning to the ship. It felt good on tired legs. We had dinner with a couple from British Columbia. We have talked with them a lot on this trip. We had tge strio loon, which was delicious. After dinner, we had a drink called Violet Beauregard (from Willy Wonka). It was Chambord and creme de cacao white, and was quite good. It came in a (small but cute) souvenir glass. Tonight's show was comedic magician Jeff Peterson. He was quite good and is supposed to do a different show on Saturday night. We left port about 5:30. We traveled around lots of islands as we left, and for hours. It was really beautiful as some are dark green and others are different shades due to the hazy weather.