WHEW!--WE NEEDED A VACATION!
|What a location for a welcome sign!|
The road to
|3 photos on the road to Skagway, Alaska.|
|This was an amazing drive.|
|More photos on the road to Skagway, Alaska.|
|Arctic Brotherhood Hall|
|The small boat harbor in|
Next we took a whale watching ship to the capitol city of Alaska...Juneau. The 4 hour cruise to Juneau was loaded with scenery and wildlife. We saw several humpback whales; dall porpoise pods; seals; sea lions; eagles; glaciers; gushing waterfalls; and rugged, snow capped mountains.
Juneau is completely land-locked so the only way to get here is with wings or flippers. I think it says a lot about how Alaskans feel about their politicians as they have located them in an area which is nowhere near the main part of the state and is inaccessible by road. Juneau is another port-of-call for cruisers, so yes--more jewelry stores and gift shops. One day we counted 6 massive cruise ships in the harbor.
|All 4 photos were taken on our cruise on Lynn Canal.|
One of the highlights of Juneau is the Mendenhall Glacier. This is a very accessible glacier as a 1 mile walk brings you fairly close to the base of the glacier. Unfortunately, on the day of our visit it was a little overcast, but the glacier still cast a gorgeous blue hue.
|A lupine at Mendenhall Glacier.|
These things are blooming all over the place.
|Nancy at Mendenhall Glacier.|
We departed from Juneau and headed to Haines in another whale watching boat. This journey was incredible as we saw 16 humpback whales; some very close-up. And at a point on the edge of the water we saw 50-80 bald eagles jammed into a small cluster of trees, either sitting on branches staring at the water or soaring over the treetops. We even saw one eagle sitting about 2 feet from a pregnant seal. We were told that the eagle could tell the mother was about to give birth and the eagle was waiting to see if he could snag the newborn for a meal.
|Both photos were taken on our cruise on the Lynn Canal.|
Haines was a bit of relief as it is not a regular stop for the cruise lines. Like the other two towns, it was in a beautiful setting. Haines seems to the home of an incredible number of eagles and everywhere we looked we saw eagles just hanging out or soaring in the skies. The American Bald Eagle Foundation is here. This organization takes responsibility for protecting ill or injured raptors as well as public education. We visited the foundation and were able to see an eagle close-up.
|Downtown Haines, AK|
Just to prove that nothing in Alaska is completely normal, Haines has a "hammer museum." Even though my father was a carpenter and I've used hammers a lot in my life, I could not bring myself to paying an admission fee to look at hammers. Maybe next time.
|The Hammer Museum|
We are now only a 300-400 miles from the main part of Alaska. However, due to the fact that the Alaska Highway is constructed on tundra, the next several hundred miles will be really difficult as the road get real rough. I just hope that our rig survives!