You might want to go grab some Rocky Road ice cream and a fudge brownie because there is some MAJOR picture overload about to go down in this post.
Juneau was definitely my favorite place we stopped at (although kayaking in Ketchikan comes in a close second). We got off the port just after noon, and the first thing I noticed was how fresh the air felt going through my lungs–like I was breathing in the aerated version of a chilly, freshwater spring. And the immediate view as we stepped off The Golden Princess snatched that deep breath right away: the partially-shrouded mountains, the quaint, colorful shops lining the streets, the massive hydrangeas blooming along every street…
And the gigantic, life-size crab. And bear.
We first made a stop at Mendenhall Glacier, which is bordered by the thundering Nugget Falls. Near the glacier (and before the hike to the falls), there are raised platforms that allow you to get a front-seat view of the salmon running. I never got over how BIG they were (the picture below doesn’t do them justice, either). I learned that salmon only turn red at the very end of their lives when they are laying their eggs. Most die within the week.
And remember my story in yesterday’s post about how we kept missing the bears? Well, this was the spot where we kept missing them.
I don’t think Matt will ever get over it.
After exploring around the glacier for a couple hours, we took a two-hour hike in an enchanted forest. No really–a legit enchanted forest. I mean, check out these pictures–it’s like it came straight out of Lord of the Rings (and I would know–I’m in the middle of reading it).
In this magical place, there are many wonders for the eye to behold: leaves that are ten times the size of your hand, trees covered with thick green hair, and streams that could just about freeze your hand in ten seconds flat.
And of course, you can’t go on a magical hike in Alaska and not see a bald eagle.
We finished off our day by taking a tram that went 1,800 feet up in the air, which afforded us birds-eye views of the pier, the surrounding mountains, and the sparkle of the sea.
Plus we were there at sunset.
Could it have been more perfect?
I submit that it could not.
Which one’s your favorite picture? (Mine is the vertical one of the hairy magic trees).
And congratulations–you have just survived massive picture overload.