KT's Alaska Cruise 2010 Photos

Wednesday, August 4:

We docked in Juneau, Alaska. My first chance in two days to get off the ship! Here's my first glimpse of the town.
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Mt. Roberts looms over this part of town.
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The Alaska Shirt Company. All shirts worn by citizens of the largest state in the union are manufactured and sold here!
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The Ryndam, also docked in Juneau. And other boats.
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The library, which is on the top floor of the parking garage. Beyond it on the right, you can see the Red Dog Saloon, where I went for lunch.
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The Alaska Fur Gallery, not to be confused with FurAffinity.
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I disembarked and wandered around. I bought a halibut plushie at a bookstore, and I found the fudge shop Mom told me to look for, and I bought her some peanut butter fudge.

Back on the ship, I talked to Mom, who wanted to disembark and visit the library, which she'd been to on a previous cruise. I wheeled her off the ship and over to the library entrance. Several young people were sitting around in the elevator lobby (Mom figures they were there to use the free wi-fi), and one told us the library wouldn't be open for another 15 minutes. So we waited outside, plagued by bus exhaust fumes and smokers. Eventually we got to go inside.
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Mom didn't want to read any books or anything; just see the place again. As I wheeled her back to the ship, I noticed the Mt. Roberts Tramway. "They have a tramway?" I thought to myself. "I gotta go up it!" I had a ticket for a shore excursion, a floatplane ride over the glaciers, but that wasn't until 3 o'clock.

So after getting Mom safely back to her cabin, I left the ship again. I went to the Red Dog Saloon for lunch. It's noisy and dark, the floor is covered with sawdust, the tables were all taken so I had to sit at the bar, my sandwich got barbecue sauce all over my fingers, the bartender gave me coleslaw instead of the potato salad I asked for (I ate it anyway; I like both), and I couldn't read half the "witty" signs and bumperstickers on the wall. That is to say, I could read half of them, but the other half I could only read half of each, because they were half hidden behind the cash register and other items.

Then I walked over to the Mt. Roberts Tramway.
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There are two gondolas that go up the Tramway; one is named Eagle (Chaak) and the other is Raven (Yeil). It's a Tlingit thing.
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Buskers outside the Tramway building, playing bagpipes and drum.
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I bought a ticket and rode up to the top of Mt. Roberts!
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Looking down on Juneau and Gastineau Channel from the Mountain House at the top of the Tramway.
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There's our ship, the Oosterdam!
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And there's the library again!
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Distant mountains. At extreme left in the second picture, you can see a floatplane, like the one I'd be riding in later.
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A Princess cruise ship docked at the pier.
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Another Princess cruise ship anchored out in Gastineau Channel.
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There was a restaurant in the Mountain House, the Timberline Bar & Grill. And because I hadn't gotten my potato salad at the Red Dog Saloon, I decided to go in and have either potato salad or french fries, whichever one they had. I sat there, looked around, looked at the menu, and wished I'd gone there for lunch instead of the Red Dog Saloon! They were a bit backed up in the kitchen, and service was slow, and the people at the table next to me had to cancel their order and leave because their ship was about to set sail, and my fries took a while, but I still enjoyed it.
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After the snack, I went to the Chilkat Theater and saw a free short film about the Tlingit people. The theater was decorated with totem poles. Here are two: a traditional one on the right, and a modern one on the left.
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After the film, I found a door at the back of the Mountain House leading outside to the trails, the Nature Center, and an observation deck.
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Here is where the tramway cables are anchored to the mountain. Up ahead is the Nature Center. To the left, just out of shot, is the Raptor Center.
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The Raptor Center has an injured eagle that they care for, named Lady Baltimore. She is blind in her left eye.
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Then I explored the trails a bit. Well... not this one.
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Signs on the trails.
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After a while, it was getting close to 3:00, and time to head back down the Tramway.
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When I got back down to street level, it was about time for my paid excursion. I located the woman holding the "Glacier Flightseeing by Floatplane" sign, and she pointed me and a few others to a shuttle bus, and then drove us to the floatplane dock. After several minutes spent gathering at the floatplane office, we were led out and down a ramp to the floatplane.
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Every seat is a window seat! Unfortunately I ended up choosing the tiniest, most cramped seat aboard. But when we took off, and flew over the Juneau Icefield, source of the mighty Taku Glacier, it didn't matter. I was speechless looking out the window at all of... THIS.
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I was originally going to winnow the above set of pictures down to a representative sample as I've been doing with the other 400 or so pictures I took, to avoid turning this page into a boring slideshow.
But for these Glacier Flightseeing pictures, I just can't do it. This floatplane ride, flying over the icefield and looking at all these glaciers and mountains, was the most awesome thing I've ever experienced.

On to Thursday