THURS. 8/10 Juneau, the capital of Alaska, again an isolated city except by plane and boat. The Gastineau Channel runs through down-town. There are boroughs in Alaska, no counties, no sales tax, became the capital in 1906. Fairbanks is the center of the state and Anchorage is the center of the population. Juneau is nestled between Mt. Roberts and Mt. Juneau. It was established in 1888. Large lode of gold found here in 1880. The mine closed in the 1940′s.
We will be going on a helicopter ride this morning. We will be going to Mendenhall Glacier, about 2 hours. It is pouring rain but that is nothing unusual and will not stop the flight. The views were fantastic in spite of rain and fog. We flew close
to the Juneau Ice Field. It was some sight to see the crevasses you read about. The blue ice and the depth of them is scary. We were given special boots to wear. They seem to have a special sole that gripped the ice when we got out of the chopper onto the glacier itself. What an experience that was. Of course it was raining. We had on our raingear, but guess what out came yellow slickers for all of us. As we walked across the ice pearing into holes for the blue color, we looked like the commercial that McDonalds had a while back with the school kids going to McD’s single file in their yellow slickers and boots. We wouldn’t have missed this for anything. I am sure some people thought we were crazy, but you only go this way once.
When we got back after flying over the V.C. below and following the Gastineau Channel and seeing Juneau from the air, we took a walking tour of the town in the rain. We saw the Red Dog Saloon, had a big Mac and coffee. We saw the capitol building, Alaska State Museum, court house and an old log cabin (the Davis Cabin) now used as an information center. We saw a number of eagles both in going to the airfield but also coming back. At 6:00 PM we set sail for Ketchikan.