20 July 2010

Alaska Adventure - Day 4 - July 5, 2010

Previously: [Day 1] [Day 2] [Day 3]

All my trip photos (so far)

Alex's arm shook me awake at 4:00 am in the morning to tell me we had arrived in Tracy Arm. This is an fjord with stunning mountains, long waterfalls, and car sized chunks of floating blue ice. Or it would have been if that was where we actually were. Instead we were still a few nautical hours away from Tracy Arm. Even so, basked in the magic warm light of sunrise, wherever we were was still quite worthwhile.

There With Snow

A short time later while we were still not in Tracy Arm we traveled through what must have been a pod of whales. While a cool thing to see, it was not a life changing experience for me, and probably not for the whales, either. We went back to sleep. I don't know what the whales did.

When we woke a couple hours later, we could tell by looking out the window that now, finally, we were not quite there yet. After breakfast on the Lido Deck however, guess where we were. Yup, Tracy Arm.

The morning was cool and rainy but that did not stop us from going around the various decks taking pictures of all the scenery we were cruising past. The ship even did a 180 in a tight spot, which was a nifty trick. The place was unlike anywhere I'd ever been.

Look Out

Long Time Falling

the brothers Roth

We soon arrived in Juneau which is the only capital city in the U.S. that you can't drive to, not counting Honolulu. We were very excited to be in Juneau because from there we were going on the Taku Lodge excursion. This began with a floatplane trip past the ship, up the Taku River, and over, above and around some glaciers. Despite the rain and fog we saw amazing views of mountains, rivers, and blue ice and glaciers.


Slow Flow

When we arrived at the Taku Lodge I was able to check-off one of the animals from my Animals I Hope to See list - a bear. A relatively small black bear was situated in a tree, ready to pounce on a tourist. Of course I shot it. It wasn't long before several more black bears came around, so of course I shot them too. I think they were attracted to the site because they sensed in me a kindred spirit. Either that or they smelled the fresh caught salmon that was cooking over an alder fire.

Kids On Ice

The salmon dinner with the various fixins was so tasty. If you ever find yourself at Taku Lodge, I highly recommend it. The lodge itself was also quite interesting. It's a log cabin, the walls of which are lined with various dead animals from the area. While we ate we got the requisite local history talk, but for once it was quite interesting. Also the ice cubes were from a nearby glacier.

After dinner we went on a short hike, saw some more bears, then float planed back to Juneau. The flight back had even worse weather and therefore worse views than the flight out. This was a disappointment, but even so the excursion was the highlight of our trip thus far.

Here Bear

Next: [Day 5] [Day 6] [Day 7] [Day 8]

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