Day 11 (Thursday July 9) was reserved for our all day boat, bus, and walking tour of Juneau, the capital of Alaska. We boarded our boat…the Fiordland…which is a 70 or so foot high speed catamaran excursion vessel and set off on our 75 mile boat trip leg…arriving at the dock about 20 miles north of Juneau in just a bit over 2.5 hours…we averaged about 28 or 29 mph for the trip even including a half dozen stops to see stuff. The boat served muffins with juice, coffee or tea as well as apples to keep us going.
Along the way down the Chilkoot Inlet we viewed a number of glaciers, mountains and various wildlife. Suffice it to say that the views were pretty excellent…a nice calm day but there was a bit of cloud cover drifting around the peaks so you had to get photos when you were able and a lot of them ended up with what Neil calls mood photos.
Anyway…on to the views for the boat trip.
This eagle was sitting right outside the boat harbor where we boarded the boat so we grabbed a few photos of it.
A couple of miles down the Inlet we spotted another eagle and then a group of sea lions resting on a rock ledge.
A mother nursing her pup.
This group came over to the boat…they thought we were gonna feed ‘em I guess.
Some of the many glaciers and waterfalls we passed on the trip.
Another eagle and a restored 1930s era fisherman that is now a yacht…both of these were right as we got to the dock to get off the boat.
We debarked the boat and boarded our bus for a 20 mile ride to Juneau…our driver talked about some of the sights on the way nut it was mostly just a bus ride. Once downtown we had lunch at a place called TheHanger…crab sandwich for Connie and a halibut sandwich for Neil/Bill/Linda along with some Alaskan Red Ale. After lunch we got back on the bus and headed for the Mendenhall Glacier which is about 5 miles from downtown…got some very nice photos of both the glacier itself and Nugget Falls which is about a 30 minute walk from the visitor center at the glacier…we only had an hour so had to settle for distant pictures of the falls rather than closeups…you an see some folks standing at the base of the falls so have a little sense of the scale of it.
A duck we spotted on the way back from the glacier overlook.
Hopping back on the bus…we arrived at a different seaport and rebounded our boat for the 2.5 hour trip home…although actually it was a little longer than that since we boarded closer to Juneau than we got off. Along the way we spotted more glaciers and wonderful views.
A couple of the lighthouses helping mariners navigate the Inlet.
A brief and far away glimpse of a humpback whale…this is a mother feeding a calf which sounded before we got this shot. She’s swimming away from us and a little to the right and is displaying the humped back just before they sound (dive deep to feed) that gave the whale it’s name. The mother is almost exclusively eating and nursing her calf at this point in it’s life…it’s gaining about 8 pounds an hour so growing pretty quickly.
Another of the many glaciers…the water in the fjord is as much as 2,400 feet deep and the fjord is about 5 or 6 miles wide at this point..
Arriving back home we were full from the fish chowder and cookies served on board so we just skipped dinner and got ready for day 12’s travel period.
Day 12 (Friday July 10) we had breakfast and coffee then got hitched and hit the road for our 200 mile drive back into Canada to Destruction Bay YT where we’ll overnight. Reentry into Canada was pretty easy this time at customs…probably a 2 minute stop and we were on our way. After a long grade back up out of the sea level Haines AK area to the top of the plateau at the north end of all the glacially carved fingers of steep mountains in between the inlets here we pretty much had a very nice drive to Destruction Bay which is on Lake Kluane in the Yukon.
The only decent photos we got on the way were of this big ol’ grizzly bear right on the side of the road…we pulled over and got these from inside the car as he was only about 10 yards away at the time. It was eating the fireweed flowers…the little purple ones you can see…but kept eyeing us like he was reconsidering his breakfast choice and might like to have us instead.
We briefly spotted a black bear a couple miles later but it was gone before we could get a shot.
Arriving at Destruction Bay…we got situated in site 20, a nice pull through level site…but we only have 15 amp power here so we’re almost boondocking. There’s water at the site as well and no sewer…but we put water in our tank yesterday so Neil didn’t bother hooking water up at all. Here’s a few shots of our view…note how clear the water is in the last one.
That’s it…we’ll just laze around for the evening with a campfire and then head off to Beaver Creek YT tomorrow…only 100 miles so it should be an easy day.