Monday, August 3, 2009

Alaska, Day 5, Juneau

21JUL09 5:30 am. A silhouette of houses lined the Juneau coastline within the misting foggy morning, but rain and mist are not a deterrent for anyone who lives in the Pacific northwest. A rain jacket will be appropriate for our day's walk around the town.

Following breakfast, Shall we find the capitol and see if we can say hello to Governor Palin before she leaves? The rain had stopped, but our jackets were still appropriate with the light breeze and 54 degrees as we climbed the hill toward the Alaska State Capitol Building. I'm sorry, but she packed up a few days ago. We listened to the guide talk about Alaska and some rather amazing facts, looked around, took some photos, and signed the governor's register. Great lady! Give 'em hell! (I must say this: no one deserves what the media and extremists have done to this lady and her family in an attempt to destroy her. Their scorched earth tactics, totally criminal and unjustified.)

A few blocks away we found the Governor's Mansion, and interesting was its accessibility, located directly adjacent to the street and simply across from a very modest house. One could literally walk up to the front or side door.

When we traveled to Juneau nine years ago, my husband and I took a helicopter tour over the Juneau ice fields and to the Mendenhall Glacier. A phenomenal experience, and I wanted you to see some of the photos from that trip.

The crevasses in the glacier are vertical or near-vertical fractures and are blue in color due to the absorption of both red and yellow light (leaving light at the blue end of the visible light spectrum) and not reflected, but transmitted and scattered into the snow. There occurs an extreme compression of the ice.

Today we would return to the ship for lunch at the Pinnacle, and again, we were the only ones who happened to be dining and while we watched eagles soar and return to their nests upon the hillside trees.

One of the fun things about the cruise was that we and our friends had side by side cabins. So we would be out on the deck, chatting in the early morning, afternoon, evening, sharing the sites and sounds, kibitzing about the day, but that which made us laugh so often was our evening ritual.

The casual dining room, the Lido, always had different kinds of cheese and crackers; so we would get a small daily assortment and a little fruit to take to our room and accompanied by the fresh almonds we had packed as snacks. Each evening we would meet to see what time we would meet: Ray would hand their drinking glasses around the deck divider to us, they would knock on our door, and we would sit and have our cocktails or evening glass of wine and a few snacks before going to dinner. We do hope everyone else was having as much fun as we.

A few moments before 6 p.m., the ship once again undocked and we headed to the Lido for dining and entertainment by the whales. We were on our way to Sitka.