Cruisin' in Alaska: Skagway

In Skagway we took an excursion by helicopter up to a mountain river and hiked about 2 miles up to a beautiful lookout point. Along the way we walked out to two spots on the river that were gorgeous! Our tour guide, Erin, taught us about many plants and animals that live along the trail. During the helicopter flight, our pilot took us to see another glacier up close. About 25 feet away, actually. Then he landed on a concrete slab near a railway bridge. We began our hike along the river. When we reached the lookout point, we returned to the landing spot and got on a train back to Skagway.


Cruisin' in Alaska: Juneau - City Walk & Whale Watching

The nice thing about taking a cruise is that if you decide to do any of the excursions that the cruise ship has to offer, everything is taken care of for you. You don't have to think about where you're going and if there will be tickets available or not. There is a tour guide from the area and you get picked up and dropped off right by the ship. We also took advantage of a few hours between excursions to wander around Juneau. There were shops of course, as well as the capitol building, which we toured. It was interesting that Juneau has the largest area of any city in the country and only about 30, 000 people. Alaska also had a big part in the gold rush days. The Klondike Gold Rush to be exact.
An old mining building used in the Klondike Gold Rush days.
A cable car that takes you to the tip of a mountain above the port.
A cute little house in Juneau.Flags that tell the city's story.
A Russian Orthodox Church.

The capitol building in Juneau.
Alaska's state seal.

Side shot of a humpback whale coming up for a breather.
Humpback fluke.
A deep dive of a humpback whale.
Caught the fluke again! Sea lions resting on a buoy in the middle of the bay.

Can you believe this is ONE vertebrae of a whale!?!
Michelle, our naturalist, showing a part of a whale's baleen.

On the whale sightseeing boat. I think Dan was tired of pictures...
This is the ferry that takes people in and out of Juneau.
If you want to take your car, you bring it on the ferry, too!


Cruisin in Alaska: Juneau - Mendenhall Glacier

We got off the boat in Juneau, Alaska's capitol on Day 4. This was a beautiful city of about 30,000 people. It sits in a valley surrounded by a magnificent landscape of mountains filled with glaciers. Donnie really wanted to go on the helicopter ride up to the glacier trek. I'm really glad he picked this one! It was the most amazing thing that we did. I had only seen a couple of pictures of glaciers and they could not compare to the experience.

In the helicopter flying to the glacier.

Glacier peeking beneath foggy mountains.
An Ice fall through the helicopter window.
And we've landed on Mendenhall Glacier.
Standing on and in front of part of the glacier.
This glacier is about 2,000 feet deep...

Lori and Dan.
Squinting for a picture.
Up close of the glacier's peaks.
Crevasses that have widened and deepened as the glacier has moved.
Donnie "Walking on water" with our guide Craig.

The 4 of us.
One of the deep crevasses.
The guides helped us straddle the crevasse.
That's Dulcie giving Lori bunny ears.

Fresh, icy glacier water. Mmmm!
Mendenhall Glacier. A deep pool that used to be covered in snow.
Never walk on snow on a glacier. You never know what's hidden.
Dulcie poking at the edge of the pool.