Before and after my Glacier Bay trip I spent time in Juneau. I want to thank James and Crystal Dooley for putting me up for a few days and feeding me. We had a few beach campfires, I had my first taste of moose, I got my fill of the Alaskan Brewing Company, and I met a number of their friends in the community, including some fellow CGA grads that I didn't know were in town.
Juneau has a rich history, most of which deals with mining. Crystal and I toured the old mine sites and learned that Juneau was the most productive hard ore mine in the world, mining $158 million in gold by the time everything shut down in 1944. We also did a walking history tour of Juneau. It was designed for locals so a lot of it was over my head, but the most interesting factoid that stuck in my brain was that Juneau's streets were once made of wood. Yes, the streets. Seems like a terrible idea.
We took advantage of a great sunny day to hike to the top of Mt. Juneau. Killer view of town. Popular cruise ship destination as well, and the downtown area was again filled with t-shirt and junk stores for the tourists.
One of the coolest thing I did in Juneau, besides a ride along with JPD's finest (Officer Dooley), was a hike to the Mendenhall Glacier Ice Caves. You've probably seen these things on "top 10 places you won't believe" or some other Internet list like that. The hype exists for a reason. The ice caves are AWESOME. I hit these up with Jason before he flew out.
Everything about the caves was surreal. They were amazingly blue and the dense ice was polished smooth, like Mother Nature's stained glass. Don't miss these if you are ever in the area. Get a local to show you the way, it wasn't the most straightforward. Thanks Dan!
Now it's off to the Juneau-Haines ferry where I'll link up with the continental highway system. After a drive thru Canada, I'll arrive in Fairbanks on June 11th to start my ANWR rafting trip! This drive will be the first test of my truckbed camper set up.