Monday, July 31, 2017

Day Four: Juneau & a Glacier

Day four of Alaska 2017 was filled with some beautiful sites. I woke early to settle in at the cafe with my tea, donuts, and MacBook. I love donuts. And my MacBook. A view from the ship...

A view from our Ship
Around noon we docked in Juneau after traveling 750 nautical miles (I just googled nautical mile - don't do it if you are shitty at math - it hurt my brain). Juneau is an interesting city. It is the largest city in the United States (3,255 square miles) but with only 32,000 people. Every road in the city abruptly ends, as they do not go beyond the City of Juneau. The only way in or out is by air or boat (or I guess you could walk, but no one suggests that). I asked someone "when you say the road just ends, does it literally just end?" She said "yep".

We left the ship, and the girls walked into their 50th state. Wow. I wanted to scream. You can tell by their walk, the girls were repeating in their brains "I hope my mother doesn't scream...I hope my mother doesn't scream." I didn't. But I wanted to.

We traditionally take our photo next to a state sign, but there wasn't one so Paradis suggested this bus. It worked. I didn't cry like I thought I would. We just kept walking. I know I will cry at some point. I always cry.

We walked the mile into town (instead of spending $15 on a shuttle where we had to wait forty-five minutes in line to board the bus). The girls complained the whole way, which creates memories I know they will never forget. We shopped for a bit, picking up the mandatory pins my girls collect, ate a reindeer dog (yes, hot dog made of reindeer), and boarded a shuttle to the Heliport.

Getting Pins

Paradis' SnapChat

While searching for cruise excursions I struggled with what we should do while on land. Sled dogging for $569 EACH? See a glacier from a bus for only $89? Ask those around me, and you will learn I thought about this way.too.much. I originally selected a cool canoe trip in Juneau that would take us directly to the Mendendhall glacier, hike on it a bit, and we would canoe back. After a couple days, they replied saying we were not able to join the excursion. I had to share our weight when signing up, and I am hoping that wasn't the reason.

Anyway...I stressed about it some more, and quickly selected Guided Walk on Mendendhall via Helicopter. You all know I am a frugal traveler (by the way, my financial summary of this trip will follow soon for those that have been asking), and whenever we see people going up in helicopters I tell my kids "we will never do that". Well, today we did. I figured if we were ever going to do it, getting access to a freaking glacier was a good time.

And was a spectacular ride.

We took some photos, and our guide at the top gave us some cool info about glaciers. Very interesting. I collected water for my Collection Jars.

Annelies got a Glacial-Facial (simply wiping 'mud' that is created by the rocks getting smashed by the ice). She said it felt like rocks on her face. I said "it is". 

Annelies getting a Glacial-Facial
I love this kid!

Paradis and I did a Glacier-Push-Up, and drank water directly from the glacier run off. It was crazy clear. All the 'dirt' on top of the glacier is from the crushed up rocks, but the water is crystal clear. 

We flew with Temsco, and I have to say they were fantastic! All the guides, and staff, were so friendly. They gave us great info, and took lots of photos for us (no selfie sticks allowed). I am so glad I decided to do this excursion. 

The blue was beautiful

On top of Mendenhall Glacier - Alaska

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