Our fourth day in Alaska was spent in Juneau, the capital of the state. Before that, though, I woke up early (as per my usual while on the ship) and had a chance to spend some time on the balcony…
Later on, I watched the ship pull into Juneau as we got ready for a big day ahead of us.
We (and by ‘we’ I mean my parents) rented a sweet ride for the day so we could cruise around the city at our convenience…
Just kidding. This fine vehicle was indeed at the rental car company, though. A viable option, except rumor has it that someone was living in it.
Our first stop was Mendenhall Glacier. The glacier is pretty big at 12 miles long, a half mile wide, and between 300 and 1,800 feet deep. It also creates chilly conditions in the surrounding area, since after all, it is a massive hunk of ice, or at least that was my interpretation of it.
While there, we took a trail through the forest. I love love loved this hike because of all the greenery and water. It was so peaceful, as we were some of the only people on the trail, and so different from what we typically see in Colorado.
We took another trail afterwards to get up close to the waterfall that runs to the right of the glacier.
After our trekking, we headed into Juneau to find some lunch and see some sights downtown. First, we hit up B’s Bakery and Bistro for lunch, and then the Alaska State Capitol, which, in my opinion, was the most bizarre state capitol we’ve ever been to. I’m used to imposing white buildings, with fancy domes on top, and this one was anything but. We had to find a sign to make sure we were in the right place for our tour.
We enjoyed our tour, though, especially the photo of Alaska’s most famous governor hanging in the Hall of Governors. We walked around a bit more downtown and took a brief look around St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, which is the oldest original and continuously used church in Southeast Alaska.
Once back on board the ship, we took in a presentation by Libby Riddles, the first female Iditarod champion. She told of moving from the lower 48 to Alaska when she was 17, in search of adventure. Libby ended up falling in love with raising and racing sled dogs, and shared fascinating stories of blizzards and dogs and Alaskan life. Now she writes books and gives presentations, making money off of her fame (don’t take that to mean that I didn’t enjoy her presentation though, because I did!). Later in the evening, we enjoyed Hawley Magic, who was recently seen on America’s Got Talent and had some pretty stellar tricks up their sleeve.
Highlights of the day: hiking through the Alaskan rainforest, touring the state capitol, hearing Libby Riddles speak, and Hawley Magic.