We left Seattle on the cruise ship Eurodam on Saturday afternoon and sailed through the Strait of Juan de Fuca and around Vancouver Island towards Alaska. The first day was mostly sunny and clear but clouds and light rain descended on the second day.
Still, we enjoyed our time at sea exploring the ship and walking the Promenade Deck. And eating. A lot.
On the third day dry land appeared out of the clouds and the sun was shining as we neared Juneau, our first stop and Alaska’s state capital. Another cruise ship was not far behind us and looked beautiful in silhouette against the mountains.
Juneau is the largest of all the state capitals at 3,000 square miles and the only capital to border another country (Canada.) Of course, you can’t get there from here. There are no roads into or out of the city. Arrival is by boat or air only and all roads out of town dead end. Our informative bus driver shared these facts with us on our drive to the Mendenhall Glacier, 25 minutes from town.
We arrived at Alaska’s most accessible glacier, one of 38 large glaciers that flow from the Juneau Icefield.
We took the trail to Nugget Falls, a perfect hike for us at 2 miles round trip and were not overly concerned about this sign.
Afterwards Bob stopped by the Visitor Center while I wandered around taking more pictures of the surrounding lakes and beautiful fall colors.
Later we stopped at Gold Creek for a salmon bake. We enjoyed our dinner next to the creek, where gold was first discovered in Juneau by two miners in 1880. One of the miners was Joseph Juneau who lent his name to the city.
We returned to town for a bit of shopping, then headed back to our ship where we would rest and be magically transported to Glacier Bay the next day.
Up next: the magnificent Glacier Bay.