2005 Alaska Cruise
A Chilling Summer Vacation
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Donna and Jane went
Whale Watching. This exciting cruise featured a
guaranteed whale sighting! Following a short motor coach ride to scenic
Auke Bay, they boarded a water jet-powered
catamaran specially designed
for wildlife viewing. The warm, comfortable, and spacious main cabin featured
large viewing windows. They admired the majestic backdrop of snow-capped peaks
and glaciers as their experienced captain guided them through the island-studded
waters of Stephens Passage. An onboard naturalist
explained the habits and habitat
of the wildlife encountered, which included humpback and killer whales, Steller
sea lions, harbor seals, Dall's porpoises, bald eagles, Sitka blacktail deer
and, maybe some bears. The tour carried a guarantee to see a whale.
Sherry and Steve went
on the Best of Juneau tour. This excursion featured
three of Juneau's premier attractions: the
Whale Watching & Wildlife Quest,
the famous Mendenhall Glacier and the
Original Alaska Salmon Bake.
Their adventure began with a wildlife-viewing cruise aboard a water jet-powered
catamaran. They relaxed in the warm cabin surrounded by large windows, as the
experienced captain guided them through the island-studded waters of Stephens
Passage. The onboard naturalist explained the behavior and habitat of wildlife
that they might encounter, including humpback and killer whales, Steller sea
lions, Dall's porpoise, harbor seals, bald eagles and more. Again, this carried a
guaranteed whale sighting. Afterward, a narrated motorcoach ride took them to
view and photograph the world-famous Mendenhall Glacier.
At the visitor center
they talked with Forest Service interpreters and - through interactive exhibits -
learned about the awesome force of glacial ice. An outdoor feast completed their
Best of Juneau experience. They enjoyed wild Alaska
salmon grilled over an alderwood fire, barbecued ribs and chicken, along with a
variety of delicious side dishes. They could roast marshmallows over a crackling
fire, walk the trail to a waterfall and enjoy the beautiful, relaxed setting.
Bonney's stop in Juneau
was her favorite, and unfortunately the shortest. The daily high there was 64°
and they had 17 hours of daylight.
Bonney, Linda, and
Rudy wisely chose the Glacier &
Dog Sled Via Helicopter tour. This is the one Bonney
had most been looking forward to and she was not disappointed. One surprise was
that the drivers didn't say, "Mush!"
Here's how it was described: Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime experience of
helicopter flight seeing and dog sledding. Pristine beauty, majestic mountains
and ancient glaciers are seemingly within arm's reach during your flight over
an awesome landscape. Upon landing on a glacier, one hundred huskies eagerly
greet you and share an essential part of Alaskan culture — mushing. Experienced
guides talk about sled racing, back country experiences and answer questions
while the dogs are hooked to the sleds. Then you're off — standing on the runners
of the sled as the team pulls you across the snowfield. The lure of the trail
and the thrill of driving a dog team make this an unforgettable adventure.
||Mountain helicopter view.
|Linda, our two copter companions, and Rudy.
|You can't just walk across this glacier in some spots!
|Approaching dog city.
||There are more than you think.
||Lots and lots of eager doggies.
|Our helicopter traveled with 4 others.
||Rudy and our musher Chuck.
||Rudy, Linda, and Chuck.
|Rudy and Linda.
||Bonney and Linda.
Bonney reports, "As my turn came
to sit in the sled, I had one foot in when the dogs lurched forward and I was thrown
into the seat with my left thigh and right side under my arm hitting the sides of the
sled hard. Of course, by the end of the day I had a large welt and bruise on my leg
and a sore side which gave me a good excuse not to wear a bra. Yea '60's!
While there, I inadvertently donated a pair of clear reading
glasses that fell into the snow sometime before the helicopters picked us up. I'm
sure there must be a husky somewhere who's having trouble reading and will make
good use of them!
Linda said, "Bonney, Rudy, I took the
breathtaking helicopter ride out to the glacier for dog sledding. Did any of us
tip over or fall in the snow? I don't think that we could ever be dog mushers.
We got off the bus in town on our way back from the helicopter ride, and Bonney
did some major souvenir shopping that afternoon before we had to get back on the ship.
Mary Ann who chose to Experience
the Best of Juneau—from Mendenhall Glacier and
Macaulay Salmon Hatchery to
a salmon bake in the lush rain forest—on this excursion combining two of the most
popular tours. Learn about Juneau's rich history en route
to a unique salmon rearing
facility where displays inform you about this fascinating species. Then marvel at
mighty Mendenhall Glacier and explore the exhibits at its
newly refurbished visitor
center. Next, feast on tasty Alaska salmon, chicken or
ribs along the banks of a
creek in the lush Alaska rain forest. Enjoy musical
entertainment or explore the
woods, a nearby waterfall and the remains of an historic mine.
|At the salmon farm.
This is where Mary Ann found fresh, wild salmon to mail to Chip.
for more of the saga...