Saturday, August 27, 2016

Journeys around Juneau

 My brother and I spent the last week in Juneau.  It was sunny, then rainy, then clear again, but I only have the pictures from when it was sunny.  Our first task was to climb the heights of Mt Juneau, right above downtown.  We took to the hill shortly after Abe landed, and marched our way up as my legs burned.  Mountain goats looked at us, Marmots whistled, and blueberries held up their bounty for us to munch on.  It was a nice hike.  When we got to the top, I was stunned to find that this mountain is very pointy on top, and you can see the top from the bottom, or very nearly so.  There isn't a false summit and rounding up in the high areas, or at least not as much as I figured.
 A marmot whistling at us...
 A look down the valley towards Auk Bay.
 Then we took the bus up to the Mendenhall Glacier, where we wandered around the touristy side of things and found a cooperative dragonfly.
 We also found some Sockeye salmon in the stream, in spawning colors.  This was the first time for me to see these guys in this color, and I like it.  Hopefully I'll get a few moments next year to get some video of them in the river, this time, I was only able to take shots from above.
 And a Porcupine!  This little guy was chomping on the branches of a cottonwood tree and happily ignoring the world, but I got a few looks at him from below.
 We also found the elusive Land Anemone!  This is actually a kind of fungus, but I like the way it looks like sea anemone tentacles.
 The next day we went to the Ice caves, on the west side of Mendenhall.  These ones are carved by a river flowing down and melting the ice from under the glacier.  Sadly, they won't be around for too much longer, as the glacier is retreating quickly.  We didn't go in very far because it didn't look very safe, but the view of a blue frozen wave was quite enticing.
 It makes me yearn for to go surfing.
 We climbed up the side of the glacier until we couldn't go any further and found many neat spots of the miracle blue peeking out.  I like when you can see how it is flowing over the rocks...

 As we backed away, we took a farewell look at the glacier.  It is retreating very quickly, so this view will change when I come back to this place again.

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