Friday, September 5, 2008

Ferry to Juneau

With ice in the creeks, "termination dust" on the hillsides, fall colors everywhere, and ferry tickets that say we need to be in Prince Rupert, British Columbia before Sept. 30--

 -we once again board the Malaspina, this time heading south on the Inside Passage. Destination Juneau, state capital of Alaska.

                                We say good-bye to the sleeping city of Haines-

                                       -and quietly slip into an early morning fog.

We have found the Alaska Marine Ferry System to be a wonderful, relaxing way to travel with a small RV. There has always been room for us with only a few days advance notice. The ships are very comfortable, the food is good and some even have a naturalist on board.

 The scenery is just beautiful--every time we get on it's basically a cruise in itself.

The ferry has enabled us to take our RV with us to places unreachable by road- Cordova and now Juneau and Sitka. This has added immensely to the enjoyment of our trip and has saved us a lot of fuel.

                 There has been an abundance of marine life, often close to the boat.

 We are ending our Alaska trip with a special pass that allows us to get on and off with our camper at up to three different ports as long as we get to Prince Rupert by Sept, 30th.

We plan to get off at Juneau, Sitka and Wrangel for a few days at each stop, catching the next available ferry whenever we can.

                      Beautiful homes come in view as we near the end of this cruise-

                       --and we get our first stunning views of Mendenhall Glacier.

We tie up at the Auke Bay Ferry Terminal and head to the Forest Service camp 6 miles away.

It's a really beautiful camp with 50 amp full hook-up sites and we camped for half price.

 Hiking trails lead through the moss-covered forest to bogs, meadows and the glacier itself.

                             The skaters warming shack on Mendenhall Lake.

 The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center opened in 1962 as the first Forest Service visitor center in the nation. It is on the shore of Mendenhall Lake and Steep Creek. Steep Creek has an underwater camera that monitors spawning salmon and the trout and char that feed on their eggs. Images can be viewed at :

The glacier itself is more than one-half mile wide, 100 to 1,800 feet deep and only 13 miles from the city center.

Nugget Creek Falls tumbles into Mendenhall Lake next to the base of the glacier.

Seeing this sign and wanting to be properly prepared, I decided to do the right thing and read the rules for encountering a bear I had picked up at a visitor center.

                        Should one sneek up behind me I would know just what to do.

            Sure enough, I climbed right into the rafters of the Red Dog Saloon.

                                The best views of a porcupine we've ever had.

1 comment:

Bev said...

Hi Mom and Dad !!! We love the pictures. Kids are getting worried since theyhave not heard from you. Send a email if you can. Good thing for your blod, I can see a last post date. We love the pictures Duane and I scrolled through all of them this morning. 9-9-14-08 Love Bev & Duane