Thursday, September 11, 2008

Juneau--Capital City

Juneau is a small but busy capitol with narrow streets and alleys leading to museums, galleries, and bars downtown, with a variety of hiking trails to nearby glaciers and ice fields.

                              It is delightfully modern yet equally frontierish.

                    The State Office Building is fondly referred to as the S.O.B.

The S.O.B atrium on Friday at noon as Judy listens to organ music played on a Kimball Theater Pipe Organ built in 1898. Built in the heyday of theater pipe organs, it has accessories designed to accompany silent pictures, including sleigh bells and bird whistles.

                               The Capitol Building looks much like a high school.

The office of Governor Sarah Palin is empty today-not because it's caribou hunting season, but because she is at the Republican National Convention with John McCain.

Juneau has modern, high-rise office buildings next to a rugged northern wilderness of thick, lush, rain forests, glacial ice and salt water which surrounds it.

                                              The Historic Red Dog Saloon.

St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church was built in 1894 in Siberia, disassembled and shipped to Juneau. One of the oldest churches in southeast Alaska, it houses 18th century Russian Icons and religious relics. Visitors stand during services. It is included in "A Guidebook To The 500 Most Notable Buildings in the United States".

                   A great way to see the city is to ride the Mt. Roberts tramway-

                                      which ascends 1800 feet to awesome views-

                                                          -of the city itself--

 -and James, Douglas and Admiralty Islands, Gastineau Channel, the Inside Passage, Lynn Canal--

                                              -and the Chilkat Mountains.

Miles of hiking trails traverse lush rain forests of Sitka Spruce and Hemlock and sub-alpine meadows.

                                                     Blueberries were everywhere.

The wilderness literally begins where the houses stop. Juneau's population is only 31,000 but in area it is the largest town in North America and second largest in the world, exceeded only by Kiruna, Sweden.

A nimbus, a rain cloud of uniform grayness the color of gun smoke covering the entire sky, is well known in Juneau. The city averages 220 days of rain, called "liquid sunshine," per year with 90 inches of annual rainfall and melted snow downtown.

 Typical dress here is a pair of high top rubber boots-locally known as "Alaskan Sneekers", well-worn Levis or Carhartts, and tattered, hooded sweatshirts. Umbrellas are for wimps.

Any day without rain is considered a beautiful day, but then it might snow. Juneau averages about 100 inches of snow a year.

Built in 1967, the Alaska State Museum is the official repository of the state's history and home to over 27,000 artifacts.

The State Museum highlights all of Alaska's Native peoples, it's natural history, and Alaskan history from early exploration and Russian America, to the American period, mining and minerals, and maritime history. It is very inclusive and excellently done.

                              A Russian Samovar, used to heat water and other things.

Judy checking over the actual desk and documents used when Russia sold Alaska to the United States on October 18th, 1867. Total cost was less than two cents an acre--and no, there was no gum under the desk. The site below will take you to all sorts of neat stuff at this museum.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

sounds like you guys are having a great time keep the photo's comming miss you guys that's me