Can you spot the mountain goats?

Can you spot the mountain goats?

After an unexpected stop in Ketchikan to exchange a few passengers, our flight landed in Juneau about thirty minutes late on Saturday night.  Couchsurfers Christy and Jason had offered to host us at their home on Douglas Island, and they picked us up at the airport in an old Subaru Outback (perfect for the conditions, which were wet and slushy at the time).

Dallas, me, Jason amd Christy in front of Mendenhall Glacier

Dallas, me, Jason amd Christy in front of Mendenhall Glacier

We awoke on Sunday morning to snow, and an excellent view of mountains, which were surprisingly close and large, but invisible to us during the drive from the airport the previous night.  Christy and Jason offered us a variety of options for activities for our day in Juneau, and we settled on going to check out an ice cave at the Mendenhall Glacier.  Having both worked on the trails in Denali, our hosts were excellent guides for the hike up to and around the glacier.  At some point, while scrambling up a rock wall, I had wished that I bought my med-evac insurance already.  Fortunately, nobody fell into the glacier or off any cliffs.  Also fortunate was the fact that we had stopped somewhere to buy waterproof rain boots on the way to the trail.

Looking out from inside the ice cave

Looking out from inside the ice cave

The ice cave was cool (literally), but too dark inside to get any beautiful photos like the ones we had seen online before heading out there.  We rested and snacked for a moment at the mouth of the cave (which is actually created by a stream that flows from the mountain into the glacier), and hiked back the long way along the shore of the fjord.  The next morning, Christy and Jason drove us to the dock, where we boarded the Columbia, an enormous ferry that would take us to Haines and Skagway.

Having rushed to the ferry without having time to eat, we went straight to the snack bar on the upper level of Columbia, which didn’t have many appealing options for breakfast.  Twelve dollars got us some barely edible broccoli salad, an egg salad sandwich and a waxy apple turnover.  No sooner had we finished our food when the captain made an announcement that there was an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet in the dining room.  Oh well.

Close-up of a mountain goat before disappearing behind the mountain

Close-up of a mountain goat before disappearing behind the mountain

The view on the ferry was amazing for the duration of the trip, and I had aspirations of whale watching and bear-spotting from the deck – but Dallas and I couldn’t stay awake for more than a few minutes at a time to appreciate it.

About Sarah

Sarah grew up in Cranston - just south of Providence, Rhode Island - and developed a love for travel, music, and outdoor sports at an early age. She had started bicycling long distances at age 12, as a participant of the MS150 bike tours to raise money for the MS Society. She didn't use her bike regularly until she built her own while studying in Montreal and found it an excellent way to get around the city. After graduating from McGill and moving back to Providence, Sarah started working at Brown University's office of Environmental Health & Safety as the Biological Safety Specialist. She was living 4 miles away at the time, and for the first few weeks was driving to work. She made the switch from driving to bicycling when she realized that she could get to work faster, avoid parking tickets, and integrate a few miles of training into her day. Bicycling was better for the environment and better for her own health and mood. She found that she had more energy and felt much happier once she started biking to work. When her car broke down several months later, she never bothered replacing it. After 4 years of working in Biosafety (and on her master's in Environmental Studies), Sarah left her job to pursue her passion. She has been working various jobs in the bicycle industry since June of 2011, including pedicab driver, bicycle tour guide, bike mechanic and traveling bicycle advocate. In between seasonal jobs, she has done a few long-distance bike tours, which is the main reason for this blog. Her dream is to eventually ride around the world and sail across the oceans.

Posted on 30 April 2013, in Alaska, The space between and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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