Dateline May 30, 2011..Juneau to Sitka to Skagway

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Glacier Gardens Juneau

Lots of side adventures while in Juneau. The Glacier Gardens was an interesting tour through the trees up to 600 feet seeing the glacier forest

Plant in glacier forest..large thorns

and learning how it comes back after a landslide and how trees coming down create a eco-system for other trees and plants to thrive. Of course a drive up to the  Mendenhall Glacier was wonderful.

Seeing any glacier is WOW and we could walk right to the Mendenhall glacier and touch it!

Mendenhall Glacier

Also while taking the ferry out of the port in Juneau wonderful views of the glacier.

Mendenhall Glacier from ferry

Besides being on the Marine Highway on a fast ferry (named Fairweather, John’s Mom’s family name), and the slower ferries we saw more whales (black, hump back and Orkas) we also drove around Sitka

view from where we parked for the night

and stayed at the town harbor RV parking area.

Sitka was an interesting town since much of the Russian history is still there..but..with all the cruise ships there is some amount of typical cruise stores around town..We went to the national totem park, learned much there. Totem poles (the very tall ones) are no more than 175-200 years old. Before that there were very short poles of the symbols of their heritage.

In the morning we headed up, via the Marine Highway (ferry), to Skagway, with an overnight in Juneau.It was another beautiful day and we had a great trip.

View from ferry on the way to Skagway

We finally arrived late in the evening the following day in Skagway, stayed at the local park by the ferry port. Skagway is a very small town, many cruise ships arrive there daily lots of jewelry stores “St. Thomas-Alaska” ,huh?

Suspension Bridge on drive

We took off to drive from Skagway to Carcross and back, suppose to be one of the wonderful drives and we were NOT disappointed!

We drove up the road that the people hiked up during the gold rush, White Mountain Pass..One will never know how they got there at the top of the pass is a string of lakes, the pioneers cut trees and made boats to complete the trip through the glacier

One of the series of lakes on top of the pass

mountains, there is a 5 mile radius where there are no large trees since the miners cut them all down to make the boats..WOW..the current road we traveled was only completed in 1974 so is a relatively new method, besides train, to cross over the pass. We finally started seeing bear, not only seeing but so close ..and we found out they were grizzly.. Needless to say we saw 3 bears, large adult (pictured here) and a year old male that was cute and fuzzy.

Back in Skagway we rested at the park to catch a early ferry to Haines to meet up with some of our RoadTrek group..Can’t wait for more adventures..