A week in Juneau
We spent a week in Juneau and there is so much to do. First, camping in the forest service campground with a view of Mendenhall Glacier is amazing. They have great facilities including showers, the sites are well spaced and very clean. It was so wet when we were there that we had to source dry firewood but that was available at the local Home Depot store. Juneau has a Costco and Fred Meyer were we bought hats, gloves and replenished our happy hour kits. Our outdoor activities included a hike up near the Mendenhall Glacier, a cruise up Tracy Arm to see the whales and glaciers and a floatplane excursion into Pack Creek on Admiralty Island to see the Brown Bears. Bring your warm clothing and be prepared to dodge the raindrops. One afternoon we stopped downtown where the cruise ships dock.
On any given day Juneau swells with the populations of three to five cruise ships. Each carries nearly 3000 people and they all seem to be interested in purchasing jewelry. The cruise ship companies have purchased nearly half of the property in Juneau and when the season ends they close their doors and a large part of the downtown core becomes a ghost town. The passengers are given certificates that give them a “special gift” if they visit the shops on shore owned by the cruise ship lines. The on shore excursions turn Juneau into Disney Land. At one point we saw 8 helicopters hovering over the Mendenhall Glacier as they prepared to land and take a Glacier Sled Dog Ride all for the mere price of $1000. It is sad to see how Juneau has sold out its local population by allowing the ships to run the town. The cruise ship lines are run by foreign companies and little of this wealth comes directly back to the U.S. with very little returning to Juneau. People getting off the ships were always asking to pet Bailey and we heard their entire family history with dogs during these petting sessions. Mr. B ate it up! People from the south wanted to talk about our opinion of this great president and “America First” even though all of ther vacation dollars were heading overseas. We deferred comment emphasizing our great appreciation for the outdoors as people from the Northwest. It was funny to hear them introduce themselves as “not cruise ship people”. I think that being on a ship with 3000 people must be one big stand in line…..but how would we know??? “we are not cruise ship people” We were up at 5:00AM on Friday morning in a huge rainstorm to catch the ferry up to Skagway.