Juneau: Norris Glacier Helicopter and Dogsled Tour
Just east of Juneau, Alaska, along Taku Inlet are a series of mighty glaciers. Era Flightseeing took me atop one, the Norris, via helicopter; once there dogsleds took me around the awe-inspiring glacial world. The folks at Era could not have been nicer or more professional; I never felt unsafe, but we still had a blast! I definitely recommend taking a trip with them...
Treadwell Mine, Douglas, Alaska
On the edge of downtown Douglas, Alaska, in a lush forest with a serene, rocky beach, you can find the remains of the Treadwell gold mine. What once was a thriving hub of miners, horses, and donkeys, is now a lovely hiking trail in which you come across strange metal pipes and machine pieces, concrete walls, and glory holes...
Alaska: Mount Roberts Tramway, Juneau
On June 30, 2016, four of us walked up the Gold Creek Flume Trail and Basin Road area east of downtown Juneau, Alaska, enjoying the gorgeous rain forest, and then circled back to then ride the Mount Roberts Tramway to watch the golden "hour" light shimmer over Gastineau Channel and the surrounding mountains. (That lovely pre-sunset light in the Alaskan summer can last an impressively long time!) Atop the tramway we followed more trails to have an evening picnic above the city.
Alaska: Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in the Anchorage Museum
After exploring the Juneau region, we headed to the mountains around Anchorage. But first I made a quick stop after getting off the plane at the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in the Anchorage Museum. It houses a wonderful collection of native arts and crafts as well as photos, maps, videos, and other educational materials. A great experience. My eyes were opened to the wide range and beauty of the native work here. (I particularly loved the masks, as you can see in my photos.)
Alaska: North End of Douglas Island
On June 29, 2016, during my trip through Alaska, we explored the northern end of Douglas Island, across from Juneau. The water and sky were matching shades of bright, light blue. The air was calm and smelled like seaweed (in the best possible way). We drove North Douglas Highway to the end stopping along the way at beaches and overlooks.
Alaska: Jensen-Olson Arboretum
On the north end of Juneau is the Jensen-Olson Arboretum. Sitting on a beach overlooking the Chilkat Mountains, the arboretum has a great collection of primroses, poppies, irises, and more. Fairly small, but well worth a visit!
Alaska: Fourth of July "Olde Time" Firefighter Hose Races
As part of the annual Fourth of July festivities in the beautiful town of Douglas (next to Juneau, capital city of Alaska), the volunteer fire department challenges Juneau firefighters to what they call an "olde time" hose race. Teams roll out and connect groups of fire hoses as quickly as they can, in order to douse the opposite team before they douse you. This activity is repeated several times until everyone is happily exhausted. It's all in the name of fun, with a prime objective to also drench the onlookers on this warm summer day.
Alaska: Warm Lake near Twin Glaciers
In the summer of 2016 I visited Alaska, focusing on the areas around Juneau and Anchorage. It's a huge and lovely state, truly epic, and I cannot wait to return. For my first blog post about it, I thought we could take a look at the well-named Warm Lake (I figure its temperature was about 75 degrees Fahrenheit that day) near the equally well-named Twin Glaciers and Twin Glacier Lake, just off the Taku River, not too far from Juneau in southeast Alaska.