Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rainforest say what?

August 12th 2008

Welcome to RAINY Juneau (not Juno) Alaska! Let us just start by saying thanks to everyone who gave us a heads up about how much it RAINS in Alaska (oh wait no one told us!)

We quickly took a walk around town before our tour left for the day since we weren't going to have time once we got back.

Today we were excited to be taking a photo tour with professionals. The tour left a little late because all the helicopter tours were being canceled due to the low dense fog. We gained a few extra people with our very small tour of about 12 people.

Our first stop was to visit the incredible Mendenhall Glacier. Lucky for us once we got there the fog started to lift a bit and gave us a higher overhead so we were able to get some decent shots of the glacier. It was breathtaking. We couldn't stop staring, Cyndi said she could have been happy just staying here and taking photos all day. There were many interesting chunks of ice in the lake We took the Moraine Ecology Trail near the Mendenhall Glacier where we saw gorgeous greenery, rivers and waterfalls. There were beaver dams and a couple dozen salmon in the streams. Way to quickly we were told it was time to leave so we grabbed a self-portrait and headed back to the van. During this portion of the tour we were glad to have eluded the rain.

Our tour drove a ways to a trail that took us through some old mining areas and through more of the Alaskan rain forest. Now is where the tour headed down hill a bit. Words cannot describe to you the torrential downpour we endured for 3 hours while walking through the rain forest, trying to keep our cameras dry, keep up with the tour guide and get some decent shots. Proudly we say: cameras made it home without damage! This was an old building which we took shelter in for a few minutes knowing we could double time it to catch up to the rest of our group. Had we not taken this opportunity it cannot be said for certain we would have survived the rest of our time in the increasingly strong rain. Might not be able to tell but we are already soaked to the bone. Cool old building that was part of the mining town. When we FINALLY came out the other side of the rain forest this is the sight we were met with. It was a sandy beach area with logs and tree stumps everywhere. The ocean was indescribable beauty. At this point we were begging for the rain to stop, it let up only a little.
A salmon berry, Cyndi was fascinated by them.

When we made it back to the tour bus there was one final stop at an overlook for a photo opportunity of our ship at the dock. Everyone loaded up on the bus for the last time and we headed back to the port.

The moment we made it back on board we rushed the stairs taking them two by two so as to warm up our bodies and dove head first into a HOT shower. We loved seeing all the fantastic sites in Juneau however the biting cold along with the soaking rain did us in.

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