Sunday, 11 December 2011

Day 11 Juneau, Alaska

Day 11
Cosmopolitan Juneau straddles the Gastineau Channel with the main part of the city along a narrow strip on the eastern shore and the western suburbs on Douglas Island. It is the capital of Alaska but is only reached by sea or plane. There are roads but they do not connect to any other settlement. Joe Juneau and Dick Harris' 1880 discovery of gold in Gold Creek established its importance on the route to the Klondike and it took over the role of capital from Sitka in 1900. We arrived at Juneau at 7.00am and were due to leave at 5.30pm.

In the morning we headed out to a Musher's Camp deep in the beautiful temperate rain forest of Douglas Island. Spruce and hemlock trees drapped in thick layers of moss dripping in the mists of the sunrise greeted us.

We learned about the life of sled dogs and their musher, getting very close up and personal.

At least one dog had different coloured eyes.
We enjoyed a trip along a wooded trail being whisked through the trees on a wheeled sled pulled by very enthusiastic huskies.

When the ride was over we had a presentation by an Iditarod veteran followed by a cuddle with some adorable puppies.

In the afternoon we embarked upon what promised to be an exciting trip but in the event turned out to be somewhat disappointing. The Whale Watching and Wildlife Quest took us out into the Favorite Channel a branch of the Lynn Canal. We did see whales but only at considerable distance like this humpback caught just after surfacing and before diving again.
 Then, of course there was the occsional Stellar Sea Lion draped rock but not much else.

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