Friday, August 15, 2014

Foto Friday: Jun-a-ew to Junwoah!

Day7: Jun-a-EW became JunWOAH!

So our seventh day started off pretty lame. All the wonderful weather we had been having finally caught up to us... on the ONE day we kept praying for perfect weather.  You see, we were supposed to take a helicopter ride out to a glacier and mush with some sled dogs.  It was everyone's #1 must-do excursion when we  were planning a month out. Unfortunately, the low cloud ceiling meant no one who had scheduled the helicopter ride got to go.  Fortunately, we were set to be the first group out when everything got cancelled so we were able to re-schedule for the next opportunity at the Skagway port.

That meant we had a whole rainy morning, until re-embarking at 1:00 to explore the city.
Surprisingly enough, there wasn't much open around 8:00am on a weekday... Here are the first beary friendly Juneau-ans we ran into:

Since everyone was a little thrown off by the change in schedule and we were each processing it in different ways, the sisters decided to journey out on our own, with Rah and I deciding we'd tour the town briefly then maybe grab a workout on board. We ended up cancelling those plans after adventure called our names.

Turns out one of Pat's good friends lived in Juneau for a bit and told him about a neat hike just outside the city. After he caught up with us we decided to walk a few blocks (up a major hill, which weas actually the base of Mt. Robets) to the trailhead then make the decision whether to brave the drizzly weather and continue. Well here's what we found:
The hits just seemed to keep on coming that day... however we decided, using my trusty iPhone, to see how far the Basin Rd trail head was and decided to start our hike there since it was only 1/2 mile away.
trail entrance complete with two "Missing Hiker" signs, an ominous beginning...

Once there, the map gave the impression the hike to the tram was less than 1 mile so we decided why not, even though some of us (ahem, myself) had only planned on a walk around town and were wearing running shoes instead of hiking shoes...
We set off, with literally no idea as to what lay ahead of us: turns out it was mud, rain, steep inclines, and:
Trees, lots of trees.
The hike, was on the more difficult side, due to the steep, muddy trail but what made the hike especially challenging was not knowing exactly where we were, or how far we had left to go, with a deadline for the ship's departure ticking ever closer...

Here's our adventure video:

Turns out it was a 2.5 mile hike, which we completed with just minutes to spare of out "point of no return turn around" time. Since we knew we had to get back to the ship by a certain time, we set out that wherever we were by 10:00am we'd turn around to make sure we made it back on time. Things were starting to get tense and we were starting to pick up the pace by the time we turned the last bend and caught sight of the tram. What a glorious sight it was!

And of course here are some photos from the journey:

overlooking the city we walked around to get to the trail

Aw, the married couple!


Once we made it to the top of the tram and confirmed we would make it back down, Jun-a-ew turned into Jun-woah and we were able to soak in the view (in our soaked shoes, although it did finally stop raining).  Also, it turns out if you buy $10 worth of stuff from the tram gift-shop, you get a one-way ticket back down the mountain... hello souvenir coffee mug!
View of our ship form the top of the tram!

At the tram gift-shop we met an apprentice totem-carver who was prepping the wood for the master carver to work with

view from the tram ride down

out to sea!
We ate at Tracy's King Crab Shack, another recommendation from our local connection, and it was delicious. The king crab leg was longer than my arm!!! The crab cakes and crab bisque were delicious as well  and were just what the doctor ordered to end our stay in Juneau.
No hike is complete without a post-hike coconut-crab-cake and crab bisque based meal!

On our way back to the ship we saw fresh salmon flopping up to be processed
We hopped back on the boat (and into the ship's hot tub, after catching up with Tony the Magnificent). We headed out to go through the Tracy Arm and catch a glimpse of the South Sawyer glacier. I set my iPhone up for a stop-motion animation then took a brief nap. I awoke to a magical land of fjords, seals, and glacial waterfalls, but that's next week's post...

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