I was up early on Thursday morning, helped by the 4 hour time difference. I set out at 5am to explore Juneau; it was drizzly and cloudy.
The view of Juneau Harbor from our hotel room
The Wilderness Explorer, docked just across from the hotel – this is the boat we would be on for Week No. 3
Just one of many ravens flying around Juneau
A large mural along the dock
A view down the pier – the larger cruise ships dock at the far end
Tracy’s King Crab Shack – a popular destination for …………………. Alaskan King Crab
The Red Dog Saloon – another popular tourist attraction. It was too early for a beer at 6am
The Alaskan Brewing Co. store – a good source for souvenir T-shirts. We would enjoy their brews on the trip.
Main Street was quiet early in the morning, except for the photobombing ravens
I was back at the hotel before 7am, and Lou was ready for breakfast. We walked to the Sandpiper Cafe, and had a very good meal. Food is expensive in Alaska, but we didn’t find it much more than in most resort areas in the US.
The Sandpiper Cafe – good recommendations on Trip Advisor, and a short walk from the hotel
Lou’s healthy selection of corned beef hash
Eggs over medium – the last photo of an egg in this report …
Note – I like to take food photos, but will try not to overdo it in this report.
Since we were up early and had a free day, we decided to go to Walmart to get some last minute supplies for the trip. I had booked a rental car for the day; this was easy since there was an Avis rental counter right at the Goldbelt Hotel. It was about a 20 minute drive to Wal Mart, which was out near the airport. We picked up a supply of cold medicine, ibuprofen, spare reading glasses, sun glasses for Lou, and a few other items. We didn’t have a cold, but thought it best to be ready since we would be gone for so long. We also drove around to see if we could find a Verizon store, but no luck (even though they advertised coverage in Juneau, we had no luck with the phones while in Alaska – those darned Apple iPhones).
We were up early for our 6:15am flight (it was originally at 8:00am when we booked it – thank you, Delta). Lou pushed the luggage cart across the street from the hotel to the check-in counter, and we were soon on our way.
Lots of camera gear – one suitcase each with our clothes for a month
It took us over 17 hours to get from Bangor, Maine to Juneau, Alaska. We had a 5 hour layover in Detroit, and 3 hours in Seattle. Our flights went like clockwork – a very slow clock.
The psychedelic moving walkway in Detroit
We saw more of the Delta Sky Lounge than we wanted
Finally leaving Seattle
Flying into the sunset
We landed in Juneau at 9pm AK time (4 hours ahead of ME time)
The Goldbelt Hotel – not fancy, but fine for our weary bodies – it’s still not totally dark at 9pm
We were met in Juneau by a representative of Un-Cruise who drove us to our hotel. We were both asleep shortly after checking in.
Lou planned a month long trip to Alaska for us in celebration of my 60th Birthday. Our itinerary included 3 Weeks of Un-Cruising the Inside Passage, and a week long land tour to Denali National Park. Un-Cruise Adventures is the name of the cruise line; we will be cruising on small ships with no more than 76 passengers and 20+ crew members. The style is informal, and the itinerary subject to change depending on what the day brings. The tour Lou chose is called the Ultra Adventure and we start our cruising in Juneau, Alaska. Our vacation started May 16th, and ended June 15th.
Week 1: Inner Reaches Eastern Coves; Juneau to Ketchikan on the Wilderness Discoverer
Week 2: Inner Reaches Western Coves; Ketchikan to Juneau on the Wilderness Discoverer
Week 3: Northern Passages and Glacier Bay; Juneau to Sitka on the Wilderness Explorer
Week 4: Land Tour – Alaska Railroad, Denali National Park and Redoubt Bay; Sitka/Fairbanks/Denali/Anchorage
(To read about just one portion of our trip, you can go to theSite Navigationpage and click on a category or post, or just click on the links above)
The trip was booked over 18 months in advance, and we had some unexpected events occur during the interim period. We adopted Stitch, our second Cocker Spaniel just 6 weeks before we were due to leave for Alaska. We also purchased a house in Maine, where we will be spending our summers. These events combined almost made us postpone the trip, but our good friend Mij saved the trip. Mij took time off from her life in Arizona, and flew to Maine to take care of the dogs and the house.
Life was hectic in the weeks preceding the trip, since we had to drive 2 Cocker Spaniels from Florida to Maine, move into a new house, and pack for Alaska. With help from friends, we managed to get everything done, and we were on our way …
Our flight from Bangor, Maine departed at 6:15am, so we opted to stay at the airport hotel the night before our trip. We said our goodbyes to Mij and the pups as we hopped in the limo (an aging mini-van) for our hour ride to Bangor:
Natasha & Stitch – “Hey, what about us?” (They were getting a haircut the next day)
Mij waves goodbye – we know everything is in good hands. Thank you, Mij!!!
This blog will give you the highlights of our trip. There will be lots of photos. I (Sharon) will be narrating, and the story will be told from our perspective, but I will also include a few photos from the Un-Cruise photo share site to give you a view of activities outside our comfort zone. Once we get into the Un-Cruise portion of the trip, I’ll be sharing photos of our fellow passengers. For privacy reasons, I won’t be including names. If anyone sees their photo here and doesn’t approve – please let me know and I’ll quickly take care of it.
(Note: The dates in this report coincide with our travel dates, but this report was published in November, 2013.)
What a difference a day makes. Our sunshine is gone, and we’re back to cold and foggy Maine mornings, with some rain.
This shot is from yesterday afternoon – you can see a lot more color coming out. Unfortunately, some of the trees are losing their leaves completely, so it may be a disappointing color show in a few more days.
I took this photo on my way back to the boat this morning after my travels North South West I have no clue. Even though it was raining and foggy, I had hopes of seeing the sun come through – it never did. Also – forgot to mention that we have moved again! You can barely see the boat down at the end of the dock – now even closer to the Giant Larvae, who have multiplied since last week.