After Ketchikan, our next port was Juneau. Another pretty coastal town, as well as the state capital for Alaska. And more rain. But that's okay, because it wasn't bitter cold, just wet.
We started out with the Glacier Gardens, and it was my favorite part of the whole trip. I didn't realize that the second largest rain forest in the world is right there in Alaska...the Tongass National Forest. If you see nothing else, see Glacier Gardens.
Next is the gift shop at the Garden. Very pretty. I picked up 3 bottles of blueberry honey to bring home for me and the kids. Sad to say, I put it in my carry-on bags to bring home, and it was confiscated at the security gate. Sigh.
From there we went to the Mendenhall Glacier National Park. It has a scenic overlook to the Glacier, as well as several trails in the area. Tammy went down one of the trails and managed to see a bear. I chose not to do the trails, so I missed out.
2012 calendar in the gift shop full of wonderful scenic shots, and the photographer, Mark Kelley, was there to autograph it. Follow the link to the calendar, and you can see a true picture of the majestic beauty of the glacier (I think it's the May photo).
The next day was Skagway, and we rode the White Pass Yukon Route train 20 miles inland and back. More beautiful scenery! This was a terrific way to get a somewhat up close and personal look at Alaska. The construction of 110 miles of track started in May, 1898, and was completed two years later. I can only imagine the hardships they must have endured.
tour from a street car. Very informative, and lots of fun. Skagway's a small community in the winter with a population of about 850. My guide said they haven't had a baby born there in years because the mothers-to-be leave so they can give birth in an area better equipped to handle it. They have a new clinic, but the nearest hospital is 45 miles away.
The next day we stopped at Prince Rupert in Canada. I really don't know why this was even on the itenerary. We were the only ship in port, and the tour consisted of driving around the neighborhoods and going to a museum. The museum was nice, but could easily have been accessed from the ship. The highlight was seeing an eagle swoop over us to land in a tree across the street.
So there you have it in a nutshell, my trip to Alaska. Circumstances probably won't bring another visit to this great state, but I'm certainly glad to have made it this time. :)