It had seemed impossible to sort through pictures (even though I had already done it for some Snapfish projects) and write about the rest of our vacation. Apparently I just needed to talk about outlet covers for a bit because this morning the task didn't seem daunting at all.
Mom, Andrew and I spent three days in Seattle before boarding a giant ship and going on an Alaskan cruise. Our first stop was Juneau. Juneau is Alaka's capital, which I find interesting considering you can't get there except by water or sky. The roads all end either in forest or glacier. There's a ferry system connecting Juneau with 33 or 34 little villages, and our guide told us that Juneau is able to support some big box stores because these villagers make occasional trips to stock up on durable goods. Juneau's three largest economic areas are government, tourism, and fishing.
We had signed up for a combination excursion of whale watching and a rainforest hike. This is the boat in which we went whale watching.
The boat captains talked over radio to one another about where whales had been spotted, so we were able to go a few places where there was activity.
We found these sea lions resting on a buoy.
We also saw whales, although it's nearly impossible to get a good photo. We saw lots of tails, flashes of skin, and spouts of water. Here's a decent tail shot.
We took a walk through part of the Tongass National Park. Our walk was through a temperate rain forest. Everything was covered with lichen and moss, and it was very, very pretty.
We walked to Mendenhall Lake at the base of Mendenhall Glacier. I didn't get great photos of the glacier because of the rain and fog, but here's one of a waterfall from snow runoff into the lake and some of the giant hunks of ice floating in the lake.
This first stop is where I started to get an inkling of how big and wild Alaska is. Later in the week, a guide would tell us that an Alaskan is born every minute, just not necessarily in Alaska. Lots of the people we talked with had relocated to Alaska from somewhere else. After spending just a little bit of time there, I can understand the pull. It's very, very beautiful.
Next post: Skagway!