Juneau, AK

I have to admit that when we rolled into Juneau, I was a bit disappointed at first. It was raining and the trip was coming to an end. It had been absolutely perfect up to that point, so I couldn’t see how Juneau was going to add to the trip. However, I kept my head up and thought about my Alaskan friend, Cara, who had grown up in this town. I wanted to finally see through her eyes and live the beauty she had shared with me for years.

Ray and I got out our guide book and decided to do a “walking tour” through the town. We followed the suggested paths, stopped off at the places they recommended, got totally soaked and had a fantastic day in Juneau.

We started off with a trip to this tiny museum that hard all sorts of eclectic things, from Harley Davidson posters to Tlingit traditional feathers. Strangely enough, Juneau has the highest number of motorcycle owners per capita. It’s a rather bizarre idea, since it rains here constantly and there are only 91 miles of road. Roads here end and don’t connect with other cities, like in other parts of the country!

Then we walked over and saw Sarah Palin’s house, with her kids’ trampoline in the backyard. It was pretty exciting to see the Governor’s Mansion, especially because the announcement of her candidacy was made during our trip.

We walked to their cemetery to see where Joseph Juneau rests, up the Flume (an old aqueduct that was turned into a walking path through the forest). It is apparently THE place to be, as all the high school kids hang out there when they get out of school. Rain doesn’t stop Alaskans, so we figured it shouldn’t stop us!

Then we walked up to the Last Chance Mining Museum and panned for gold in the river. It is estimated that there are about 6 million ounces of gold left in the mountains. We found out that one guy is a regular gold panner, he comes every single day before and after work, looking to strike it rich! After six hours of walking around, we went back to The Hangar, a restaurant known for its Halibut Burger. We had a taste of that, some hot tea and headed to the airport to catch our red eye back to New York through Seattle. It was another wonderful and magical Alaskan day!