I remember waking up on the morning that we pulled into Juneau (the State capital that is only reachable by plane or boat) with butterflies in my stomach because I was excited for our planned excursion. We were going to be taking the Mendenhall Glacier and Whale Quest Tour. Again, this was our 4th Voyage of the Glaciers cruise and yes, this would be our 4th time doing this very same excursion…*that’s* how much I love it. So we disembarked the Coral Princess and found our motor coach for this day’s excursion–we had a lady bus driver who thought she was “all that and a bag of chips”…okay, okay, she was slightly entertaining…slightly. 😉 She could sing nicely though and she directed in a sing-along…okay, so you had to be there…haha. 😉
Yes, I love to see glaciers and on this excursion, our first stop was at the very pretty Mendenhall Glacier; there is also a lovely nature trail that you can follow that winds around a stream and shows you some of prettiest foliage in the State. My hubby and I always take a leisurely stroll on that trail first, there are signs along the way to tell you about the wildlife and salmon, etc…For this geeky girl, Heaven! 😉 🙂
I believe this flower is called “Jacobs Ladder”:
And one year (2010), we got to see a Mama bear and her two cubs munching on a salmon…now *that* got my heart pumping. 🙂
I took a video of this encounter too, here it is:
Mendenhall Glacier is a glacier about 12 miles long located in Mendenhall Valley, about 12 miles from downtown Juneau. It is one of two glaciers that can be seen from Juneau’s road system. Mendenhall flows from the massive Juneau Ice Fields and is a retreating glacier. If you’re interested in knowing more about Mendenhall Glacier and other glaciers in and around Juneau, click here.
Check out Nugget Falls…My hubby took a quick video…It is pretty impressive!
Okie dokie, as always, we enjoyed our time at Mendenhall Glacier, but, it was now time to go to my favorite part of the excursion, whale watching! So back onto our motor coach we climbed and off we went taking the scenic route (because we were early and the whale watching catamaran wasn’t quite ready for us) with Ms “All that and a bag of chips” chattering the entire way. 😉 Again, she wasn’t *that* bad, but I think these motor coach drivers think that need to entertain you every second that you are on their buses when in reality, all you need to do is look out the window and you can be completely entertained by the breathtaking scenery in Alaska. Regardless, we finally arrived at the dock and climbed aboard our boat and off we went…it didn’t take us long to find our first humpback whale–you are guaranteed to see whales on this excursion or you get $100 cash returned to you.
OH wait, we also saw some steller sea lions, one in particular came right up to our catamaran, curious little dude:
This is a coastguard buoy and the steller sea lions are lounging on top if it sunning themselves. They are too cute and they are quite entertaining to watch. There is definitely some jockeying for position happening, but all in all they share the space well. 🙂
But, the stars of the show were the humpbacks, they are amazing!
One year we even got to witness Bubble Net Feeding <~~Great link from National Geographic…
This is a sign that they had hanging in the catamaran, it shows all of the humpback whales that routinely come back to this same body of water every year to feed and to raise their calfs. The humpbacks split their time between Hawaii and Alaska, calfs are born in the warmer waters of Hawaii and then mama, who hasn’t eaten since she left Alaska, and baby make the harrowing journey (about 2800 miles) back here to Alaska so that they can feed…amazing!
Once again, we were not disappointed with this excursion, seeing those humpbacks had made my day, I was once again contented and reminded about just how small we are and how big our world is and how wondrous it can be.
We were almost finished with our cruise, day 6 (of the cruise, day 7 of our adventure) would find us in Ketchikan and on the Bering Sea Crab Fisherman’s Tour–A fantastic experience!
***Update*** I’ve now completed all of my installments in the Voyage of the Glaciers Series and have included links to the next post in line (so to speak) at the end of each posting. So, here is a link to the next post and it covers our time in Ketchikan… 🙂
Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤
I’ve also written two other blog posts that go hand in hand with these blog entries. Here is a link to my Alaska Cruise Wardrobe entry. And here is a link to my What’s In My Carry On, My Must Haves, & Packing Tips and Tricks entry.