So I recently changed the title on my blog because I wanted to be able to document our travels. This particular trip was a solo mission. It was for work.
Yes, technically I am a travel agent. No I don't work for an agency. I work for a cruise line. I spent 4 years in shore excursions. While there I started a program to identify excursions that disabled guests would be able to do. I started with the toughest criteria. Searching for the tours for guests that are non-ambulatory.
That's confined to a wheelchair for those of you that don't speak the pc lingo on handling these situations.
Well now I work in the department that handles the ADA accessibility of guests on board our ships. Sounds easy you say. Not so. ADA is such a grey area that it is the one reason I shave my head. That way I can't pull it out. :)
So back to the reason of this one: Juneau, Alaska. Been there done that. In the southeast panhandle of the state. Accessible only by boat or plane. They are land-locked and you can't drive to it. They have 42 miles of drivable road. Douglas Island is reported to have a get-away home of Harrison Ford. No truth in that from what the locals have told me.
First I have to say that I was surprised to find that not only could I get a GOOD dirty martini in Juneau, but that the particular pub I went to had the vodka that I really like. Three Olives. This is not a premium vodka but one of the best in my opinion. That pub was The Viking. Nothing spectacular about it. Quiet place (well that I could tell since I'd had a few dirty martinis) and plenty of people to chat with.
One thing I did that really stuck out was the helicopter ride up to the Mendenhall Glacier. This is the most easily viewed glacier in Juneau.
Here is a shot of me up on the glacier. In the back ground is an area called the "thunder bowl" named for the thundering roar that you hear just before ice calves from the top of the ridge into the bowl below.
This excellent trip was due in part to the great folks at Temsco Helicopter.
On this particular tour you get about 20-30 minutes on the glacier. You have a guide to show you around and at the end you have some free time to explore on your own before the helicopter comes back for you.
The Mt Roberts Tram is another really fun attraction while in Juneau. There are two European style trams that take you to the top where you have hiking trails, a cultural theatre, gift shops and a restaurant. The view is phenomenal as you can see. I totally recommend doing this while your there. It's not a lot of money and there is no set time frame since you come and go at your leisure.
I have to throw this one in. It's not Juneau but this is a must see when you get to Alaska. This is the Hubbard Glacier. It's located in the Yakutat Bay. This is accessible by cruise ship. This is one of our cruise ships in the foreground.
Our ships stay one mile back due to the frequency of calving from the glacier. This is a spectacular sight to see and the roar that is created just before the calving is something to hear.
Just to give you an idea how big this particular ship is, it's 82,000 grt (gross registered tons) is 936 ft in length with a beam of 105.8 ft. It accommodates 800 crew and 1848 guests. It's not one of the mega cruise ships out there, but is a healthy size and that glacier really dwarfs it and any other ship out there.
Now it's off to apply another coat of stain to a stool and think about dinner. I will work on putting together some photos of my trip into Ketchikan for another post at another time.