Saturday, March 6, 2010

Glaciers, Whales, and the Best Hospitality

Upon arrival in Juneau, Craig and I faced some frustration as we drove from campsite to campsite, finding them all closed for the season. Yes it is the beginning of March, and yes we are in Alaska where it's cold, and yes we are in Juneau where it rains and snows always...but that doesn't mean they should close all the camp sites! We really didn't know what we were going to do because the cheapest place to stay here was still $70 a night. Just for reference, a Motel 8 in Boise, Id is $40/ night. In Juneau, AK, it's $110. It's understandable because this place is so hard to access and all supplies must come in by boat, but it just wasn't in our budget to dish out that much cash. Thanks to a friend of a college friend, I had one contact in Juneau, Alida. She was so welcoming and kind and invited Craig and I over for tea. We explained our dilema of not knowing where we could stay and before we knew it, she hooked us up with a lady named Lori, who would quickly make all of our cares disappear. Lori runs a Methodist Camp about 25 miles outside of town with about 15 cabins on the property. She rents them out to visitors and for some very generous reason, she invited Craig and I to stay for 5 days at no cost. We were so relieved and appreciative to have a roof over our head and we were so surprised to find that this was not just any old cabin, it was fabulous! Not only was it a heated cabin, but it also had a kitchenette and a double bed with heated blankets! How spoiled are we! We've really been enjoying our stay in the cabin. Lori and her husband, Virgil, are so friendly and even had us over to play games and eat chocolate one night!
The Treat Cabin- thanks a million, Lori & Virgil!!!!

One afternoon, Craig and I took at trip to the Mendenhall Glacier to hike around. If the lake is frozen enough, you can walk or ski across it all the way up to the glacier. That wasn't the case for us so we just hiked around in the forest around it and got some great views of the pretty blue ice. We also made a trip to the Alaskan Brewery-delicious!

The Mendenhall Glacier

Craig happily eating snow, Copper not so happily standing in the wet cold

View from the brewery, the clear line where rain turned to snow at the higher elevation

On the drive back to the cabin, we drove into the most beautiful sunset over the water and mountains. We pulled over on the side of the highway to enjoy the view a bit longer when we heard a strange noise. In pure jest, Craig said, "That must have been a whale." The two of us laughed until our gaze simultaneously fell upon the backs of two humpback whales swimming right in front of us. We were speechless! It was so awesome to see the two swim along with water squirting out their spouts. We weren't close enough for photos of the whales but it's a memory I won't forget.
The beautiful view where we spotted the whales! :)

1 comment:

Evan said...

the look on copper's face is priceless