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USA: Juneau we’re going to see some bald eagles! --- FOODIE

May 29, 2013

semi-overcast 68 °F

We arrived in Alaska’s capital and were ready for some action today. . .while walking off the ship we immediately spotted a bald eagle perched on a branch with another one flying overhead. It’s amazing what you can see just sitting on the ship—maybe a bald eagle soaring by or a whale coming up for air.
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You gotta take a boat or a plane because downtown Juneau is nestled at the base of Mount Juneau and is not accessible by roads because of the Juneau ice field. This huge ice mass is the source of about 30 glaciers including the famous Mendenhall Glacier and Lemon Creek Glacier we would get to see today.

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When you get off the boat in Juneau you can see the famous Mount Roberts Tramway and there are stands set up selling everything from helicopter rides to walking tours around town. We decided to go on a whale watching tour and do our own hike around the Mendenhall Glacier admiring it from afar. Don’t do the tour to Mendenhall unless you actually want to put on some crampons and walk on the glacier itself because there’s a cheap bus going from town every hour.

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After a short drive on a city bus we arrived at the Mendenhall glacier visitors center. This place is amazing and a must see if you're in Juneau. We decided to hike over and get a better view of the glacier but before we could even start our hike we spotted a porcupine just hanging-out next to the trail. After I took a few hundred photos of the little guy sleeping we started on our way.

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The hike is flat, smooth and easy with a few good photo spots along the way. If you have time you can take several longer hikes up and around the waterfall. There’s plenty of signs warning you about the bears on the trail but luckily we didn’t encounter any. We did however spot a few mountain goats up high on a cliff! After shooting photos and hiking around this gorgeous location we were ready for some whale watching.

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After boarding a small whale watching boat that would take us through Stephens Passage . We rode around searching for whale spouts in the water and luckily photographed several whales! These creatures are so peaceful despite their immense size. We learned that humpbacks typically take 3-5 breaths before diving down and showing off their tail fluke. We even had a curious sea lion came stick his head out of the water to check us out. Even if you don't see whales; this boat ride would be worth the stunning views with snow topped mountains and Lemon Creek Glacier in the distance.
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  • ***As a tip, we would definitely recommend taking a smaller boat with as few people as possible. You never know where the whales will be or what side of the boat they will appear on so the more room you have to move around—the better! :)

We arrived back to town with a little bit of time to sneak in a FOODIE ALERT. Last season’s Top Chef was filmed in Alaska and the chefs had to cook a crab dish at Tracy’s Crab Shack. Luckily, it was right on the dock and if you are a foodie or just like crab than this is a must stop! After a great lunch with “crab three ways” and a cool beer we were back to our usual dip in the jacuzzi before an amazing crab dinner—and NO, we were not all crabbed out! Lol
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Posted by Tony.Ruby 00:36 Archived in USA

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