Thursday, June 6, 2013

Juneau-day 4-all about wildlife!!

Today was the first day that we rented a car and headed outside of downtown Juneau. We started early and headed straight for the Mendenhall Glacier. 

I have seen a lot of glaciers. Living in Alaska we are surrounded by them and we have also visited glacier national park in Montana. I do think Mendenhall is my favorite. The glacier is huge and calves (breaks chunks off) right into the lake. There is a huge thundering waterfall, Nugget Falls, right beside it. The valley offers sweeping views of the glacier and the trails and viewings areas are all well maintained. 

Ocoee loved picking up rocks and tossing them into the lake. We did the hike to Nugget falls and she just enjoyed being a kid and playing with rocks, dirt and water-better than anything at the toy store. 

Today though was all about wildlife. The drive to the glacier led us past a river bed where several dozen eagles sat waiting for some fish to eat. There were so many! Throughout the entire day we say many, many more. Juneau is great eagle viewing country. 

After lunch at yummy Paradise Cafe we headed further down the road to shrine of saint Theresa and eagle beach. 

On the way a big fat porcupine strolled lazily across the road. I had to stop for several minutes while he made his way slowly across the road. He was adorable Ina cartoon like way. 

At eagle beach we were treated with several whales and seals skimming along very close to shore. The whales were so close I felt I could toss a rock and hit them. Pictures do not do the area justice. The snow capped coastal range mountains against the green temperate rain forest and water ways with hidden coves and beaches was truly gorgeous. 

The best treat came as we made our way back to downtown juneau. A Sow black bear and her three cubs were hanging out on the side of the road munching on dandelions. They put on a great show and the three cubs were falling and rolling all over themselves. Ocoee was asleep and I didn't want to wake her so I made video of it to show her later. She has been witness to many wildlife sighting that she hasn't actually seen. Oh well growing up here she will get more chances. 

For dinner we ate at Zen in our hotel. Ocoee was able to see her Buddha and the food was some of the best we have had. I recommend the coconut curry shrimp and hubby liked the black cod stir fry. The whole family gobbled up the fresh and non greasy crab Rangoon!

Now ocoee is snuggled up, hubby is bowling with coworkers and I am finally going to begin reading poison wood bible. 


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