Friday, May 29, 2015.

We woke up at 4:45 am. The sun has been up for a while. We’re on Alaska time now, an hour earlier than California. Outside the window, we could see snow-capped mountains passing by.

This is the default display on the TV in the cabin. Strong headwinds.
Merrianne went to a stretching session in the morning.

We had breakfast with Jackie and Steve at the buffet.

shore packing list
It was a port day, so I unloaded non-essentials from my day pack. We were going to the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau. As I did not know what glacier might be like, so brought jacket, shorts, long sleeve shirt, snow hat, gloves, sun hat, and a full water bottle. I brought my laptop to sync to the internet, as I had not had a connection since we left California. In the end, my pack was fully stuffed, and heavy.
For lunch, the four of us had a reservation at the Pinnacle Grill, the finest restaurant on board. It was a $10 supplement each for lunch. I’d say that it was a nice meal, but hardly better than eating at the Rotterdam dining room, which was free.

By the time we disembarked, it was already 2:30 pm. We took a bus to Mendenhall Glacier ($20 each round trip), with the last bus leaving the glacier at 4. I looked at my thermometer in the bus, and the temperature was 85 degrees F. All the cold weather clothes were dead weight. That gave us just an hour to look around. The glacier water wasn’t as freezing cold as I would have expected. It was cold, but like a glass of drinking water.

Mendenhall Glacier
The glacier is receding very quickly. Jackie and Steve said that a few years ago when they visited, the glacier was all the way up to where we’re standing.

After we got back to town, we hiked Roberts trail. Getting to trailhead itself was a walk. I liked the hike, which as 2 miles, 1800 feet elevation gain. We started at 5:15 pm at the trailhead, and reached the restaurant at 6:40 pm. To save time, we took the tram down.  It was $10 for each person, or free with a $10 purchase from the gift shop or restaurant. We saw a bald eagle soaring very close to the tram station, but by the time I took out the camera, it was gone.

The poster is for a hiker that went missing a few days before we arrived.
The trail was only about 2 miles long to the restaurant, but steep. Similar to hikes in Hawaii, except not humid.
One of the local hikers told us that this common broad-leafed plant is called Devil’s Club. Look at that stem!

I hunted for internet access, but couldn’t get a connection anywhere in town. Bitterly disappointing. It will have to wait yet another day. No blog updates.

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