Sunday, July 6, 2014

Day 7 (part 1)


We did so much this day that I'm going to break it into two or three posts.   We docked in Juneau at 7AM.  Ron was first off the ship at 8:30 for his tour to Mendenhall Glacier and ride up Mt. Roberts Tramway.  Hard as it is to believe, he passed on joining me for . . .

A seaplane ride over five glaciers!  Wha-hoo!

I was assigned to the yellow plane with just 5 other passengers.  The other planes had eight or even 10, but when the girl was assigning planes, you could see she saved the bigger people for last.  What does that tell me that I was in that group?

Even with only the six of us and the pilot, it seemed that we were never going to get airborne.  Hey!  That's like a bonus boat ride!

Then we were up and over the mountains.

Although we were told the names of all five glaciers, I only remember two.  This is one I forgot.

But I remember Taku Glacier, which we flew over for quite awhile.  At 36 miles long and 4845 feet thick, it's recognized as the thickest glacier known in the world.  (This is according to Wikipedia since I didn't remember anything the guide said.)  It covers an area of  386 square miles.

As you can see, glaciers are full of crevices, not smooth like I had always imagined them.

Then we were over the Juneau Icefield, an unbelievable 1500 square miles in size.  Here's the view out my window.

And out the other side.

Hey!  Aren't we getting a little close to the peaks?

Here's another one whose name is unknown to me.

But this one I know is Mendenhall Glacier.  Ron is at that visitors center in the upper left corner of the picture.  Oh, I think I see him waving.

Mendenhall has a lot of that nice blue color.

One more look back up the glacier.

From the sky, you can see that most of the residential area of Juneau clearly lies in the valley that was carved by Mendenhall Glacier.  They better hope there's not another ice age.
I don't know if you can see it, but the airport runway is near the bottom of the previous picture.  Right next to it is a man-made water runway for all the seaplanes.

Lastly, we passed downtown Juneau before landing.

This rivals the train ride for my favorite thing.


  1. I would love that plane ride. Those glaciers are just so marvelous.

  2. I'm really enjoying your tour of Alaska and the pictures are wonderful. Thanks.

  3. Don't think I could do that small plane. Thanks for showing us what the glaciers look like from above.

  4. Glaciers are fantastic things and a seaplane ride thrown in too....even I who isnt keen on flying would have been tempted.

  5. Most awesome views of the Glaciers...small planes and my head don't mix well. Big planes either really.

  6. I might have gone with Ron, rather than with you. But I sure enjoy you photos of the glaciers from the plane. Quite a sight!
    Isn't Wikipedia great for bloggers? It fills in the gaps.

  7. They needed a skinny young lass to balance out all the heavy folks in that plane. :cD

    Great pictures, what a special experience!

  8. All those ridges and crevasses were a surprising aspect of glaciers the first time I saw them. Despite many trips to places where glaciers and icebergs abound, I never tire of seeing them.