Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Alaskan Adventure: Day 3

Day #3 was a day of firsts. The first, first: I had my very first massage. We're celebrating our 14 year(!) wedding anniversary this trip, and Shira thought it would be romantic to have a couple's message. The whole notion of a stranger rubbing me pretty much freaked me out - what if I hated it? What if I loved it? What the heck, it sounded romantic, why not give it a try?

Apparently, I missed the memo where I was explained just how painful massage is. The goal of a message, apparently, is to collect all the lactic acid from a particular part of your muscle into a tight little ball, and then rub it till it dissipates, which meant that I spent a good bit of the massage groaning - and not good groaning either. In the end, it was a fun and romantic adventure, but I truly don't see the appeal.

At 2pm, our boat docked in Juneau, where we were met with an overcast and rainy day. Hardly perfect weather, but that's life in Southeast Alaska, we're told. We got off the boat and made it to our second first of the day: Mendenhall Glacier.

Wow. Our photos just don't do this natural wonder justice. The glacier really is a massive river of blue ice. We took a 3+ mile hike around the surrounding area, which was also gorgeous. The area is a rainforest, but not the type we're used to seeing in the tropics.

As we were walking back to the bus, directly across from the visitor center, we saw a crowd gathered with cameras out. We quickly joined, and sure enough, there was a relatively small black bear about 10 feet off into the woods. There was a park ranger standing next to me, and as as long as she wasn't concerned, I wasn't either.

How typical is it: you hike through miles and miles of pristine wilderness, and then see the bear across from the visitor center?

After the glacier we explored Juneau, but it was really too wet and cold to wander too far.

All in all, and amazing day.


  1. I dont think you ordered the right type of massage :)

    Nice pic of the ice.

    As for the bears, I get them outside trying to eat my chickens every other week... Black bears are reasonably friendly, watch out for the grizzlys/brown bears though. I think a few people a year still get attacked/killed by grizzlys.

  2. nifty... we have almost the same exact picture from two weeks ago in front of the same glacier... and yes it was raining.

  3. Thanks for the comments guys!

    We really got lucky that Juneau was our only day in rain. After sloshing around for the day, everything else was a joy.

    @keldar21 - I've encountered black bears in the Adirondacks, and there too, they are considered pretty harmless. Just stay away from the cubs. Brown bears, on the other hand, I've been taught to fear in a major way.