No Roads Lead to Juneau

Juneau is a mountain town and a coastal community surrounded by extremely rugged terrain making it one of the most scenic capital cities in the United States. It’s so rugged, it’s virtually an island with all goods and visitors coming and going by plane or boat even though it is part of mainland Alaska.

Early morning arrival … open the curtains and be awakened by the stunning view of Juneau.

The view of Juneau was stunning with the balcony door shut. Open the door and say hello to winter weather. It was cold and damp. Dark clouds and a good breeze were sure to be followed with rain.

Ready to roll … Sally, Theresa and Sue were layered and bundled.

The weather was worse than we hoped. All excursions and outdoor activities were cancelled due to the weather. We may have missed the typhoon but this felt like payback.

There was the usual activity at the gangway but this time passengers were turning around and retreating until the weather improved … it’s a short window today, the ship was departing at 3:00 pm.

Being Minnesota tough, we took the rain and wind in stride.

It was a short walk to the main streets of Juneau and like everyone else, we ducked into the first retail option we could find. It was a very warm and welcoming woolen goods store.

No matter where we walked, we were overshadowed and overwhelmed by the mountains. They were hard to see with the sinking clouds and fog that was setting in as it started to rain harder.

With the rain, we could see several streams flowing down the mountainside.
Stairway to heaven? No it just leads to the next block uphill … a secret shortcut.
Housing was camouflaged in the hillside.
Unsuspecting Theresa is being overshadowed by Alaskan store security … he’s just a teddy bear in disguise.
Shops featured a wide range of local handcrafted items.
A wall full of handcrafted drums painted with Tlinkit icons.
Balcony view: The rain stopped close to ship departure time … the air was exhilaratingly fresh.

Back on the ship and hungry, we opted for the first thing we saw … pizza. Not far from the gangway is a little pizza shop. This tiny pizza factory serves 1500 pizzas per day. Watching, it was a constant flow of pizza prep with oven doors opening and closing every few minutes and a constant flow of hungry people.

Happy pizza chef said they serve 1500 pizzas daily.

No time for napping this afternoon. Going to line dancing with Sally, the dancing queen. Being a few weeks away from 87, she has boundless energy and knows most of the dances. Me … I’m not much of a dancer and could never keep up with this crowd which moved like they were at an advanced aerobics class.

The music is loud and rockin’. Electric Slide is the obvious favorite.
Our dancing queen, Sally, keeps step with this fast movin’ crowd.
Sally and Toni showing off their new moves.

Back at sea, the weather had calmed down and looks nice. Step through that balcony door and it’s a different story.

Being tough Minnesotans, we laughed at the weather and bought hats, scarves and gloves from the ship which had an end-of-season clearance.
An after dinner stop at one of the clubs for Latin music.
A towel bunny greeted us at the end of the evening, courtesy of our room attendant Kevin.

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Jane is a resident of Browndale neighborhood in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

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