August 20: from Juneau to Haines and Skagway

It kept raining throughout the night (a spaghetti-thin but dense kind of rain that penetrates nearly everything), and nothing in Juneau imposed itself to be photographed. Indeed, Juneau reminded me of Geneva — much like the Swiss city, its center boasts mainly post-war architecture that puts modernist efficiency ahead of elegance. Much like in Geneva, it rained nonstop. And much like Geneva’s intolerable annual influx of hyper-wealthy Saudi medievalites (a term I just made up), Juneau receives scores of cruise passengers whose tall build, high-tech–and always branded–gear and nasty accents immediately reveal their Teutonic origins. Fortunately I stumbled upon an Indian restaurant where, after a 45-minute wait and an IPA on the house, I sampled some garlic naan, roti, fried spinach leaves, and a variety of chutneys. We spent the night on a completely fogged-in campground near the ferry terminal. Only at 5AM in the morning–we had to check in for our trip to Haines and Skagway at 6AM–did I realize that our campsite was located idyllically between two small ponds. Harry explored one of them and apparently woke up a beaver that taught him a lesson about non-interference: poor Harry squeaked and ran back to la bestia, his tail firmly between his legs. I didn’t see any bite marks, and after a few minutes of shivering he seemed to have forgotten about the encounter.

IMG_0874Aboard the M/V LeConte, one of the passengers spotted a whale in the distance and, soon after, several dolphins.

IMG_0876En route to our stopover in Haines, I finished a recommendation letter and a much-overdue review for a journal. The weather improved markedly shortly before we reached the port.

IMG_0877Harry was–as always–happy to get a potty break.

IMG_0887Departing from Haines (far left). I spent the remaining hour relaxing on the sun deck.

IMG_0882Mind you, I had to get up at 5AM… and was slightly sleep-deprived as a result.

IMG_0892Finally some sunshine!

IMG_0894Pure Alaskan nature. I will miss the constant presence of mountains on the horizon.

IMG_0896A mix of glacial melt and rainwater made this waterfall look rather mighty.

IMG_0903Skagway is one of the main ports of call for cruise ships [can you also spot the helicopter?] — the second from left is the one I had already photographed in Seward; the second from right was moored in Whittier when we were waiting for the M/S Kennicott to take us to Juneau. The one on the far left, however…

IMG_0904… was a new discovery: a Disney-themed ship named “Wonder.” Its stern is remarkably sexy, although I presume the rest of the vessel has been thoroughly whitewashed to ensure a clean G rating.

Aug 20We’ll stay near the border for the night. Tomorrow we’re off to Teslin to meet up with an ol’ friend…

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One thought on “August 20: from Juneau to Haines and Skagway

  1. by the way, skagway, some days before I saw a docu about that region. they made a difference between inside and the marine passage.
    They mentioned Jack London and the dead horse trial. I learnt that the bald or white headed eagle showed up again and that they are proud of,
    as it is a national animal appearing on the sea of the United States. Some of them are living now on the Kodiac Island. .you see how nernous
    I am to learn more about. harmless

    Liked by 1 person

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