Trip Start Aug 06, 2008
7Trip End Oct 11, 2008
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So, the open road lay ahead ... a whole 2,050 (ish) km to Skagway. The driving wasn't as bad as we had imagined, although it was over 24 hours driving in all. We stopped at Fort Nelson for the night, and managed to see the forest of signs on the way out.
The second day proved a more interesting journey, with sighting of moose, deer and lots of buffalo! We crossed the border and descended from the clouds into Skagway.
Despite the weather (fog and rain - it made me feel at home) we knew that we would love Alaska. The town of Skagway was beautiful, and we stayed in a delightful B&B, the highlight of which was the cookie jar!
We then boarded the ferry to Juneau. Sadly, despite the fact that the whales had been very active over the last few days, we didn't see any on the journey. Our consolation prize was sighting of porpoises (dolphins) and a bald eagle. We also had fantastic views of a number of glaciers.
Upon docking at Juneau, it took us a while of wondering why people were taking pictures of the car park until we saw the bald eagle perched on a street light right next to the ferry!!
In Juneau we spent the first evening at the Glacier, where there was a bear watching platform. It's over a creek, where the salmon were abundant - heading up stream to spawn! Whilst we were waiting for the bears we were entertained by a porcupine in a tree! The bear then arrived, with her two adorable cubs and we were lucky enough to see her fish for and eat salmon about 2m away from us!
The next adventure was Pack Creek, an island only accessible by air or sea where the grizzly bears live. Our flight was delayed a few hours due to fog, but the weather eventually lifted and we flew there ... on a very small sea plane (5 people including the pilot) - fantastic! We trekked through the forest to the viewing platform, where we were greeted by a gizzly bear feeding near to the viewing platform. We saw a few more bears hunting (well, standing on salmon there were so many of them!) before we went to the estuary. There we saw a very enthusiastic young male hunting, and then a mother with two (yet again, adorable) cubs. Just as it was time to leave, the sow and her cubs came very close - obviously posing for a family portrait!
A whale watching trip filled another day and along with humpbacks there were lots of sealions to keep us entertained
We spent our final evening mixing with the locals, in particular "Woolfie" who introduced us to everyone in the pub!