June 25, Sunday
At 9:00 a.m. we were off scouting. Across the Gastineau Channel from Downtown Juno is a bridge onto Douglas Island. It was raining, so a drive along the Douglas Island was a dry choice for the morning. There is one highway on Douglas Island, and it runs about 20 miles along less than half of the coastline. A few miles have residences with the homes facing the Channel and Juneau. There is a side-road that goes up to the Eaglecrest Ski area, but other than that, the Island is just a small downtown and a short strip of habitation.
Back on the mainland, we looked for the State Capital Building and found it about 5 blocks off the main waterfront drive. At that point, the streets were narrow and vertical – almost like San Francisco! Beyond the Capital building, the road continued to climb Mt. Roberts, and became incredibly narrow heading back to the Perseverance Trail and the Last Chance Mining Museum. After parking, there was an up-and-down-and-up hike to get to the museum. Along the way we crossed a river with people panning for gold. The Historic AJ Gold Mine was home to the world’s largest air compressor (fresh air for the miners in the hole) and had a beautiful 3D glass map and many mining exhibits.
Following lunch at the Silvermine, we headed out again, driving to the west end of Juno to Eagle Beach. Along the way we saw our first wild bear – up close. Unfortunately, he was walking alongside the busy highway, and there was no stopping for a good picture. I managed to get the back portion as we drove by! We have read that bears are often seen in downtown Juneau, and once recently walked into a bar! So, a bear walked into a bar and said . . .
The drive out to Eagle Beach was about 15 miles along the coast, passing Mendenhall Glacier that we had seen, and two other Glaciers, Eagle and Herbert, that only have hiking trails to get to them. We were delighted with the walking paths at Eagle Beach, and the rain let up as we enjoyed a walk along the beach path and the primitive campground.
We headed back to the Silvermine in the middle of the afternoon with a few chores to organize for tomorrow. We are dropping Charlie Button off at the Pet Nanny (for an overnight spa treatment) in the morning, and we are boarding a plane to fly over to Glacier Bay National Park where we have reservations for a night in the lodge. Come back to read all about it!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown