It isn’t just the tree line is low, there was still snow clearly visible on the mountain peaks.
This is typical of what I saw most off the port side for most of this morning’s cruise to Juneau.
Often the capital of one of the US states is neither the largest nor the most impressive city in the state. Take, for example, Albany – the capital of New York. Closer to home is Sacramento, which is a reasonably sized sprawling city at the norther end of California’s Central Valley. It is not exciting and certainly not LA or San Francisco. Or, for that matter, as interesting as St Paul where I lived for six years. Being, besides the state capital, the poorer and more working class sibling of Minneapolis. No sports teams, no shiny, not fancy but with amazing river views. Major industries included the St Paul stockyards where the major winter sport was broom-ball. Back in the day when the county hospital was called Ramsey County Hospital more than one of us learned our suturing skills on the lacerated scalps of more than one totally drunk player.
Juneau, as the capital of Alaska (Wiki article here) is one of the older cities but certainly not the largest (Fairbanks and Anchorage are both larger). Especially not when you consider that the town’s population can increase by 6000 or more on a summer day’s when several cruise ship’s dock. These past two years have been really rough on the economy as a large share of the population makes a living mostly in the summer and off the tourists.
Douglas Island lies to the west and is bridge connected to Juneau on the mainland via bridge.
It certainly seemed true this afternoon as I wandered through a few stores in town on a very short run off ship. I stopped at the fudge store, the quilt store, the toy store, and a general store. The last had the feeling of a small town store where there were tourist goods, but also a hardware section (hammers, nails, screwdrivers etc), some knitting supplies, sewing supplies, toys. It is early afternoon, mid-week, and the shoppers were just about all tourists. And we are the only ship in port and with a ship’s passenger count below 40%.
I managed to avoid being too much of a tourist as far as the few purchases I made
(except for the small stuffed sea otter)
and was back on the ship long before it stopped raining. I did mention the rain? No? Well, it was raining which is extremely common except when it is a bit colder, then it snows. We were lucky today, the temperature stayed over 5*C… Talking to a few people who went to the Mendenhall Glacier – they didn’t see much due to low hanging clouds…
and then there is Death before Decaf…
which is now at 70%