What happened to Part IV, you ask. Or not . . . you probably don’t care.
Regardless, the previous post was Part VI, but it had been so long since Part III, and I am so senile, that I had forgotten the numbering/naming system I was using. Nah . . . I wanted to use the name, giving a nod to Douglas Adams, and I forgot to add the preface to the title.
Wait . . . so, yeah . . . old, senile.
Juneau . . . one of the bad thing with this cruise (other cruises have different schedules) are the short layovers when we stop. There is barely time to do anything, and Juneau was such a stop. Well, I should clarify . . . if you join an excursion, you get places, and do things, without the worry of missing the boat if you run late. Unfortunately, excursions mean rubbing shoulders with people; lots of people. That’s not me, Bob.
So, having about four hours, we decided to take the bus out to Mendenhall Glacier. And, we decided to walk from the ship to the departure hub for all the land cruises (less than a half mile).
. . . way the reproduction act up the friggin’ trees; tall carnal knowledge trees. And not only were they tall, but dark, and the sky was overcast, and the wind was blowing me about as I tried to point the five-pounds-worth of camera and lens straight up. Yup, all excuses as to why I only have a few photos of eagles, and not very good ones, at that.
Keep in mind these were the best ones I had.
Anyway, between the getting to the bus, buying the tickets, waiting for the bus, riding to the glacier whilst listening to a mildly entertaining bus driver, an hour and a half of our four hours had evaporated into the mist of time. I can do math, so I went at it . . . carry the 1 . . . no, wait, there is no carry . . . subtract, round off to the nearest minute . . . looks like we’ll have just about an hour at the glacier. Then we hear there is only one more bus returning to the dock . . . miss it, and you are stuck. So, realistically, to be safe, maybe 45 minutes.
Not optimal, but doable . . . except the interesting thing to see at the glacier, and to get a good look, is a waterfall a mile away. OK, hauling 25 pounds of gear is a snap for me, and 15 minute mile is close to our normal walking pace when we are out walking. That will leave 15 minutes to soak in the sights, and snap some photos.
OK, so we’re hauling, trying to pass meandering Japanese tourists who like to take up the width of the path, and I have to stop and snap the above. I had looked them up, and even were featured on one of the blogs I follow, but remember that senility thing I mentioned?
Bottom line, I don’t remember what it was. I did another search, and the closest I got was Rosebay Willow Herb seeds. I’m going with that, because I’m pretty sure that’s what they are.
On our way to the waterfall, I did occasionally stop to snap a photo . . . or so I told Melisa. Actually, I was just trying to catch my breath . . . all that cruise ship food had settled nicely on various parts of my body. It was like carrying around an extra bag of sugar (in addition to all the bags I normally carry). That is the glacier. Here are some close-ups.
That’s bigger than it looks (there is nothing there to give it scale . . . maybe later). But, our destination was the big-ass waterfall coming off the glacier . . .
Breathing hard, sweating, and trying to keep the camera steady, I literally kept an eye on the clock as I snapped each photo. I did try to “slow” the water down, and it might be slightly evident in some photos (in the SmugMug Gallery HERE), but the waterfall is too massive for that to work well . . . also, it was cloudy, making the metering an iffy thing (very bright water, darker hillsides).
I used the ground as a tripod, snapped a few more shots, and then we headed back.
They are OK, but uninspired photos . . . they look like snapshots, because it’s what they were. BUT . . . on the mad rush back to catch the bus, I took a few more of what I thought were somewhat composed, and quasi-semi-professional photos.
Those are really large chunks of glacial ice, giving you a small idea of how big the glacier is.
Also, you notice the cairns. They might just be a personal expression, and not trail markers or burial markers, but they were interesting. Cairns appear in nearly all cultures, and they are always interesting to see (mainly because I don’t see many).
Finally, we are back at the bus stop . . . and I take a last shot of the glacier as can be seen over the visitor center . . . it gives you an idea of the size of it.
Probably a little more . . . a mile is just what we had walked; the glacier is probably another quarter, to half a mile farther from the visitor center. Some of this is probably “zoom compression”, but it does really look that big.
As usual, thanks for stopping by, and I hope it was worth your while. If it was, tell everyone. If it wasn’t . . . if it leaves you cold . . . sorry. I’ll try harder next time.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.