Alaska's Winter Horizon

Alaska's Winter Horizon

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Trip, Haines to Juneau

We checked out of our hotel and headed to the ferry office for tickets for Juneau. After getting tickets, we decided to head for Chilkoot State Park hoping to see some bears.

 Before we even got to the park entrance, we saw 2 grizzlies browsing along the inlet.

We rode into the park and then went back into town for lunch. We walked around downtown Haines for a bit before heading back to the park. This time around, we had 2 grizzlies pop out of the brush right onto the road!

Happy with our continued bear-spotting success, we entered the park. We strolled a bit and then walked on down to the boat dock. We decided to take some pictures by some huge spruce trees.

 About that time, we heard someone yell, "Hey bear!" We originally thought it was a hiker being careful. Then we heard some kayakers yell that there was a bear in the woods. As we were very close, we thought it was time to head back up the hill to the car. The bear suddenly appeared right by the boat dock that we were just on 2 minutes before! The bear became startled and began to run in our direction. As there were many other people standing and taking pictures, with this grizzly bear only feet away, we felt pretty safe. A tour guide blasted an air horn and the bear ran to the water's edge and disappeared into the underbrush. After all the excitement, we drove back toward town and walked along the rocky coastline.

 As we still had over an hour before we needed to be in line for the ferry, our fascination with these bears pulled us back to the park. We topped off a great bear-viewing day with 3 more bear sightings! We finally boarded the ferry and on this very chilly and windy evening about 3 hours into our ride, we did manage to spot a couple of whales in the distance. We sat on the observation deck and watched for more whales while enjoying the breathtaking beauty of this part of the southeast Alaskan coast.

 We eventually arrived in Juneau and made our way downtown to our hotel at about 11:45. A few minutes later, at 12 am, July 4th, we enjoyed an excellent fireworks show in a frenzied, party atmosphere in the state's capital.

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