Monday 25th July Juneau - Glacier National Park
Despite packing before going to bed, getting up at 05:10 was difficult. I sleep very well but noticed that the bunk below me was empty... so maybe there was some snoring involved!
I shared a taxi with two others who were going to the airport which is on the way to the ferry terminal. It was only on the way that I remembered that my nice warm coat and camera battery charger were still in the hostel! It turned out that the driver was going back to pick up the other five people in the hostel who were also going on the ferry so the day was saved! Reunited with my possessions we left Juneau at 07:00 in a smaller version of the ferry that brought me up from Prince Rupert. It was full and the only space left was in the solarium on the top deck, under the blazing heaters. It is a six hour voyage with a stop at Hoonah after four. I had oatmeal and maple syrup with a cup of tea for breakfast for $4.5. There were humpbacks performing in the bay at Hoonah and on the way to Gustavus too. The low clouds,mist and banks of drizzle gave way to drier and brighter weather as we got closer to Gustavus dock. One unloaded we found a green school bus waiting to take passengers the ten miles to Bartlett 's cove where there is a lodge and the camping ground. This runs ever hour till 21:30 and is free, allowing visitors to go downtown to the single store for groceries or to fill up at the beautiful old style petrol pumps at the only junction in town!
This is the launching pad for kayak trips round the park and every camper and expedition member has to attend a 30 min orientation at the Park Ranger station which goes through the do's and dont's of being in bear country and kayaking with whales and near glaciers. After the presentation the six hosteliers walked the half mile to the campsite. There are 34 pitches all nicely laid out in amongst the trees just back from the beach. I am writing this in my little tent with the sound of humpbacks blowing and trumpeting and the occasional sound of what sounds like a shotgun which is a whale tail slapping in the bay which is about a quarter of a mile wide. I used my Jetboil stove for the first time this evening and had a freeze dried Mexican
rice with beef which was not too bad. I also used my fire starter and new knife to get a log fire going in the fire circle on the beach in front of my pitch.
I have a 07:00 start in the morning when I join an 8 hr boats trip around Glacier Bay when we are taken up to some of the glaciers that feed into the bay.
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