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Aug 2015

31 July 2015; Juneau, Alaska.

So bright and early we arrived in Juneau. Although bright might not be the right word as it was decidedly overcast with a lot of dripping. I really want to use the word rain but it really does not cover it. Yes it rains but it is not a constant down poor but it is also not a constant drizzle, it is something in between. Maybe I should stay with drizzle and drip. Not that it mattered, whatever it was the guests streamed ashore and it did not seem to bother anybody. Most of our guests went ashore but some who had been here already several times opted to stay on board.  What was interesting is that I came across a couple who had spent their honeymoon here some 40 years ago and had come up with the Alaska State Ferry when it still docked at what is now the cruise terminal. They had taken lots of photos and were now trying to match the waterfront from those days to what they saw now.  Together with my memory from the early 80’s we were able to place quite a few of the photos in there right context but it was not easy as so much had changed after the cruise boom took place. Basically the mountain Mount Roberts was still the same, but one major landmark the gold mine had disappeared. The mine and later the defunct remnants of its entrance had long loomed over Juneau. Then a few years ago the mine was briefly reopened. Very briefly but just long enough to have all the visible ruins removed. Now when you sail in with the ship you cannot see anything of the mine any more from the water side. Except when you look to the other side; the Douglas side. There at the edge of the beach and the waters of Gastineau Channel stills stands a single ventilation house, which looks a bit like an oversized outhouse. It has been standing there since the mine was in operation providing ventilation to the mine shafts running under Gastineau Channel. The […]

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