JU NEAU That?

Juneau Travel Blog

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panorama of Juneau taken from the balcony

was the punch line of a joke our morning guide, Ron told us on our way back from the Dog Sled Summer Camp. He was a funny, older man who seemed to love his job. I could see why, Juneau, a pretty, colorful city and the capital of Alaska is settled at the base of a mountain, conveniently called Mount JuneauThere is also an island; Douglas, across from Juneau. It is only accessible by aircraft or boat and has more vehicles than people! Did Jun neau that? haha

Our morning started at 4:05am. That's when the light started coming through between the opening of the curtains I had purposely left open so as not to miss anything. (scenery, wildlife, etc) I went to the balcony to see snow capped mountains took a couple pictures then went back to bed.

Juneau
Up for good about 6am and  got to see the ship docking in Juneau and of course took more pictures and video before going to breakfast. Weather was a drizzling rain when we disembarked for our morning excursion after 10am. That's when Ron met us and our group at the dock to take us to the Dog Sled Musher's Summer Camp located in the mountains. Ron warned us that the bus ride would be a bit bumpy. Well, it was ridiculously bumpy and swervey (Is that even a word?) with twists and turns up the gravel/dirt road called Sheep Creek Road deep in the mountain. He also said that very few people want or will drive it! I can see why! Despite the ride, the scenery was pretty in area with snow covered mountains and deep valleys.
I wouldn't mind living here!
We also passed an old mine called Sheep Creek.

I didn't know what to think when we approached our destination of a muddy area with about 200 royal blue dog houses with the same number of dogs! Upon arrival, we were taken to a wooden building where each of us had to sign a waiver; I suppose in case a dog attacked us or we fell out of the sled! A man then gave us an introduction about the camp, dogs and the iditarod race. The dogs here are not the true Huskies and Malamutes seen on television or in the movies. Most were smaller at under 50 lbs and were interbred! We were then split into  3 groups of 6 and met our personal musher, Abbie West and her boyfriend while every dog was barking. Abbie has raced in the Yukon Quest. We could barely hear Abbie as she talked about the dogs and introduced us to the 13 that would be leading our sled.
They had names of Gemini, Pulsar, Captain Kirk, Scottie, Polaris, Telesto, Comet, Quarky, Vega, Leo and others, with one only a year old.

We hopped into the wheeled sled, which is used in the summer since the real sleds are used in the snow. After the initial jolt around the corner, the sled ride was actually smoother than the bus ride. We were going a little faster than 10mph which for races, 10mph is the normal pace. We were about halfway through the 1.5 mile track, making a left turn, when all of a sudden, 2 dogs started barking and fighting with each other! We had to stop so Abbie's boyfriend could separate and calm them down.

Back at the camp, Abbie took us to 2 tents; the 1st one had picture displays of Iditarod sled dogs, including Balto and Toko. They were actually part of an original team that delivered the Diphtheria serum to the people of Nome.
one time I looked out & saw this!
It was not a race then. There was also an original sled on display. The next tent had 2 beautiful, black "retired" dogs, a line-up of boots, a coat with Polar bear fur, gloves made from beaver and a present day sled. We sipped on hot chocolate while Abbie explained everything and answered questions. We visited with 2 puppies in a pen before boarding the bus and going back to the ship for lunch.  I learned much about the races, dedication of Abbie and her dogs that day.

mimmee says:
I love your photos and blog on Alaska. It makes me want to travel there again. I spent 3 weeks with my parents touring there in 1987. Oh so long ago!!
Posted on: Jul 21, 2008
Aditu says:
Those dogs are too cute!! You're right not at all what I expected sled dogs to look like.
Posted on: Jun 22, 2008
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panorama of Juneau taken from the …
panorama of Juneau taken from the…
Juneau
Juneau
I wouldnt mind living here!
I wouldn't mind living here!
one time I looked out & saw this!
one time I looked out & saw this!
pretty rainbow
pretty rainbow
Just happened to see this rainbow…
Juneau
Juneau
Juneau
Juneau
love the panoramic feature on my c…
love the panoramic feature on my …
colorful buildings
colorful buildings
Arriving in Juneau by cruise ship.
Mount Roberts Tramway
Mount Roberts Tramway
different view from the ship
different view from the ship
from the bus
from the bus
bumpy bus ride
bumpy bus ride
the camp sits in between 2 mountai…
the camp sits in between 2 mounta…
Dog sled mushers camp in Sheep Cre…
Dog sled mushers camp in Sheep Cr…
the dogs that pulled our sled
the dogs that pulled our sled
tried to fit one side of the camp …
tried to fit one side of the camp…
dogs barking everywhere in Juneau…
other side of the camp
other side of the camp
he gets a break
he gets a break
Gimlis hungry
Gimli's hungry
cute!
cute!
our dogs lined up & ready to go
our dogs lined up & ready to go
Ou ride at the mushers camp in Ju…
were off!
we're off!
my view from the sled, we stopped …
my view from the sled, we stopped…
display in the tent
display in the tent
Balto helped deliver the diptheria…
Balto helped deliver the diptheri…
these 2 are retired
these 2 are retired
these boots are made for glaciers
these boots are made for glaciers
Abbie talks about the sleds
Abbie talks about the sleds
mountains at the camp
mountains at the camp
the mushers live in these tents
the mushers live in these tents
Juneau
photo by: amudha_colaco