7.2.13 - 7.2.13 59 °F
We arrived in Juneau at about 8:00am to mist clouds and rain. Our plan for the day was to head to Mendenhall Glacier after a brief tour through town. I booked this trip with Shoretrips - a great alternative to the ship's excursions. The groups are smaller and the tours have been vetted heavily by the company - a family run business. They have safeguards in place and a guarantee so that you don't have to be concerned about not making it back to the ship for the underway. We started with a tour through town. Our guide was a ex-patriot Mojave Desert dweller who moved up here about 5 years ago. She loves it. The highlight of the town tour was the Governor's mansion - a wonderful house with a great view, and within walking distance of the state office buildings. Of interest is that Sarah Palin rarely came to Juneau preferring to govern from afar. I think many of the locals were upset with this. There have been five referendums to try to get the capital changed to Anchorage or Fairbanks, but it was turned down soundly be voters. I was then on to Mendenhall - one of the many glaciers that is receding. The Forest Ranger showed some pictures of the glacier in 1957 compared to now, and the contrast was rather striking. Who knows what the future will bring. According to our guide, there is still one local glacier that is advancing rather than receding. After the tour we opted for some local fish at the Twisted Fish restaurant and then some shopping before going back to the ship.