Juneau, Alaska

7/20/2004.

Juneau, Alaska’s remote capital reachable only by boat or seaplane, is home to the Mendenhall Glacier. We explored the glacier and the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.  Allan did a “Bike and Brew.” He biked about 8 miles and finished the tour with a flight of Alaska beers at Alaskan Brewing. I road in the van. We also visited the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery.

It is such a great experience to view the glacier from close distance. It is a very easy and short walk to the glacier and waterfall. If you head up for a tenth of a mile you will reach the overlook.

The Mendenhall glacier flows for 12 miles down the Mendenhall Valley to it’s terminus near the visitor center. The ice flows forward at an average rate of 2 feet per day, but at the very same time, it wastes away at a slightly faster rate. Wastage occurs through melting or by large pieces of ice breaking off the face of the glacier. This latter process is known as “calving” and produces the icebergs floating in Mendenhall Lake.

The Bike and Brew ride covered approximately 8 miles on a mostly flat road with some rolling hills.  The ride included a one-mile trail through the rain forest and several stops along the lake. At the end of the tour we spent about 1 1/2 hour at the Alaska Brewery Company were we finished the tour with a flight of Alaska Beers.

http://www.alaska.org/detail/mendenhall-glacier-visitor-center

Update 2017: Allan really wanted to do this tour. He’ll bike any chance he gets. Read the reviews. For some it may not be worth the money.  http://www.alaska.org/detail/cycle-alaska

Click on a photo to start the slide show.

 

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