Airship | A Few Days in Juneau

We spent five nights in Juneau after finishing up the flotilla. We’ve got another guest coming in to join us, and thought we’d get some boat projects, laundry, and provisioning done, while exploring Juneau a little more and revisiting some of our favorite spots. We shared a rental car with friends (and flotilla participants) Julie and David, which made everything quite a bit easier.

A quick visit to Mendenhall Glacier

The Sand Bar & Grill is out of town a little ways, but absolutely worth the drive (or cab ride, even) — best fish and chips we’ve ever had. Consistently. Fresh halibut cooked perfectly, great tartar sauce and fries, local beer, and a super nice owner (Gail) who stood and chatted with us for quite a while, giving us lots of fun local info! We found this place during one of our first visits to Juneau and go back every chance we get! This is a particularly funny Yelp review I found, from Justin D: “Trust me, don’t ever come here for their quesadillas, you’ll regret it.  But if you’re coming for their fish and chips, it’s the best I’ve ever had. I didn’t even care for Halibut until today, but Sand Bar Grill definitely changed my mind. A true hidden gem.” 🙂

We also made our usual stop at Western Auto Marine (to replace the prawn trap we lost just outside of the Coverden Island Cove, so sad!), and to Jerry’s Meats & Seafoods (just around the corner from Western) for some smoked salmon, Alaskan scallops, double-smoked bacon, and salmon and crab dip. Yum!

While back in town, we stopped for a beer at Devil’s Club Brewing, and then wandered around a bit more, feeling the energy of the upcoming 4th of July festivities.

Downtown Juneau

One day we drove out Glacier Highway to the north and stopped at the Shrine of St. Terese for a short hike and a beautiful view.

Chilkat mountain range and Lynn Canal from St. Terese

On another day, we went to breakfast at The Sandpiper Cafe (great breakfast spot, near the Foodland IGA), then did a little driving tour back up into the hills behind downtown to see all the cute houses on super tight winding roads with great views, and then drove out Basin Street to the trailhead to the Perseverance Trail and the Last Chance Mining Museum.

We walked the Treadwell Mine Historic Trail on Douglas Island, which was very interesting and a really nice walk. We’ve been here so many times and for some reason have never done this trail, nor learned about the mine. The Treadwell Mine was one of the most productive gold mines ever in the United States—$70 million in gold!

This is the site (below) of the Cave In of 1917: “At 10:57 p.m. on April 21, 1917, a hole 30 feet deep and 15 feet wide was found under the Fire Hall with water running in from the hillside. Five minutes later water from Gastineau Channel began running into the hole. The three mines that flooded had a working depth of 2800 feet and some 10 million tons of ore had been removed.

We ended this day with dinner at The Island Pub (fantastic pizza and delicious caesar salads). Later that night (really late, like midnight) we watched the Juneau fireworks show from our boats, and on the morning of the 4th before the parades got going, we all went to both the Foodland IGA and the Fred Meyer for provisioning for the next 10 days or so. (Juneau appears to be out of lemons, btw.) We’ll take off early tomorrow morning and will stop in Auke Bay for fuel before deciding where we’ll anchor for the night. This week we’ll likely see Swanson Harbor or return to Couverden Island Cove, Hoonah, Flynn Cove, Elfin Cove, Excursion Inlet, and who knows what else!