Our group arrived to our rendezvous, Juneau, Alaska, at different times. Those who arrived 2 days earlier utilized the time to tour the area as sightseers. Downtown Juneau, has it’s share of t-shirt, gift shops and pubs, conveniently located for the cruise ship passengers.
I hadn’t been on an airplane in over twenty years, so we studied up on air travel and learned what we needed to know and everything went pretty well. My wife Lynette and her brother Brad joined me on the flight to Juneau, they stayed in Juneau and toured the area while I was on the ocean with the group. -Mike-
Some of us stayed in a hostel near downtown, which was very clean, quiet and economical. Others stayed in a couple different hotels located either near the airport or in downtown.
Good communications and known itineraries kept our group in cohesive as we began to assemble.
We had a fairly long layover in Seattle, Sharell and Bernie caught up with us there and we were on the same flight to Juneau. Jeff and Michelle met us at the airport in Juneau and showed us where we would catch the flight to Hoonah the next day. -Mike-
We found a pub at The Wharf, serving fish and chips in true Alaska style – fresh caught halibut, all served outdoors. We all loved it so much, we went back to this place at the end of our expedition.
While sitting at the pub, enjoying our fish and chips and a cold one, we were able to see the hustle and bustle of an active tourist town. Float planes were constantly arriving and departing in a roar, while nearby (within view of this establishment) monstrous cruise ships dump vast numbers of passengers off for the day. This activity was early subsided, however, when passengers need to be on the cruise ship around 4 PM for their departure to their next destination.
It wasn’t hard to cover the total distance of Alaska Route 7 in Juneau; at less than 40 miles, it make for a great drive to the end, with many scenic stops along the way.
As more of our party arrived in Juneau, we took a journey to nearby Mendenhall Glacier, one of the most accessible glaciers. The visitor center provided a remarkable understanding of the glacial retreat and a place for the cruise tourists to rent a kayak. An easy hike brought us close to the base of the glacier.
Once our team was assembled in Juneau, we needed to get to our next stop: Hoonah Alaska, where we would get our kayaks from the local outfitter and meet our water taxi for the next leg of the journey to Green top cove.
Check-in at Alaska Sea Planes wasn’t the same as large commercial airlines. Each individual’s weight and the weight of their luggage were carefully considered. The costs were per person plus weight of luggage. Alaska Seaplanes is a small local outfit with friendly and professional staff. It took a couple of hours to check-in and board.
Fly Alaska Sea Planes was a very pleasant experience; the reservation system was different and the staff helped with the best options for moving 10 people and gear. Check-in staff was patient and thorough, and flight staff was courteous. Our whole experience with this outfit was wonderful.
Here is our complete team, prior to leaving Juneau. We took 2 small planes for people and another plane took our gear.
“I really enjoyed the flight in the small plain, flying low and slow you started to get a feel for the area” -Mike-
Even though it was a short flight, our approach to Hoonah is starting to give us the realization that we are getting further out into the wilderness.
That’s it! The airport in Hoonah. Our Limo (van) awaits.