Well, I might have been a teense premature in my expectation of flight-seeing to the Mendenhall Glacier in a helicopter. The weather forced the cancellation of all helicopter flights for the day. Ah well, of we went in the pouring rain to see what could be salvaged in order for us to see the glacier and thankfully, Princess had organized some last minute excursions to the glacier visitors center area via bus. We were set, yet again.
Off we went at the appointed time with a very good driver/guide who had lots of interesting tidbits for us on the short ride to the glacier. Now when I say short ride, I am of course speaking of distance as opposed to time. Who knew that a town of 30,000 with an 4 lane expressway (of which the residents are VERY proud and I will have you know it goes for 11 miles .. I mean think of it 11 miles no wonder they are so proud) could have a huge traffic jam ???? I would never have guessed. It was consolation that Smokey, or driver was in a state of utter shock at this development and being a local we were not to worry he knew the way around this problem. Ok, it is true he did know, and so did about 24,000 of the other locals I believe. We were now wondering if the forces that be somehow did not want us to get to a glacier on this trip.
We emerged victorious and arrived at the Mendenhall Glacier visitors center for a stunning view of an actual glacier up close!! Success!!!! The visitor’s center is in itself lovely and very informative. There were excellent high powered telescopes set up which got you even closer to this massive ice cube. All in all, it was well worth the trials and tribulations. It was not the spectacular excursion we had hoped for, but then again the weather was deteriorating quickly and I must agree that safety is first and a helicopter would not have been a good thing.
We did see a bride and groom toasting each other with champagne and having pictures taken in one of the pavilions. She was in a white dress with a minimal shawl and had me shivering in my fur lined coat and boots thinking of how cold she should be. A local we surmised and figured we need not worry .. they probably knew the shortcut too!!
Smokey was very happy to accommodate all of us in the matter of shopping and getting back to the ship. We were running a little late and he was concerned that one young lady would miss her spa appointment so he returned us to the ship and told anyone that wanted to go back to town for shopping and / or Red Dog Salooning to just stay on the bus and he would be happy to take them back downtown. It was cold, rainy and getting dark and I decided that the ship won over shopping ( don’t tell anyone who knows me , they will think you are lying!!!)
Off to Skagway next!