Inside Plane

Alaska Inside Passage: Day 7 – Travel Day Gustavus to Juneau (Friday)

Today we were supposed to fly from Gustovus back to Juneau. However, the weather appears to have decided otherwise. We have been packed for several hours now and are hanging out, waiting for the call! The fog and drizzle appear to have burned off (mostly) here and reportedly in Juneau, but not in the intervening distance.

Maybe we go today. Maybe we spend another night here. Time will tell. We are getting a taste of genuine Alaska weather. No worries as long as we don’t miss our flight back to Atlanta!

We walked to a stream that went around our log cabin hotel. It was full of salmon. Their journey was over. They had laid their eggs further upstream. They looked really bad, their skin falling off. They were moving very slowly holding place in the stream. They were all dying. We were told that at this stage in their life cycle, if you picked one up out of the water, it would fall apart in your hands. Their lives as fish seemed so hard and sad to me.

We finally got the call from the airport: our flights are a go! However, the airport sent one of our planes up but had several flights that had been waiting a long time; so, they got to go ahead of our second plane, which included us.

Inside Plane
Inside Plane (iPhone)

Our pilot looked 12 but was 23. He flew us over the mountains instead of going around them and up the bay. The views from the plane were fantastic! I even saw 2 mountain goats clinging to the edge of sheer nothingness.

Upon landing, the pilot had to go get the stairs and bring them to the plane. I was last on and first off because of my injured knee. I sat in the last seat to avoid bending my knee trying to move forward in the cramped “cabin.” The pilot then had to unload all of the baggage.

I commented that he had to do everything working this job. A big smile accompanied his bubbly response, “Yeah, but there are a lot of jobs in Alaska that are a whole lot worse than this!” Indeed! He could have been working the oil fields, working the fisheries, the boats all in the frigid winter cold and darkness.

We ended the day with our final meal together as a group. We ate at Salt, a very nice restaurant within walking distance of the hotel, but then, everything in Juneau is pretty much within walking distance of everything else. This group was easy and contained one family with two well behaved young boys and their 88 year old grandfather, John. John became ill near the end of the trip. While the doctors’ feared pneumonia, they were able to rule that out. I was delighted to see how these parents were deeply involved with their boys, parenting and teaching them at every step. They seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves.