My friends and I definitely pride ourselves on our ability to go (virtually) anywhere, given a 3-day weekend. We took it to the max this Labor Day weekend and flew from Houston, TX to Juneau, AK for a condensed (but jam-packed) weekend adventure.
We met a lot of really cool people, and everyone may have thought we were crazy, but here are some of the things we did:
Helicopter Tour onto a Glacier
Our first activity was taking a helicopter tour of a glacier, and actually landing on it! We used ice boots for better grip and took some REALLY cool pictures on Herbert glacier. The colors were amazing, and I really got a kick out of my first ever helicopter ride.
We rented kayaks for several hours and paddled to Mendenhall Glacier as well as surrounding iceburgs and a nearby waterfall. The iceburgs were the coolest part – they are SO BLUE! The water was freezing, but we were provided plenty of waterproof gear. Unfortunately, I still found out first hand because I got water in one of my boots (I stepped off the coast and into a sinkhole). Almost immediately I couldn’t feel my lower leg and I was shaking. I was okay, but I cannot imagine falling off the kayak into that water and surviving more than a few minutes. Eek!
8 Hour Hike on the Glacier and Exploring Ice Caves
This was defintitely (in my opinion) the coolest thing we did. It was an all-day hike through a rainforest and ON to Mendenhall Glacier (same glacier from the day before, but definitely a different perspective!). Then, we were lucky enough that a couple ice caves were safe to enter – so we literally got to explore INSIDE of the ice cave. The hike was a pretty challenging one, as we had to climb and use our hands to pull ourselves up at times. Definitely not for the faint of heart! But the effort was deifnitely worth it. And, at the end of the day, our guide joined us at the Alaskan Brewing Company where they have FREE samples and beer tours! (note: donations are collected which go toward maintaining the trails, which you should definitely contribute to… Alaska is beautiful)
Tracy Arm Fjord Boat Tour
This was another all-day activity, a boat tour which takes you from Juneau all the way to the Tracy Arm Fjord and to see several glaciers, iceburgs, and whales! We had a blast and met a lot of really fun people… it helped that we brought along plenty of adult beverages and snacks ;) Make sure you bring your best camera skills – there are lots of sights to see!
This was one of the coolest trips I’ve ever done… I hope to go back again, during the wintertime! This is a really great way to create an exotic experience for a 3 or 4 day weekend, without really worrying about jetlag!