Saturday, April 2, 2016

An Alaskan Adventure with Meredith: Part 2

Meredith's 2nd Day in Juneau

Meredith’s next day is not as strenuous as her first.  She decides to spend some time on the beach near downtown Juneau.  Most of the beaches in Juneau are not sandy beaches; they are rocky beaches, with worn rounded rocks all along the shore.  Tides can be crazy in Juneau.  From the lowest point to the highest point, the tide can change up to 18 feet!  Meredith stands on the beach at low tide, which she will not be able to do in 3 hours.  The channel that runs between Juneau and Douglas is 75 feet across right now, but when the tide rises it will be closer to 200 feet across.  

Meredith climbs around on the rocks searching for shells.  She finds mussel shells mostly, but some clamshells also.  There is seaweed everywhere she walks.  She carefully makes her way around the seaweed, since it is very slippery.  She even finds some anemones in some of the tide pools. 

After going to the beach Meredith walks along the pier, looking over Gastineau channel at Douglas.  During the summer the channel would be filled with cruise ships, but right now the channel is empty except for a few small fishing boats.  

On the pier Meredith sees a man that is throwing handfuls of small fish out into the channel.  Bald eagles come swooping in to pick the fish off the top of the water.   Twenty or thirty eagles circle around where the man is throwing out fish, soaring down towards the water with their talons outstretched, flapping their wings forward, hard, as they near the water.  Their tails drag across the water, as if the eagles were skating on a frozen pond.  

Then, with their target in hand their great wings thrust them upward.  They perch together on some of the buoys, eating their free meal, while others take their turn diving in for their share. 

As Meredith watches in awe a sea lion swims out from underneath the docks, like a submarine.  He looks up to make sure none of the eagles are coming at him, then plucks the tiny fish off the surface of the water with his mouth, just barley breaking the surface of the water, does an underwater summersault and heads back under the dock to eat.

Meredith could watch this show all day.  The eagles swoop in from ever direction, narrowly missing each other at times.  Ravens have gathered at the docks also, hoping to get in on the easy lunch, but they know their place.  They wait until the eagles have had their fill before they pick up the remaining fish off the channels surface.  Finally the man empties his bucket. 

The eagles still circle around, scouring the water’s surface for any missed fish.  Soon they realize that they have eaten all of them and fly back into the high pine trees on the mountain.

Meredith walks down the pier towards downtown Juneau, marveling at what she had just seen.  I have never seen so many bald eagles in one place!  They were so majestic and beautiful, she thinks as she strolls along.  She comes to the east edge of downtown, near the tram stop to the top of Mount Roberts.  During the summer the streets would be flooded with tourists, streaming off of cruise ships to find fun trinkets to bring back home.  

Many would buy some of the fresh fish sold in the stores and in the restaurants around town.  Now though, only half of the shops are open, almost none of the restaurants are, and there are only the locals around.  Meredith walks past shops with toys, t-shirts, mugs, fudge, and items from the native people of Alaska.  Many of the shops are closed, but some of them are open so Meredith goes in to check them out.  She really likes the Alaskan Fudge shop!

After getting some walking around treats from the fudge store, she heads west to Mendenhall Glacier.  This is one of the easiest glaciers to see as it sits right on Mendenhall Lake and there is a visitors center right at the edge of the lake.  

The glacier is huge, spreading over a mile wide and 12 miles long.  It starts in the Juneau Icefields and flows down into Mendenhall Lake.  The front of the glacier is close to 100 ft. high in places. 

Although the glacier looks like snow on top it is actually made of tiny ice pieces, similar to sleet.  This makes the glacier dangerous to walk on top of without the proper equipment.  Making it even more dangerous are the deep crevasses of blue ice that plunge hundreds of feet down to the bottom of the glacier.  

Meredith would love to explore the glacier more, but she only has her boots and is not prepared for such and adventure.  

She enjoys it from afar wondering what the glacier looked like 100 years ago.   Mendenhall glacier looked very different back then due to the fact that it receded 100 feet or so a year.  If I ever get back here again…I wonder what the glacier will look like then?

Meredith ends her day where she started it, on the beach…well a different beach.  She finds one of he sandy beaches on the west side of Juneau.  The water is so clear she can see the rock below the surface.  It looks wonderful for swimming, but it is cold, not even 50 degrees.  Brrrrr!   So she is content to walk along the waters edge, looking for seashells, watching for whales and sea lions. 

As daylight fades, the sun sets below the mountains.  Meredith watches a beautiful sunset full of vibrant blues, purples, oranges, reds and yellows.  It is a beautiful sunset and a great end to a wonderful trip!

Hope you enjoyed Meredith's Trip!


MakenzieAG said...

This is so cool! Glad Meredith had fun! ;)

Megan said...

My daughter loves sitting with me and reading about all of the journey girl adventures, especially Meredith! Her Meredith is beginning to show her age, especially when it comes to her hair. Do you have any sort of routine or suggestions to keep your dolls' hair looking so nice?

JGKelsey said...

Megan, the Meredith in the photos is a thrift shop find! Her hair was not very nice at first. If your daughter's doll just has messy hair, get it wet, and starting in one area, brush starting at the bottom of the hair, in short strokes. If you hit a tangle, pull gently or go over the spot again. Once the section of hair is completely void of tangles, put it to the side and start on another section. You may have to wet the hair again if need be. Once you have the hold head of hair done start from the top and brush down, like normal. If your daughter plays with Meredith a lot, an every other day hair brush is not a bad idea. Oh...I forgot, make sure you use a metal doll brush, not plastic. The plastic ruin the dolls hair more than the metal ones. If you have anymore questions just ask.

Megan said...

Thank you so much for all the information! We've been using an old plastic brush, so I'll definitely be replacing it with a metal one. Do you ever wash your dolls hair?

JGKelsey said...

You can buy a doll brush at Walmart for about $3. I have washed my dolls' hair. I have used many different things, but have found that shampoo for synthetic hair works best. I found some at Sally's Beauty Supplies for $8. Wash the hair a couple of times and make sure to rinse it really well. Any residue makes the doll's hair sticky! Also, comb it or curl the hair when it is wet, then let it air dry. Or put the doll by a dehumidifier to dry...that works really well. Hope that helps!

Megan said...

Fantastic! Once again, thank you for all of the helpful information!