Memories of Southeast Alaska

Destinations, iReports

When I was about 8 years old, my family went on a Glacier Bay (now defunct) cruise through the Alaskan Panhandle. The boat navigated between endless forested hilly islands populated with fungi and bears, and we got to kayak, hike, and even jump off the boat into the extremely cold water. I don’t think I noticed the temperature at the time.

This is the top of Castle Hill in Sitka, where (I think) we started our journey. It was here that the Russians formally handed Russian Alaska over to the U.S. I remember laughing while my Grandma struck a one-footed ballerina pose on top of one of these benches–perhaps even the one in frame here.
My mother and I were kayaking somewhere amidst the isles of the panhandle when we saw a black bear on the shore in the distance, not unlike the sight of this bear family in the above photo. We were certainly farther away, in a sort of lake clearing between 3 or more rocky shores and dark green hills. In the forest I recall being told by our guide to yell, “Hey, Bear!” on repeat so as to scare the animals away.
And this is where the journey ended. I don’t even remember going up this gondola in Juneau, but I’m sure that we did. Maybe I was sad to be leaving so soon.

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