Saturday, July 22, 2017

After the Glacier (with Patsy Ann)

Just me and Patsy Ann, hanging out by the docks in downtown Juneau
I think my favorite part of visiting Juneau, even more fun than the glacier, was meeting up with Patsy Ann, a bronze statue of a pit bull who lived in Juneau in the 1930s.

Today's rain in Juneau changed over from a light mist at the glacier to a steady drizzle.  Nevertheless, I did the second most touristy thing in Juneau after a chopper to the glacier:  I took the aerial tram up the side of Mount Roberts.

Weirdly enough, my fear of heights notwithstanding, I love funiculars and cable cars and aerial trams.

This one went up the side of a sheer cliff, conveniently right near the cruise ship docks in Juneau.

Once we got to the top, I was noticing (a) that the rain was getting progressively harder and (b) I was hungry after all the glacier walking, so I decided to get a bite to eat.

Right at the aerial tram station atop Mount Roberts is the Timberline restaurant.  I ordered an Alaskan beer.

It was a hoppy double IPA ("hoppy" in the herb "hops" sense, not the jumping bunny rabbit sense).  The name was a cutesy play on words with the word "hops."  I had to look up the name when typing this because my memory was calling the brew "hopothalymus" or something like that.

Turns out it's called "hopothermia," which is almost as bad.

I decided to go native with the dinner order.  Above is the reindeer stew.  It was heavier on the bacon than the reindeer, which was OK with me.  And then of course I got the Timberline's signature dish:

Crab nachos.  Everyone tells you you have to get the crab nachos here.  I felt like not doing so would be like going to Philadelphia and not eating a cheesesteak.  Or going to New Orleans and not having cafe au lait and beignets.  Or going to L.A. and not eating pastrami.  (L.A. is a huge pastrami town.  Trust me on this one.)

I ate all my reindeer stew and most of my crab nachos (which I would rate "not bad") and walked around the area at the top.

The views were nice even with the rain and clouds and fog.

They do have a bald eagle up top available for photographing.

Meet Lady Baltimore.

She can't fly because of a long-ago accident, so it's not a bad thing that she lives her life cooped up in this hut.  It beats the natural alternative.

Juneau is absolutely lousy with bald eagles, by the way.  They were hanging out on lampposts on the drive to the helicopter port.  Anyway, I opted out of walking the trails up at the mountain top because I was tired and over-stuffed from trying to put away too many of those crab nachos (could've been crabbier, just sayin').  So I trammed it back down to the cruise ship docks.  And when walking along the docks, who did I see?

Meet Patsy Ann.  The town dog of Juneau in the 1930s.  Rather than summarize and paraphrase, I'm going to post the plaque that tells her story.  Click on the pic to blow it up and read it, if you can.

Here are the highlights.  She was brought to town in 1929 by a local dentist.  She preferred wandering the town instead of living in a home, so that's what she did.  Although deaf, she had an uncanny knack for knowing when a steamship was about to arrive in town, before anyone else in town did.  When she knew a steamship was a half-mile away, she would trot down to the town docks and wait patiently.  She was declared the town's "Official Greeter" in 1934.

I love metal animal statuary.  And statues memorializing actual real former dogs are the best.  Here's a particularly pensive view:

And that concludes the Juneau tourism part of the mini-vacation.  Shall I post more pictures of Alaska?

Quoth the raven:  nevermore.

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