Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Juneau, A Small City in a Big State

From 2014 07 02 Juneau

Tour guides in Alaska ask if there are any Texans in the tour group before telling the group that Alaska is so big that if you cut the state in two and make each half its own state, Texas would be the third largest state in the Union. (They sometimes describe squirrels as "Texas Grizzlies," too, but less often.) Those tour guides don't brag about the population of the state, which could fit comfortably in, say, the City of Dallas, or the population of the capital city, Juneau, which could fit in the City of Richardson with room left over for... two more Juneaus.

More about Juneau after the jump.

Juneau tour guides do brag about something that tourists cannot miss seeing themselves -- the spectacular setting of Juneau. It's situated at the foot of soaring mountains. Those mountains go straight up. Juneau itself sits on a narrow shelf between those mountains and the Gastineau Channel. In those mountains is a huge snow field that dips down in several places as glaciers. Mendenhall Glacier is an easy public bus ride from downtown. If Alaska wants to claim Juneau as the most scenic state capital, Alaska would get no argument from this Texan.

From 2014 07 02 Juneau

From 2014 07 02 Juneau

Uniquely among the fifty state capitals, Juneau has no road connections to the rest of the state or nation. Famously, from 2006-2009, during the governorship of Sarah Palin, Juneau had better connections to Bizarro World than any place on Planet Earth. But if you do get to Juneau it's possible to find your way to her former office in the state capitol and see her photo in the hall of governors.

All photos from our day in Juneau can be seen on Google Photos.

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