Juneau - A Little Piece of Heaven

by JessB on ‎08-26-2014 12:03 AM (1,939 Views)


A Little Piece of Heaven


The motor starts. The propellers begin to spin and shake the chopper from side to side. Minutes pass. We’re in the sky. The world below gets smaller by the second. Goodbye Juneau.


Hello, immaculate perfection. The green mountains and waterfalls turn to rock and ice. The deep blue sea is now waves of crisp white snow. The landscape is simply stunning. Sure, you see the photos and movies, but nothing compares to the real thing.


Then, small rows of dots appear below. As we near the camp, hundreds of dogs start to howl outside their mini igloos. We land on Norris glacier, the sun is beating down. I think we may have found heaven.


The mushers waste no time showing our group of three around. One lady seemed shocked the camp smelled like dog. I quietly snickered when a dog jumped on her as if to say, “You smell.”


As soon as the dogs see their collars, not one, but all of them begin to bark like mad. They want to go! These dogs are not what you see on TV. Sled dogs are actually a mix of 57 different breeds, mostly husky and shepherd. They average about 45-60 pounds of sheer energy.


Once the collars are on and booties wrapped tight around their paws, it’s go time. The sheer force of nine dogs is more powerful than I thought. Racing around the perfect white snow of the glacier with nothing else around is magical. No cell service. No cars. No buildings. Nothing. Only way in and out is by helicopter. After five miles of sledding, it’s time for the puppies.


They call it puppy love for a reason and these pups are mischievous. While one distracts me, another quickly steals my glove from my back pocket and off she goes. The game of keep away begins.


I signed up for the extended tour, which is well worth the money. You get to see behind the scenes how the 15 people who live in tents on the glacier take care of the dogs and lunch is included. We have a little extra time, so they ask if I would like to snow mobile to the glacier pond to see where the water comes from. A big, fat, “Yes” is my answer. Holy cow, it’s awesome.


This was a day of firsts for me, as I would assume it is for most tourists: helicopter ride, dog sledding, walking on a glacier, riding a snow mobile. It may be expensive, but it’s worth every cent. After all, money comes and goes, but experiences like this only happen once or twice.


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