29 May 2009

Friday Photo Shoot-Out: Water

Inspired by Barry's passion for his community, I've decided to take part in the Friday Photo Shoot-Out, a project started by Reggie Girl to get bloggers into their communities and to show them off to each other as well.  I figure there's no greater way to get to know my new home of Juneau, Alaska, so here we go!

This week's theme is "water".

Because Juneau is nestled snugly in between an ice field, huge mountains, and the Inside Passage (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean), we have TONS of water.  And sometimes it is very pretty.

There's water to reflect the sunset and take beautiful pictures with.

There's water to get fish from and then store them sadistically in.

Most of the water is frozen, usually year-round.

The most exciting water for most tourists is the Mendenhall Glacier.  Extending from the Juneau Icefield, the Mendenhall Glacier is twelve miles long and is a receding glacier--which has less to do with climate change and more to do with water availability in the mountains that feed water into the glacier.  It feeds into the Mendenhall Lake (directly in front of it), which I hear is--please believe me--a spectacular place to swim after a sunny day.  The water is shallow enough that the sun warms it to a nice temperature, despite it being glacier water.  Note to anyone traveling to Juneau:  those people downtown that sell "bottled pure glacier water"?  Crakpots.  All of them.  Our tap water comes from the glacier runoff, so don't pay a buck fifty for something you can get from the tap.  Please.

The entirety of downtown Juneau sits at the bottom of Mt. Roberts and Mt. Jumbo, so there is a TON of runoff from the melting snow.  Thus, we have drainage systems that run through the city accordingly.  Everything runs off into the Gastineau Channel, which you can see at the top of the picture.

Juneau sits in the middle of Tongass National Forest--a temperate rainforest!  That's right, folks, the capital of Alaska is a rainforest.  Therefore, we get enough rain to make every grow webbed feet--or at least buy a pair of Extra Tuffs.  Sometimes the water, when not falling from the sky, is content to merely hang in midair, obstructing our view of Mt. Jumbo.

Other times, it's perfectly happy to both hang in the air and fall from the sky.  Depressingly.

It sticks to the windows and makes us all feel like going home to a bowl of soup and a mug of tea.  

But then again, the water in Juneau is pretty great, especially when viewed from the overlooks over the Gastineau Channel, where a certain someone proposed to a certain blogger who now loves the water in Juneau because of it.  :)

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