Juneau, AK: No, this place isn't real.

<3 <3 <3 
I just had the most unbelievable 4 day stint in Juneau with my friend I hadn't seen in 5 years, Jamee. For the record, Jamee is probably the coolest person I know. She's this kickass bush pilot in Juneau with mermaid hair and she doesn't take no for an answer (I'm trying to not go into the realm of hero-worship here... shoot I can't help it, she's THAT awesome).

After arriving Wed night late (my pilot missed the runway like a champ and we were lateeee), Jamee and I started off with some time apart (poor girl had to work at 6 AM) while I walked on a nearby beach. Our plan was to FLY to Turner Lake (only accessible by SEA PLANE!) that evening to hang out in a cabin with 3 of Jamee's friends, so we did some item collecting interspersed with some hiking, playing rock-rock, black bear sightings, Mendenhall Glacier viewing, and disc golf in a forest.
Mendenhall Glacier... dude...
Seriously adorable and simultaneously terrifying: a black bear eating dandelions

Turner Lake
After giggling and gathering the things, we met up with Jamee's friend Ben, Kayte, and Mike and flew over to Turner Lake. Although it was only a 20 minute flight from Juneau, it was so entirely epic to have your friend pack up a plane and be like "OK, get in now I'm going to fly you to this remote lake, la la la".

Wet hair post-"maybe" jump
Of course, any adventure with Jamee isn't complete without frequent group nudity. Jamee claimed to proceed to the cabin we had to jump naked off the plane's wings into the glacial melt lake butt naked in front of a waterfall. Although I can't say if we did or didn't jump, I can definitely say we all got pretty close quickly and there is nothing like ice cold water to remind you what it feels like to be alive.

From there, we proceeded to the cabin. We unpacked and built a fire, while exploring the area and checking out a row boat that the forest service left there. We brought two fishing rods, and I found my inner vegetarian fish-whisperer, catching several lake fish (beginner's luck!).

Home sweet home, yeah Mike is shooting a tree there.
Overall, it was a really relaxing and obscenely beautiful experience. We played farcle till it was actually dark outside (a feat in Alaska!), and then slept through the night and the bear mosquitoes. In the morning, we row boated around and found cliffs to jump off of (well, I was a wimp and didn't jump... just continued on with my inner fishing guru spirit animal).
Dropping everything to become professional fisherwoman
Camp Fire at like 9 PM... Alaska summers!

Before long, it was time for us to head back to reality (OK, even Juneau proper isn't reality). Although I can hardly believe this all occurred in one day, we then went out to eat (tacos!!!) and then to a live indie-folk band. Here, I (of course) met my Alaskan Boyfriend courtesy of Jamee. Single, outdoorsy women are a rare commodity in Juneau, and I swear Jamee auctioned me off ahead of time and then 'facilitated' things. Anyways, even though we were exhausted and Jamee had work at 4 AM the next day, we went all out that night -  Alaskan boyfriend and I danced and we all went out bar hopping around Juneau. For the record, 'duck farts' are a MUST try while one is in Alaska... definitely the best shot I've ever had (but feels unbelievably weird ordering).  Karaoke was performed (hey now, are you an all star?) and love was in the air (so you're going to move here, right? YEP!). What a great night!

Puppy Kayaking on the ocean
It's a hard life, really
Deliberately leaving late evening/morning activities vague, Jamee and I met up again mid afternoon and proceeded to continue with the lifestyle of the adventurous and young. We grabbed Jamee's friend Mary along with Kayte and Ben and headed off to go kayaking. Now, I love kayaking, but try to picture sea kayaking with snow covered mountains in the background with WHALES breaching about 300 feet from your boat (#what?!). 

One hell of an awesome group of people
Whale time (couldn't get a good picture)
Like true Juneauns (you know, Juneau! Awful puns were frequently interspersed throughout this trip), we made it to a beach and had a little picnic for a bit. We then followed a few more whales on the way back (they were leading us home). It was seriously unbelievable... to see such massive creatures within paddle distance... WOW.                                                                                                   Jamee and I had more to do though! We returned, changed into onesies, and we out to a bar again. It's pretty liberating to jump into a lake naked... it's also pretty liberating to walk around in a city wearing a onesie that has a hood and penguins/snowmen all over it (Jamee's had monkeys). The conservative Alaskans definitely found us a bit odd. We laughed and had a good time, but before we knew it, it was time to head back to Jamee's place (my flight left at 7 AM for Fairbanks).
Overall, I had an AMAZING trip and I would recommend Juneau to anyone. I would go back in a heartbeat if I could, and maybe I'll end up living there in a few years. There was so much more to do (biking to ice caves, hiking on a glacier, etc.) that I just didn't have time for.  For those of you who are Jamee's friends, you know how awesome she is... make time and go see her in Juneau!!! Thank you so much for hosting me Jamee!!
After 4 days of no sleep... Jamee #superstar!

and here's a few more courtesy shots of Alaska:
Glacier bits!


Shot of mountains on flight home

Lo

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