Near disaster

Trip Start May 06, 2010
Trip End Oct 14, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Alaska
Friday, July 2, 2010

Things had been going so well.  My itinerary may have been a bit rushed but I everything had been going according to plan.  Until today.

I started off by spending a few hours at the Alaska State Museum.  It's a small museum with exhibits about a wide range of things related to Alaska.  I then wandered over to the Adventure Bound office to pick up my voucher for the Tracy Arm Fjord boat tour on Monday, 7/5/10.  It was too late to go to the mining museum so I thought I'd re-pack a bunch of things and then head over to the ferry terminal early for my ferry to Glacier Bay National Park.

It turns out the Glacier Bay ferry leaves from a different port on Auke Bay than the Alaska Marine Highway ferry I arrived on.  I drove to the other port and tried to find a ferry office.  I found an office that looked like it might be the right one.  The office was closed.  On the window was a note saying that all ferry service was canceled for the remainder of the 2010 season.  I wasn't sure whether this note was referring to my ferry but I was reasonably sure I was at the right harbor and I didn't see any other buildings that looked like ferry service offices.  Things didn't look good.  There was a restaurant nearby so I checked there to see if anyone knew anything.  They didn't but they suggested I go to the Dolphin Tours office that was nearby.

Dolphin Tours runs whale watching tours from the same harbor.  When I walked over to their office Douglas Ward had just closed the office for the day and was already in his car.  When he saw me go to their office he called me over to his car and I explained my situation.  In spite of it being after 6:30 on the Friday before a three-day weekend, he helped me make a number of calls.  We found out that, as I feared, the sign was about my ferry.  We found out I should have been informed by my travel agent, which hadn't happened.  We found out the ferry was operated by Glacier Bay Lodge, the hotel in Glacier Bay National Park.  When Douglas reached them they booked me a seat on an 8:00pm Air Excursions flight from the Juneau Airport, which they paid for.  I can't thank Douglas enough for his help.  I wasn't using their company for anything yet he went out of his way to help me.  I'm sure I wouldn't have gotten on the flight without his help.

I drove to the Juneau Airport and checked in for my flight.  It was on a six-seater plane but the rear two seats were filled with luggage.  The other seats were filled by the pilot and three passengers, including me.  Since I had packed to take a ferry and not to fly I had a lot of luggage and didn't have time to re-pack.  Glacier Bay Lodge covered the cost of the excess luggage.  I checked with Air Excursions about a return flight Sunday.  Unfortunately, they aren't operating on Sunday since it's a holiday.

I arrived at the Gustavus airport.  Gustavus is a very small town just outside Glacier Bay National Park.  I had reservations at the Annie Mae Lodge in Gustavus.  A Glacier Bay Lodge van had come to pick up the couple that arrived with me and he graciously gave me a lift to my hotel.  They seemed a little surprised when I showed up at the hotel but I did have reservations so they were expecting me to call when I arrived.  They weren't aware that I was booked on the no-longer-operational ferry.

So I managed to get to Gustavus ahead of schedule but I have no idea how or when I'll get back to Juneau.
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Chuck on

I do not understand

wheresgordon on

What don't you understand?

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