You can probably imagine setting the alarm on your phone for 6am after going to bed past midnight. And you can probably imagine the feeling you awaken to when the alarm starts to chime out of your phone at exactly 06:00am. While it wasn't at all like that. I gently reached over and turned my Nokia over to stop the alarm, and very slowly as my eyes started to take in some of the morning light pouring in through our windows, I managed to squint hard enough at the balcony to see a beautiful teal colour hitting the white ceiling.
Not long after, room service arrived with an abundance of fresh fruit, baking, juices & everything delicious imaginable at our door, and we, for not the first, or the last time, enjoyed breakfast in bed calling out icebergs floating by our ship on our way up Tracey Arm. And so, until it felt 'unscenic' enough for at least 15 minutes, I was going to have to wait to get washed up.
When we tied up in Juneau at just past 2pm, I knew I wanted another taste of icebergs. I had to have more, and I didn't want to wait until we explored Glacier Bay back on M/S Zuiderdam in 48 hours. I couldn't wait that long. I didn't want to pay the $3 for a bus ride the few hundred metres into town, so I dragged all five of us by foot into Juneau. Somewhere along the way, we ran into a little booth selling every tour imaginable at every price imaginable. "Bus to Mendenhall Glacier - $7 each way". Done. I didn't need to see anymore, no one needed to say anymore - I wanted to go. Now.
Got off the bus and into the visitor centre area with the other 83,275 people who arrived off a cruise ship in Juneau today. We walked the paved path out to the fenced photo spot. Grand, as you can imagine. Saw a group of people (specs) off in the distance standing near the waterfall.
Sean: "Surely, there must be a way to get out there. Has to be." Scott (brother): "Probably. And don't call me Shirley." (Hah! Airplane reference! Anyone?!)
So wouldn't you know it, off to the side of this paved path along the way is an unmarked trail leading in the direction I wanted to go - closer to the glacier. Without a moment of hesitation, we jumped on it. Rode the trail out for 10-20 minutes, and were right out there. Glacier straight ahead. Waterfall crashing down to the right. Not another tourist for miles.