Dennis, a blog reader, had invited me to check the beach trail over on Douglas Island, across Gastineau channel from Juneau. Dennis is a long time Juneau activist (curmudgeon according to some) whose grandfather came here to help set up the mines. I find him a great source of everything Juneau. He's a living guide book.
And he drives this taxi. For anyone who needs a taxi when they come to Juneau, he'll give you as much history of Juneau as you can handle with your ride. And lots of tips on things to see. (He objected to my taking a picture on Sunday before he gets the van washed Monday morning. I thought it looked pretty good considering how slushy the roads are now.)
Across the bridge, the trail to the historic Treadwell Mine starts from the south end of town at the end of the road. A Juneau Empire article says:
At its height, the Treadwell Mine was the largest and most advanced gold mine in existence, employing approximately 2,000 men and women and producing $70 million worth of gold.
Today there are some old ruins and twisted metal visible.
Here's Dennis leading down to the water.
The trail winds down to the waterfront where there are signs of old docks. The sun was gone on the Douglas side, but still on the tops of the mountains south of Juneau.
And then back along the beach past the old salt water pump.
There's a big log chime on the beach.
To keep up the history tour, we had dinner at the Island Pub. Dennis related how this place opened in the 1920's during Prohibition as a speakeasy.
Mike, the owner, brought in liquor from Canada via the Taku River. Later it became a popular steak and shrimp restaurant.
Now, under new ownership it's a bar with it's own pizza ovens.
Both the walk along the Juneau waterfront earlier and this trip to Douglas were a nice break. It was good to spend more time out of doors. Legislators should be back from the Energy Council Conference in DC and the legislature will be back in session.
I've got a DELTA steering committee meeting this week and Thursday night I'm scheduled to fly home. This is too long to be apart.