Factfile

The People's Friend Special - - REAL LIFE -

Juneau has a full­time pop­u­la­tion of around 32,000 peo­ple (and 6,000-8,000 dogs).

Juneau is not con­nected to any­where else by road, so it’s a bit like liv­ing on an is­land. You have to get on a ferry or plane to get to an­other town.

Sum­mers can be wet and cool, but if the sun comes out it can be 70 de­grees or warmer.

Over a mil­lion vis­i­tors come to Juneau in sum­mer.

In Alaska, a “bear jam” is not some­thing you eat, but a traf­fic jam caused by peo­ple stop­ping to watch bears be­side the road!

will quickly learn that peo­ple are an easy food source and that is of­ten when they be­gin to at­tack.

We keep our bins locked in the garage un­til the day of pick-up, and we can’t put out too much bird food in one go.

It’s not just bears in the gar­den you need to worry about. A few years ago, peo­ple were get­ting ready for a chil­dren’s birth­day party when a black bear fell through the sky­light right into their liv­ing-room!

It calmly got up, ate all the cup­cakes, then headed out.

Pep­per spray is avail­able to carry as a deterrent and we al­ways have it with us when we go camp­ing. All food­stuffs are locked in spe­cial bear-proof can­is­ters.

It is also wise to stay on walk­ing paths or make some noise if you are hik­ing off the trail, so you don’t sur­prise a bear up close.

To me, brown bears are scarier than black be­cause of their usu­ally big­ger size.

While camp­ing once, I came back from a walk to find a brown bear sniff­ing around my tent.

He was stand­ing a foot taller than my tent even though he was on all fours – he was eas­ily as big as a car. I couldn’t take it in at first; he seemed too big to be a bear.

I had a can of pep­per spray in my hand which just seemed so fu­tile that I about-turned, caught up with my camp­mate and we got into our boat and watched the bear from a safe dis­tance.

He ripped my tent apart and pulled my sleep­ing bag out, but soon wan­dered off when there was no food to be found.

Juneau is a great place for the out­doors. We have a lot of hik­ing trails that take you from sea level up to the alpine above

3,000ft.

The alpine in sum­mer is filled with wild­flow­ers and there are mar­mots and moun­tain goats.

But our gar­den is a bit wild, so you feel like you are in the great out­doors just step­ping out the door!

In Juneau we are about the same lat­i­tude as Stornoway, so day­light lasts a long time in sum­mer, but the days are short and dark in win­ter. Juneau gets a lot of rain.

I still have fam­ily and friends in Scot­land, and I miss be­ing able to drop by for a week­end to visit, but I don’t miss the traf­fic – Ed­in­burgh is so busy!

My favourite thing about liv­ing in Juneau is all the wildlife we can en­joy. We can even see hump­back whales and orca from the shore.

You never know what you’re go­ing to see just run­ning daily er­rands.

An Alaskan moun­tain goat is very fluffy! Liz en­joy­ing life on the lake.

The mag­nif­i­cent Men­den­hall Glacier.

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