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
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.