Seaplane Adventure to Taku Lodge in Juneau
Here’s Carol about to board a De Havilland floatplane, with our friends from Michigan, in Juneau, Alaska. Of course, as usual, I’m the guy behind the camera. 🙂
With nearly a hundred year history, Alaska’s floatplanes have created a romantic mystique to those of us who live in the lower 48, as we can’t imagine a land without roads full of automobiles.
As baby boomers, we grew up watching documentaries, television shows, and movies about flying into the far reaches of the Alaskan Bush, but now we were going to experience it for ourselves.
The Bush is an Alaskan term for the vast areas of Alaska that are not reachable by road, or the State’s ferry system. In fact, the only way to get to Juneau, the capitol of Alaska, is by plane or boat. There are no roads leading to Juneau.
We sailed into Juneau aboard the Silversea Cruises Silver Shadow, and our chosen Juneau excursion was the Taku Lodge Feast and 5 Glacier Discovery Tour.
Aboard our floatplane, the folks at Wings Airways took us on a three hour journey that included 25 minutes of glacier flight-seeing in route to the Taku Lodge, two hours to explore and enjoy the remote Taku Lodge with an included fresh wild salmon feast, and a 15-minute return flight to Juneau.
As I recall, our floatplane could accommodate a maximum of 10 passengers, each with their own unrestricted window view.
As we pulled away from our downtown Juneau dock, and moved past a line of cruise ships, the first thing that struck my mind was how smooth our takeoff was in comparison to the jarring takeoffs of large jetliners. Moving from water to air was nearly un-perceivable, and before we knew it, we were admiring remote glaciers from the air. Further, as we were all wearing headsets, we enjoyed an informative narrative explaining the sights as we sailed through the skies.
Here’s one of my photographs as we flew over one of five separate glaciers on our way to the remote Taku Lodge.
As you can see in the photograph, even though it was a cloudy day, we still enjoyed unobstructed glacier views as we flew below the clouds. In fact, from a photographers perspective, a bright sunny day would have been more difficult to photograph with the sun reflecting off the predominantly white glaciers.
After roughly 25 minutes of glacier flight-seeing, we came upon the Taku River which was flowing muddy from the spring melt. Below us, in front of the yellow arrow in my photograph, was our destination: the remote Taku River Lodge.
Taku Lodge was originally built by Dr. Harry C. DeVighne in 1923. He opened it up as one of Alaska’s first hunting and fishing Lodges available for overnight guests. The lodge was used as a base camp as they conducted their excursions all around the valleys and streams of the Taku River.
After a surprisingly smooth landing on the Taku River, and leaving our floatplane, we could immediately smell the aroma of fresh Alaska King Salmon wood-grilling just outside the Taku River Lodge.
You know, as a kid growing up in the Midwest, I had learned to detest salmon as our salmon came from a can. However, let me just say, there is nothing like fresh Alaskan salmon. Yum. Yum. Yum!
Roughly an hour from the time we left Juneau, we were seated in the Taku River Lodge enjoying wild Alaskan king salmon, slow cooked baked beans, fresh coleslaw, Alaskan sourdough bread, herb biscuits, a pioneer fruit compote, along with hot Russian tea. And, after we cleaned our plates, we enjoyed the Taku River Lodge’s famous piping-hot ginger cookies. Yowza, that was good!
Now, after that fabulous feast, we were all tempted to look for a nice warm place to curl up for a nap. Thankfully, however, the folks at the Taku River Lodge has a short interpretive nature walk planned for us.
And, after our short hike, we planted ourselves in various comfy benches to gawk at the glacier across from the lodge, and simply drink in our surroundings.
In a short while, we watched the floatplanes arrive with fresh passengers looking forward to their own salmon feast. After they de-planed, we again boarded for our short 15-minute flight back to Juneau.
Our Taku Lodge Feast and 5 Glacier Discovery was an absolutely fabulous experience, and one that we would LOVE to do again.
When you’re in Juneau, Alaska, we highly recommend this unforgettable experience.
If you’re considering a fabulous Alaskan cruise, give our travel agency a call at (480) 550-1235. We’re experts on Alaskan cruising, and would love to help you create a very special memory. Or, use our convenient online information request (click here), and we’ll reach out to you.
Disclosure: our fabulous experience was provided by the kind folks at Wings Airways. Thanks!
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