I still had 3 hours to wait, so found a seat in a huge corridor and settled down, feeling rather sleepy and pleasantly full. I was woken by a Korean lady slumping in the seat next to me, and hitting her head on the wall. We exchanged glances, she trying not to feel too embarrassed, but it must have hurt. I did feel for her. It reminded me of the old school days when you fell over in the playground and jumped saying, 'That didn't hurt, that didn't hurt' but then ran into the loos and cried your eyes out. My attention was suddenly drawn to a small dog with a bandana around its neck trotting down the concourse, not what you normally see. Her owner, a slight girl in her mid twenties, was almost walking like her dog, short steps, and looking rather rushed. I have to tell you what happened next, because its one of those situations that simply does not happen.
She was completely oblivious to what happened next; this poor animal was walking and starting to squat, then run and squat again. This continued past me, the dog then just let go whilst trotting and walking depositing small nodules of...... The girl continued to drag her dog along over a space of about 15 metres and out of sight. The couple directly behind her started to shout very loud, showing their dismay and chased the lady around the corner. I sat there and in my sleepy state and watched a couple just miss the offending deposits, then a cleaner pushing a large cart sidled up to the waste. He had no idea what he was looking at that was obvious, but as he bent down, his demeanour changed and started shouting and waving. That got even worse, when he looked further down the concourse. At this point the girl and dog returned, the couple must have shamed her into returning clutching some tissue and tried to help the cleaner. He got even more irate and shouted at her, almost pushing her out of the way. She then left him and returned again to help. After a lot of waving he cleaned up the mess and wandered past me shaking his head. He was not a happy man, still it entertained me for a few minutes and his wife would no doubt get the full story when he got home! Only 2½ hours to go.
I finally got on the plane and off to Juneau which was about 2½ hours over some beautiful scenery. What a fabulous place with miles and miles of woods and sea inlets.
By the time I arrived it was early evening and the light was fading fast, but I did glimpse the tail end of the Herbert glacier on landing, tipping large chunks of ice into a huge lagoon.
The lagoon, petrol blue in colour, washing away to the sea, what a good start I thought. The airport is small and functional, and the other people on the flight were a mix of walking tourists and keen fisherman, some I would see on the return flight in a week's time. I shared a cab to the hotel with a nice chap, here to hike and have a look about. The taxi driver was a cross between an ageing rocker, like Roy Wood and Neil, the hippy from the young ones. He arrived here to salmon fish 16 years ago and never went home, the draw he said was too great. We arrived at the Westmark Baranof hotel and tipped out. Juneau is a mix of old style fishing buildings and tourist trap shops to flog anything they can to the many ocean going liners that dock here in the season. Whilst I was there I must have seen 6 or 7 huge ships, some as big as 750,000 tons, dock so skilfully it puts my parking a car to shame.
The hotel was functional, clean and adequate and the staff were nice and pleasant. The bar area reminded me of a scene from the film The Shining, but with a few more people. I met the girls, Jocelyn and Cherry, from the PR Company 'The Dialogue Agency', and Andrew Brown European head honcho with Alaska salmon. Also on the trip was a good friend and photographer of mine, Steve Lee. He was here to shoot food pictures for the new Alaska salmon cookbook/brochure. He would also take a few for the Company of me being in Alaska filming. I was warned that the crew would be in early at Juneau airport, where we would meet them as we needed to fly to another island Hoonah. So an early start was needed, after a halibut sandwich and a couple of beers I hit the sack, and slept really well. I met Steve and Andrew (head of Alaska Seafood Europe) after a good night's sleep early in the reception and went in for breakfast.
The restaurant was busy already. The menu read really well, full of fish and not the normal offering. Steve and Andrew asked about the deer sausage, which they ordered. I had Alaskan salmon hash, which was very good indeed. Large shards of potato and onions, with huge flakes of wild salmon folded through, topped with 2 fried eggs. All washed down with fresh coffee. What a nice way to set yourself up for the day. The staff were really friendly and very helpful, even at 7 in the morning. What a refreshing change from the reception you get in UK. I don't want to bash UK too much, but the only reason I mention it is because I'm starting to notice more and more that people here always want to help you. JD had called to say they were on the early flight and would meet us at the airport about 8-ish, great. Taxi's ordered and full of food, off we went, taking full bags as we were to stay over on another island and in a town called Hoonah, famous for its fishing industry and yes, bears!