In May of 2014 I first visited Juneau, Alaska and upon landing was greeted with rain. I quickly learned this was the norm since Juneau is located in a temperate rain forest. Juneau is not like other state capitols, as how many people living in a capitol city can claim they have a glacier in their backyard, whales in the waters nearby, and countless wilderness opportunities.
Like most cities or towns in southeast Alaska the road system is limited and to get to Juneau it is by air or sea, unless you are born there. With a limited road system this really leads to just a handful of areas: Downtown, Douglas, Lemon Creek, Mendenhall Valley (The Valley) and Out the Road with each of these having their own character. The influence of mining can be seen in some of these areas which isn’t surprising as it was the discovery of gold along Gold Creek in 1880 which put the eventual town of Juneau on the map first as Rockwell then Harrisburg. A year later, Joe Juneau successfully campaigned to change the name to Juneau as along with Richard Harris and their Native American guide, he was one of the first to find gold.
As I spent time in Juneau, I also started to bring a camera with me to capture the scenes I was experiencing. For almost three years I was in Juneau a couple of times each month. I saw the days get shorted as summer ended and the cruise ships disappeared, and how the spring brought the longer days along with the new growth and tourist season. I learned about the Taku winds, saw the northern lights on clear nights in the winter, and learned there is not bad weather just having the wrong clothes. I was truly starting to Discover Juneau.