The Galaxy was to dock around 10:00 am but we had no shore excursion plans for Juneau as it seemed easy enough to wing it on our own--and we were right. At the docks there were plenty of tour companies waiting to entice you in one way or another. Really I think you can easily get along in any of these ports winging it on your own. Also at the docks was the Mt. Roberts tramway, which I would return to later in the day. We nosed around a bit and found this bus company, Mendenhall Glacier Transportation, which had a "Glacier Express" bus for only $5 one way. It leaves the docks every hour on the hour and returns from Mendenhall Glacier every half hour on the half hour. A bargain. So we nosed around some stores downtown and returned a little bit later to get on the bus. It's a 20 minute drive or so to Mendenhall Glacier and we went through this wetland area where we saw a stream just jumping with salmon. The bus pulls right up to the Forest Service facility at Mendenhall Glacier where you can get a nice brochure outlining some hiking paths and things of that nature. So we spent some time there looking at the glacier and hiking around. It was really spectacular and we enjoyed it. Didn't see any calving of the glacier into Lake Mendenhall but that was ok. The Forest Service facility there was pretty decent and we paid the $3 to go look at the modest exhibits about glaciers. A modest sum to help support one of our national park areas I think. The gift shop seemed rather well outfitted with interesting things rather than the usual tourist junk. We caught the bus back into town and decided to split up and go our separate ways. Robert walked over to the Alaska State Museum, which he enjoyed, and I went up the tramway to Mt. Roberts. He wasn't wild about the concept of getting on the tram! At the top of the tram, which I guess is about 2/3 way up Mt. Roberts there are a number of trails to follow, including one that goes near the top of the mountain. Not being particularly inclined to climb upwards, I decided to hike down the trail back into town. They had warning signs about some bear sightings, and they warned that the trail down was physically challenging and that hiking boots were recommended. In short, they were right! It was definitely physically demanding! Downhill sounds easy doesn't it? Well imagine going downhill like a mountain goat!! That trail was STEEP in places, and muddy too in parts. But honestly, I thought it was a heck of a lot of fun, it was off the beaten path of the tour buses, and I got to see some nature up close and personal. In short, I greatly enjoyed it. This was one of our few truly clear days but in the forest it was rather shady. Nonetheless I had to take off my sweat shirt as I was getting a very good workout going downhill. Along the way I saw some nice plants on the forest floor, including wild blueberries (I thought I'd save them for the bears!) and the 2 mile trail took me about 1.5 hours, just as the sign said at the top. I would not recommend this trail for small children or anyone who is not in decent physical shape. Along the way I met a Juneau resident, I would say a late 50's male, who stopped and chatted for a bit. He was somewhat surprised to see a cruise passenger on this trail! In any case, I felt good about doing a non-tourist thing and went on my way. I must say, the sounds of helicopters sometimes rudely intruded upon the peace and quiet of my forest journey--I certainly sympathize with the folks in Juneau who don't like all of the noise these things sometimes generate. At the bottom of the mountain the trail comes out at 6th Street and you have to walk a bunch of wooden stairs to get onto a paved street as Juneau's streets sometimes become stairs! I was quite hot and sweaty by the time I finished (next time I'll definitely wear shorts!) and so I went to this building downtown that had a bunch of stores in it (and an internet café) to go use the restroom and at least wash my face--I wanted to look semi-respectable for a little shopping. After nosing around the stores a bit I went back to the ship--truly exhausted by my hike–everything from the soles of my feet to my lower back ached for several days.