Friday, August 19, 2011

The Channel Channel

The town of Juneau, Alaska is home to one of those accidentally wonderful pockets of perfection that sneak into existence in the world we live in at the intersection of nature and technology, it is called “The Channel Channel”. Even though Juneau is the capital of Alaska the tourist map shows a downtown that is only four blocks wide and eight blocks long.  It lies on the Gastineau Channel, which is dredged out south of town to accommodate monster cruse ships but dwindles to the north into a minor slough just adequate for small recreational boats. This part of the channel is quiet and picturesque. The (15-20 foot) tide slowly raises and lowers the water level and whatever breeze there is ruffles through the reeds and grasses along the banks. Occasional waterfowl drift up and down the channel hunting, foraging or just going somewhere.

The local television station has a permanent camera looking out of the studio window and down the channel. Hence, “The Channel Channel”. We once had a layover in Juneau and spent the night at a little hotel on the dock just north of town. We were delighted to discover  this resource and left it on most of the time.

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