Celebrity TV host Martha Stewart blew through Juneau on Tuesday and Wednesday, stopping randomly, as far as anyone could tell to shop and videotape segments for a one-hour "Martha Stewart Living" show slated to air in late September.
Stewart and her production crew showed up on a moment's notice at Taku Smokeries to shoot footage Tuesday morning. In the afternoon she visited some downtown shops.
On Wednesday, she got a break from the gloomy weather and was able to complete the primary mission of her stay a pair of heli-trips to local glaciers. Early Wednesday afternoon, Stewart and her entourage flew to the Mendenhall Glacier, where she was filmed climbing an ice wall. Later in the afternoon, despite more rain, she filmed a dog-sled segment on the Norris Glacier.
"We just got off the Mendenhall Glacier," said Jerry LaVine on Wednesday afternoon. The vice president of Anchorage-based Connections Film and Video said his company provided lighting and electrical support for the shoot and was transported by local helicopter tour company NorthStar Trekking.
"We went through a nice climbing demonstration," LaVine said. "It's going to be beautiful the blue in the ice was really vivid. It was fabulous."
Stewart completed her stay in Juneau on Wednesday afternoon when she was filmed piloting a dog sled on the Norris Glacier. The air transportation and mushing tour were provided by Era Helicopters. LaVine said Stewart was slated to depart Juneau Wednesday evening.
Before departing, Stewart ducked into some downtown shops on Tuesday afternoon.
"Yes, she was in our store," said Liv Cadigan, owner of The Russian Shop. "She wasn't talkative at all, but she was very pleasant."
Cadigan said Stewart purchased supplies to make Psanky eggs, or Ukrainian Easter eggs.
Kelly Follis was Stewart's sales clerk at the Russian Shop.
"I welcomed her to Juneau," Follis said. "I said to her, 'It's a good thing.' That's her byline, right? She says, 'No. It's raining.'"
"She's taller than everyone thought," Follis said. "Maybe 5-9 or 5-10."
Follis said Stewart had a number of packages with her from other downtown Juneau stores.
"She was here," said Raven's Journey store owner, Kathy Ellis. "It was very pleasant. We didn't make a big fuss."
Ellis said Stewart bought some Native art from her, but didn't want to specify any further.
"I want to respect her privacy," Ellis said.
On Tuesday morning, Stewart filmed a segment at Taku Smokeries.
"I found out five minutes before she came," said owner Sandro Lane. "But I kind of understand. They were supposed to fly to the (Mendenhall) glacier but it wasn't a flying day so they asked us if they could shoot," on Tuesday, instead of Wednesday, as originally scheduled. "You have to have that kind of flexibility. They're a business, you know. Time is money, and her time is very valuable."
The first word of Stewart's plans to visit Juneau came from local gardeners, who were told they might be visited for her TV show. But that never materialized.
"A film crew came by here a few weeks ago and said they'd be back, but that's the last we've heard," said Cindy Bowhay, owner of Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure, on Wednesday. "We know she'd like it. It'd be an awesome day for it."
It was that way for a lot of local businesses that thought maybe she'd pop in, but didn't. Stewart also did not make herself available for interviews.
Stewart's swing through the north began with a trip to Whitehorse and will include filming in Ketchikan. Other segments will be taped later in Vancouver, British Columbia.