Sunday, August 29, 2010

Glacier Bay

Thursday, August 26, 2010 Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

We woke up to the sound of the fog horn and zero visibility. It did not look like it would be a good day to be in this amazing national park. Three park rangers came out to meet us in a skiff and climbed rope ladders to board our floating city.

At 9:00 AM when the narrated tour was to begin, the fog lifted and we were treated to breathtaking vistas.

Everywhere we looked there was another amazing view of God's creation...

During our sail through Glacier National Park we visited five named glaciers and numbers of others. Since this is wilderness, the National Parks Service has decided to stop naming glaciers and mountains, they are wilderness after all!

The Reid Glacier was the first one that we recognized, just off of our stateroom balcony...

The Lamplugh Glacier is called the "True Blue" glacier because it has a rich blue color. The sun was so bright that we did not get to capture the depths of the blue color but it was amazing anyway.

The Margerie Glacier is mile high and a mile wide. It goes back over five miles and moves toward the tide at a rate of 7 feet per day. It also grows from snowpack and storms on the mountain about the same amount each day.

We sat before this glacier for about 40 minutes and watched it calving, that is some of the ice at the front of the glacier cracking and crashing into the ocean water. The sounds of the cracking were loud!

The Grand Pacific Glacier is believed to be the glacier that carved out Glacier Bay. It is a huge glacier that is covered in dirt. Typical of glaciers that reshape the landscape, they get covered in dirt and rocks. This actually helps the glacier by protecting the ice from erosion and sun which makes the ice last longer.

The Johns Hopkins Glacier was mammoth but we were not able to approach closer than five miles. The National Parks Service is trying to protect the harbor seal habitat and mating grounds to help bring back the number of harbor seals which have dwindled over the last decade.

There was so much to see in Glacier bay that we had to split the blog in two...more later....

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