Memories of Alaska Glaciers

When I saw Terri’s Monthly Color Photo Challenge was for the color Glacier Blue, I took the challenge literally and browsed through my archives searching for the blue in my glacier images from our 2013 Alaska RV trip.

I was amazed each time we saw one of these ancient, gigantic bodies of ice. We saw a few from the road, many from nature cruises, and even some from an airplane. Each one took my breath away. We could feel the cold each time we approached one for a closer look. Seeing all these images again brought back many happy memories.

The captain of our cruise from Seward took us close to the Aialik Glacier and shut off the engines so we could see and hear the glacier calving. There’s more about that amazing experience at Glaciers and Wildlife in Seward

Aialik Glacier, Alaska
Calving on Aialik Glacier, Alaska

Probably the most memorable day of our Alaska journey was the day we took a flight seeing trip from Talkeetna. We not only saw glaciers from the air, but our plane landed on one.

Flying over a glacier in Alaska
The blue glacier water can be seen from the air
Beth on Ruth glacier under a clear blue sky

On a nature cruise from Valdez our boat navigated through the ice and in Juneau we saw Mendenhall Glacier up close.

Glacier Blue Ice in Alaskas
Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska

While these images make me cold as I look at them they also make me happy. I feel so grateful we were able to make the trip when we did.

Many thanks to Patti for this week’s Lens Artists photo challenge Emotions.

Glaciers and Wildlife in Seward, Alaska

Our Alaskan Journey continued in Seward, Alaska where we spent three nights in the Seward Waterfront Park.

Day 63: Wednesday, July 17, 2013. Palmer to Seward, Alaska. Seward Waterfront Park, Resurrection Campground Site R5. 132 miles traveled.

Our drive took us through downtown Anchorage and then south along the Seward Highway. There were spectacular views of Turnagain Arm and mountains most of the way.

We arrived in Seward and searched the city campgrounds for a waterfront site but had no luck so we picked a site in the fourth row from the water and then took a walk to the small boat harbor to check things out.

Day 64: Thursday, July 18, 2013.

A van picked us up at 9:45 and drove us to the harbor for our 7 1/2 hour sightseeing cruise on the Spirit of Adventure with Major Marine Tours. Our trip took us through parts of Kenai Fjords National Park and there was a park ranger on board to tell us information about the wildlife and glaciers we were seeing. We had comfortable seats inside a cabin where we stored our gear and then went outside to see the sights. As we traveled through Resurrection Bay we could see our RV when we cruised by the campground. There were sea otters in the water and we stopped to watch a mother and calf humpback whale.

The cruise continued thorough Ailiak Bay to the Holgate Glacier for a close view of the half mile wide Holgate Glacier and Surprise Glacier. Captain Nicole turned off the engines so we could listen for the sound of ice breaking loose from the glacier before falling into the sea. When the ice breaks loose and falls it is called calving. We heard and watched about four or five calvings before moving on to the next glacier.

Our next stop was at the mile wide Ailiak Glacier where we witnessed more spectacular calvings. There was complete silence on the boat as we waited for the roar of ice. We were fortunate to see several more chunks of ice fall into the water including what our captain said was one of the biggest ones she has ever seen. Take a look at the next sequence of pictures to get an idea of what the ice falling looks like.

Hearing and seeing the ice fall was simply amazing. I could have sat there all day but the cruise continued as we traveled through the Chiswell Islands and saw more humpback whales, puffins, and other wildlife. Captain Nicole got us back to the dock right on time at 5:30. What a great day.

It was our anniversary so we drove about four miles out of town to the Salmon Bake restaurant for a Salmon dinner to celebrate. I just can’t get enough of this salmon!

Day 65: Friday, July 19, 2013

After a day at sea, some of it being in very rough waters, we were both sore and exhausted. I think 2 months of travel and sightseeing tours finally caught up with us. We both slept late and took it easy all day. We took a last drive around Seward in the afternoon.