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Friday, Aug 31, 2007 from Seward, Alaska
Posted: Aug 31, 2007 | 506 words | 2 Comments
Today I was treated to something special. I have seen many National Parks on this trip. Some of my favorites are Redwoods, Arches, Badlands, Arcadia, even a plane tour over the Grand Canyon, and several other parks. It’s hard to admit over the Redwoods, but I may have a favorite new National Park. Today’s adventure was a six-hour boat tour around Resurrection and Aialik Bays in the Gulf of Alaska around the edges of Kenai Fjords National Park. Why is it possibly my new favorite National Park? You’re about to find out.
They say that August in Seward is usually rainy and overcast. Lucky for me I have seen nothing but sun during the daytime. As we got further away from Seward there was more wildlife. Lots of birds like cute little puffins, there were some sea otters and sea lions. And along the way were beautiful views of mountains, distant glaciers, and beautiful mountain islands piercing the water in the middle of nowhere. Along the way we saw Bear, Holgate, and Penderson glaciers.
As we reached the midway point of our tour the Aialik Glacier came into view, my first tidewater glacier. As we got closer my jaw dropped further. Eventually we pulled up and parked about a quarter-mile from the glacier and the captain turned off the engines. We witnessed calving nearly the sizes of school busses falling into the water with the loudest splashing noises I have ever heard. The cliff of ice stands several hundred feet straight up, the glacier stretching back several miles with ice that is thousands of feet deep. It was a massive wonder of blue shimmering ice. The massive cracking of the ice can be heard from great distances and large calvings can be heard from a couple miles away. You could truly feel the life of this glacier. This mass blue wonder was the single most amazing thing I have ever seen.
The return route on the boat was also nothing short of climax. We saw a few black bears along the beaches and a couple of bald eagles. Of course the scenery and backdrops were all breathtaking. The boat went along and along. We saw just about everything we could have seen and Gwendolyn said, “Sorry, doesn’t look like we’ll get to see any whales today.” Not five minutes later someone else had spotted a humpback whale. We waited and waited and up he came. And a few minutes later Gwendolyn herself spotted some killer whales a couple miles away. Great job spotting Gwendolyn, I’m impressed! We saw two pods of orcas as they swam near the boat dipping in and out of the water. This was my first time ever seeing orcas and was I ever amazed.
I assure you that there are some great photos to come from the day. It all made for a spectacular day and as our boat captain said, there will be images you see in Alaska that will stick with you the rest of your life, no camera required.
Comment by Mom
From Baraga, MI
what can I say, Bugsy, I am totally jealous.... Can't wait to see pictures! Love, Mom
Comment by Jen
From Elmwood Park, IL