Glacier Bay…..a land reborn, a world returning to life, a living lesson in resilience.
I’m not sure what I most wanted to experience on this trip, but each new thing provided a special thrill, none more so than the glaciers. It is said there are more than 1,000 in Alaska continually retreating and advancing, often creating changes to their environment.
Whatever is seen at sea level is only a portion of the glacier which is likely to have originated some distance away and higher on the mountain.
The visible portion may not look large from a distance, but do not be deceived. It is likely to be hundreds of feet tall and more than a half mile wide.
Much of a glacier appears to be some shade of icy blue which I learned is a function of density and the way light is reflected.
The more color the denser the ice meaning that it contains very little air.
Sometimes a glacier has dirty looking areas resulting from mudslides that leave behind dirt that gets locked in the ice.
On occasion there is a loud crack followed by a chunk of ice breaking off and becoming an iceberg only 10% of which is visible above the water. These lovely pieces of floating ice can be very dangerous as the Titanic sadly experienced.
Though spotted in other areas, Glacier Bay is glacier heaven. There are hundreds of glaciers here most of which form in the Fairweather Mountains where snow builds up over the years and becomes ice. This one, that from a distance looks like a cloud, is Grand Pacific Glacier and stretches some 24 miles from the Canadian border to Glacier Bay.
Even with climate change being a concern, as long as snow keeps falling on the mountains it will be a long time before the glaciers disappear.
i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind