States visited: 49!

visited 49 states (98%)
Create your own visited map of The United States
Miles driven so far -
LOOP 1 (Aug 2009 - Aug 2010): 29,000
LOOP 2 (May - August 2012): 10,800

Highest altitude with camper: 11,158ft (I-70, CO)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Exit Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park

For some reason, the last couple of mornings did not start out terribly clear.  We waited a while in hopes that perhaps some of the cloud would lift, it didn’t!  We had thought that if the sky was clear, we’d take the Alyeska Tram to the mountain top in Girdwood, however that would have to wait for another day.  There was at least a break in the cloud for us to admire the view and capture a memory of our double site.

Instead, we pushed ahead with our drive toward Seward, stopping at various points to admire and enjoy the beauty of the area.  So far, we had not experienced any bad routes in Alaska.

Alaska’s most accessible glacier, Exit Glacier, lies about 9 miles outside of Seward and is part of Kenai Fjords National Park.  We completed the Edge of the Glacier trail loop reading the signs detailing how much it had receded over the past 100 years.  It was incredible to realize that at some points where we stood, the ice would’ve been at our feet, yet now the base of the glacier was quite a distance away.

Dave noticed people walking at the very base and questioned a ranger, who confirmed that we could reach the glacier base as long as we didn’t mind waking through a little water.  Crossing over a few small streams on Outwash Plain, we were able to touch the ice.  The only color which doesn’t pass through ice on the spectrum is blue, hence the blue colors often manifested in glaciers.  Looking under overhanging ice at the base gifted us with this beautiful blue.

Never a family to be deterred by a cautionary warning about snow, we embarked on the Harding Icefield Trail.  Ensuring that our bear bells were ringing loudly – a bear had just been spotted in the woods above the glacier – we began to climb.  Dave S periodically stopped to ensure he was recording 'The Alaskan Adventures of Sparky and Lemon' (two sled dog toys bought for Chelsea and Dylan!).  Our elevation gain in the first mile was considerable, but the view more than made up for it.  We crossed small streams and mini waterfalls before hitting the snow.  We continued up through sometimes knee-deep snow to about midway in the meadow area.  Dave spotted a bear print and fresh scat, thankfully no sign of its creator!

Signing out once we returned to the base – this trail required a log to ensure those who went up also came down – the kids demonstrated that their energy levels remain higher than ours by enjoying a loud, lively, and fast snowball fight.  The Daves joined in for a few minutes but needed to rest sooner than the kiddums!

Rather than drive to the campground, we stopped at the overlook by Exit Creek, which flows into Resurrection River, and grilled dinner - we can certainly handle these dinner views!

Bypassing the campground entrance and taking advantage of clear skies, we drove directly into Seward to snap a couple of  stunning pictures across Resurrection Bay; it was windy!  Seward has many murals throughout the walls in the town; we spotted one by the harbor area.  We decided that the campground, Stoney Creek RV Park, we’d chosen for the next three nights was the right choice with full hook-ups, a laundry, plenty of room for the kids to run, and wifi access. 

No comments: