Glacier Bay

Faith, our Huna Tlingit guide for the day, told the story of how her people lived on the broad valley, where Glacier Bay exists now, until, in the 1700’s, the glacier began to advance “as fast as a dog can run.” The people fled and by 1750 the glacier filled the whole valley. Vancouver recorded its location in 1795 and John Muir found it had retreated forty miles when he visited in 1879, confirming his belief that glaciers carved out bays and valleys like Yosemite. Now the glacier has retreated sixty-five miles up the bay, leaving “small” tidewater glaciers. These glaciers are still actively retreating and we got to see some calving and lots of little icebergs or “bergy bits” as the crew called them.Image

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Water down the bay from the glaciers is a beautiful turquoise color due to refraction from suspended finely ground rock particles. (I looked it up.)

 

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They are BIG!

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Orcas in Glacier Bay
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Stellar sea lions. On this same small island we saw breeding colonies of glaucous winged gulls, tufted puffins, and pigeon guillemots.
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At the end of the day our ranger took us on a nature walk and pointed out evidence of the succession of plant growth from glacial scouring to the current spruce and hemlock rainforest merging eventually into peat bogs. The big rock is a glacial erratic, dropped there by the retreating glacier.
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End of our day at Glacier Bay National Park. Looking at the Fairweather Range as we re-board.

 

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3 thoughts on “Glacier Bay

  1. Fabulous!!

    I went to see my mother today. She’s doing well, somewhat impaired but still very much herself. Betty and Seth went to see her yesterday; she loves family, and being cared for.

    Let’s figure out a date for the 2 of us to visit her.

    Love,

    Barbara

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