Alaska Journals

Ice, mist, thunder and Spare Socks

An August 2001 trip to Alaska by sasha1

Keystone River Rafting Photo, Alaska, United States More Photos
Quote: This portion of our trip is "water-logged". I was told that Alaskans had 300 different words for snow- there must surely be an equivalent number for water- from Hubbard Glacier river of ice to mist enveloped fishing boats to white water rafting in Keystone Canyon.

Ice, mist, thunder and Spare Socks

Overview

Quote:
Hubbard Glacier. How close you can get depends on weather conditions and the time of year. We were told the ship before us came within 7 miles, we came within 1/2 mile. Looking out into what seems totally uninhabited wilderness and sea in the early morning then sighting a tiny fishing boat undaunted in the waves that rock our ship. Regardless of neck to toe raingear going into the whitewater of Keystone Canyon and wondering if you are the only one with an icy cold puddle in your suit. Stopped before a glacier in College Fjord and hearing thunder and a "Crack". It's not a storm, it's a glacier "calving". Quick Tips: If you plan to do whitewater activities don...Read More

Keystone Canyon Whitewater Rafting

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Keystone River Rafting Photo, Alaska, United States
Quote:
After many admonishments to bring a pair of dry socks our bus leaves the pier in Valdez and takes us on a short 20 minute ride to our entry point on the Keystone River. We are also warned not to bother bringing cameras or anything else we aren't willing to part with because we will be paddling and holding on with little time between. We are broken up into groups of eight and quickly passed from outfitting to outfitting post. First bright yellow rainproof pants held up by suspenders followed by jackets. Obediently we follow directions and waddle into a bus where we are handed knee high rubber boots and told to squeeze next to each other, remove our shoes, tuck the pants int...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 22, 2001

Hubbard Glacier

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Approaching Hubbard Glacier Photo, Alaska, United States
Quote:
We would be at sea all day today heading up the Inside Passage and everyone aboard was ready to see the mighty Hubbard. It was very cold, rainy and windy on deck so we once again were grateful for our verandah. We turned up both the in cabin radio (to hear the naturalist's talk), and the heat, bundled up and made frequent forays outside. Hubbard was clearly visable from more than seven miles away. An incredible river of ice flowing to the water edge and backset by the world's highest coastal mountains. Hubbard's total length is 76 miles and it is over 6 miles wide. Our guide explained that the ship's ability to get close to the glacier would depend on weather and the amount of ice in the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 23, 2001

On Your Own

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Valdez Museum Photo, Alaska, United States
Quote:
Not all parts of a trip are exciting but even the quiet parts can be enlightening. We arrived in Valdez in the early morning and grabbed a shuttle bus from the ship into town, about 5 minutes. It was very early and most stores were still closed. Valdez is an oil town, a working town not terribly picturesque compared to our previous stops although lovely mountains surround the area. We stop at the local supermarket and wander aisles. Supplies for cold winters and hard work overshadowed the food aisles. Here is where you pick up your heaters, heavy gloves, plumbing needs and boat hardware along with your groceries. Here is where we glimpse what life requires when tourists leave. I spend time ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 23, 2001

Alone in College Fjord Photo, Alaska, United States
Quote:
Continuing up the Inside Passage we reached M College and Kenai Fjords. Seemingly unbroken wilderness. As far as we could see in any direction there was only gray waves and green mountains. Silent vistas, lonely and beautiful. Blue ice drifted by, an abandoned "calve" from an unknown glacier now on its own. Then a tiny fishing boat or island lighthouse would appear. What people would choose to live in this vast land? Could we? Each glacier a unique creation. Harvard Glacier towered in College Fjord where each glacier takes it's name from a major college. We made our way towards our final port at Seward taking in the beautiful Inside Passage and tryi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 23, 2001