Saturday, March 26, 2011

Alaska--The Hidden Glacier

The second day of our Alaska trip dawned bright and early. Our plan was to visit nearby Exit
Glacier. Unfortunately, it was April. Break-up hadn't happened yet. So when we reached theroad to the glacier, this is the sight that met us.
Notice how the road kind of disappears? Yup, it was buried. And the snow justgotdeeperaround the curve. A LOT deeper. I have to say this for Kimberley Woodhouse--she has a pioneer spirit!She wanted to give it a go. Now, I grew up in Oregon, so I'm no stranger to snow. And Ilivedoutside of Chicago for 20 years, so I've driven through some serious accumulation. However, when I see warning signs like these, I've learned to pay attention. It took someconvincing, but I finally got Kim to agree to it probably wouldn't be a great idea to try. I mean, research for a novel is great. But getting stranded on a remote road in Alaska with little hope of being found?

Yeah. Not so much.

SO, here, for your viewing pleasure, is what we would have seen had we made it to the glacier.
Pretty amazing, huh? I guess I'll just have to go back some day to see it for myself.
Though we didn't get to see the glacier, we got some great pix of the mountains near the glacier.

And we had fun skipping rocks at the Cook inlet in Seward.

What's more, a happy otter watched us from the water.
As did the seagulls, who were convinced we were there to feed them.We drove through Seward, where we saw interesting buildings

and signs (yes, it was upside down...I think I'd find my own evacuation route, thank you) to head back north, past Fairbanks, up to the Denali area where we would stop for the next few nights. It was on this long drive that the sky started to clear, and some of those promised mountains made their appearance. It was, in a word, stunning.
A sign along the road gave me great hopes for seeing my moose, but nary a one came out to play. I was disappointed, but figured
we had plenty more time for one to show.

We arrived at our destination just before sunset. Kimberley wanted to see if Denali (also known as Mt. McKinley) was out, so we drove to a spot where we'd be able to see the mountain.
Kimberley explained to me that there are three mountains/ranges made up of Denali, Sultana, and Begguya. It was fascinating to listen to her explain that Denali is the native name for the mountain, and it means "Great One
." To the left of Denali rests "Denaili's wife," or Sultana (also known as Mt. Foraker). In front of them is "Denali's child," or Begguya (also known as
Hunter mountain). Sultana is the setting for No Safe Haven, Kimberley and Kayla's newly released novel. It's not as high as Denali, but it's steeper and more hazardous.

The only one we could see that night was the child, Begguya,
but that was impressive enough. As
was the beautiful sunset.

Before long it was too dark for pictures, so it was back to our cabins, dinner, and another
night's rest.

More to come soon!



Brenda Wilbee said...

I was a tour guide up there last year, in Skagway. This year I'll be driving motor coaches for HollandAmerica-Princess, taking tourists up the Klondike Highway and the old Gold Rush Trail. I hope to get up to Danali this year and see all this amazing stuff.

Kimberley Woodhouse said...

You just had to go and tell on me... LOL
What an awesome trip. Loved your pics!