Taken exactly 11 pm, June 16th, Seward Alaska. Kids still walking up and down the sidewalk, though the noise they were making at 10 pm was long gone…although Maxine said that she could hear the “girls” talking in the tent set up outside between her little trailer and the camper talking till after midnight. Imagine this…we see this camper, the type that sits on top of the bed of a truck, pull in yesterday around noon. To our astonishment, there were four kids, ranging from 8-13, two adults, both teachers and the parents of two of the four kids, and a dog…not a small dog, a good size dog. Wondered how they all were going to sleep in that thing, but they set up a tent for the girls, not sure about the boys, perhaps they slept in the truck! Anyway, they pulled out this morning, though I saw the camper up at Exit Glacier later in the day.
I took this picture last night around 10 pm…the sun just keeps people out late. There is enough of a breeze that we have had zero mosquito problems while here. One or two in the motorhome when we got here, but we think they hitched a ride from the Portage Glacier area.
Another cruise ship in the harbor today…heard this one come in at 6 am. It is the Millennium, the flagship of the Millennium-class cruise ships, operated by Celebrity Cruises line, part of the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. It has eleven passenger decks, and can carry over 2,100 passengers. Not sure how full it is, but there are a lot more people here than yesterday when the Silver Shadow was in dock…it holds less than 400 passengers because it is a “luxury liner”…where as the Millennium is a “crowded liner”.
Today Marcia and Skruffy and I hiked up to Exit Glacier, what is considered the “end” of the Harding Icefield. The Icefield measures in at over 1,100 square miles, and spawns up to 40 glaciers, including Exit Glacier...we see less than 2% of the entire Icefield by seeing Exit Glacier. This Glacier has retreated, on average, about 35-40 feet each year since 1815 when it first started to be measured. It largest loss was from 1914 to 1917 with a whopping 302 feet per year. The average rate of retreat for the glacier from 1973 to 2013 was just over 30 feet per year, although it had another major loss in 2014 of 187 feet. It seems that every few decades, there is a huge loss, proceeded by little to no loss before and/or after.
The two girls led the way along the path. I had talked with a Ranger and she said that the GoGo should make it fine, and as a Service Dog, Skruffy could go too, just keep her close. I inquired about bears, and she said that with this crowd (cruise ship crowd), the bears are long gone by now. It is about a half mile in to the viewpoint, which means it is a half mile back out. Skruffy walked about 1/4 of it, which was good for her. I walked it all, well, crawled a little at the end might be more like it. The GoGo did real well.
This is my favorite view of the glacier…only because I am sitting down on the bench.
We always like the find the many waterfalls running off of the snow/ice laden mountains. There were many of them today.
On the way back to the car I let them get a good head start … didn’t want her to feel rushed by my heavy breathing down her neck…very heavy breathing, must be the high elevation (about 600 feet).
All kidding aside, it was a nice hike, and nice views. On our way down we stopped to get a few pictures of Resurrection River coming down off the mountain, it runs through Seward and into Resurrection Bay.
Here is the river as it comes into Seward. These glacial rivers are full of rocks, very wide, and frankly, not as pretty as other rivers…but they are what they are.
It was an overcast morning, then partly cloudy during the early afternoon, and by 5 it started to cover up again.
By 6:30 the people were all buttoned up inside somewhere. Normally there are many folks eating their dinner enjoying the warm sun, cool breeze and the boats coming back into the harbor.
Then the guy who cuts fish every evening set up his table, started to cut the fish, and he really drew a crowd. It went from hardly a bird in the sky, to a flock of birds all around him. This picture only shows about half the birds he attracted.
The Cruise Ship started backing out at 8 pm. At first I could find no one on its decks…only one crew person. Then there was an announcement from the Captain, time for a life boat drill, and hundreds of people come out on deck.
With that, it finished its turn, and sailed out of the bay shrouded in foggy clouds.
A young couple hug in the bottom right as they watch their dream ship sail off…
That’s it from Seward today, other than to say thanks for all the well wishes for Skruffy, who is getting better each day. Today she ate and entire bowl of food, over half of it dry food, with some water added, and a half of a container of Little Caesar dog food…and these are small containers, so she mainly had her normal food with this stuff added as an incentive. That then creates another problem…Bubba stuck his nose up in the air to his dry dog food for 24 hours…so I added just a bit of beef broth to his as we went out the door to visit Exit Glacier. When we got back, it was gone…but we had a mess of torn paper towels and Kleenex that were between the front seats, which he left all over the floor in the driver / passenger area of motorhome. And here all along we thought Skruffy was doing this… BUBBA is MISSING ARNY! As for us, looks like we are in for rain on Saturday, Sunday and Monday...not necessarily all day, but it could be all day.