Sunday, March 01, 2009

North to Alaska

There may be a paucity of posts these next couple of days as we visit one of w's best friends Karen and her hubby Phil up in Juneau, Alaska. Like I acknowledged previously, "Winter" and "Visit Alaska" aren't two things I would normally be down with. In fact, last night at a dinner party at friends of K&P's (where we had a multi-course feast at their friend's Rory and Jan's with a kick ass bouillabasse as the main course and two awesome desserts. I was thinking how funny that even though we don't know anybody here, somehow we end up with foodies!) more than one person said "You decided to come up in February, why?" But we did happen upon some beautiful weather, and Juneau itself is in a truly beautiful setting, facing the Gastineau Channel on one side with snow-covered mountains rising straight out of the back of town on the other. Today we drove a short 15 or 20 minutes with K&P to the Mendenhall Glacier, which is my first glacier and one of the most impressive things I've ever seen. You walk across a frozen lake maybe 1-1/2 miles to the very front of this, sadly, fast receding wall of ice. To show my gratitude to our hosts for showing me one of the true wonders of my world, I have a big pot of short ribs in the oven as I type. Meantime, here's some pics of our "adventure".....
The front nose of the Mendenhall, about 3/4 of a mile away
At the front wall, with gigantic columns and walls of pure blue ice rising above us
Some adventurous souls wandering between the columns to show some scale. We were told this wasn't the wisest thing to do as this glacier is always on the move, and sudden shifts aren't uncommon. In other words, they'd better be ready to get their asses out of there!
One of the fantastical pieces of ice that break off he glacier
and become frozen in the ice.


Kathleen Bauer said...

Man, what an amazing trip! Wish we could be there with you to see this marvelous country. Have fun!


Wandering Chopsticks said...

Oh that's so gorgeous! I wouldn't want to deal with winter in Alaska but when else can you see glaciers that blue?

bb said... was beautiful. glad to be away from the snow though.

wc- nowhere else! It was stunning...the ice was so blue. Just this purity to it. Winters would be a bit harsh for me, too.