"From the greatest tragedy comes growth,
and the future of life"
|Mt. Sallisbury 12,000 and the John Hopkins Glacier|
While our Alaska cruise was phenomenal, a highlight was Glacier Bay. This 3.3 million acre National Park and Preserve is amazing. At one tip of the bay, John Hopkins Glacier lives.
Yes... glaciers live. But only 5% are advancing... the rest are retreating at a rapid rate.
|John Hopkins Glacier|
21 miles long, 200 feet high and a mile across... John Hopkins Glacier is among the living and advancing about 5-7 feet per day.
Just one inlet north, the Grand Pacific Glacier is moving the opposite direction. But at one time had advanced 300 feet in one day! So fast that it wiped out the Tlingit village. They called this the little ice age.
|Grand Pacific Glacier|
By 1750 the Grand Pacific Glacier reached maximum extension. Captain George Vancouver sailed there 45 years later, and the glacier had melted back five miles gouging out a portion of Glacier Bay.
In 1879 John Muir traveled to Alaska, using Vancouver's maps, but the landscape had changed once again. But with what Muir found, he proved with his voyage that Yosemite had once been covered with a glacier.
Last week we traveled 65 miles up into Glacier Bay. None of this beauty would be possible without the mini ice age, and the destruction of the land as the glaciers grew and retreated. Sadly the Pacific Grand Glacier is still in retreat. Leaving behind growth and beauty... But we can only hope that all our glaciers do not retreat into oblivion.
The cycle of life in the north. Ice covered the rock. In retreat the lichen attached to the stone, and slowly broke down the rock into soil enabling plants to grow. With nutrient filled soil trees took hold. The history of life is evident on the passage through the passage. A must see.
We started in Seattle with 79 degree weather and sunshine, and other than a little fog and one day of drizzle... we had beautiful weather the entire trip. We sat on our balcony and watched the world go by.
Wild life was abundant and the fun times were many. I actually read two books, we hiked each day and explored the forests. We are not very good cruise people as we did not partake in a lot of the ship's events... which were many... but we relaxed and enjoyed.
The trip to the glaciers was somewhat a metaphor of life. Ice happens. But when it melts there is life and growth beneath. Sometimes you have to go through the tough times to find the beauty on the other side. The sun is always shining. Sometimes you might just have to wait out the storm.
But despite the great adventure and fun times... there is no place like home! Maybe there in lays the meaning of life.
Enjoy the Journey!