Friday, May 28, 2010

Up North

During my last two weeks in Juneau I managed to squeeze in a few more adventures before coming up North. I finally ahd the chance to fulfill a goal of mine on my list of things to do before I die: sailing! I've wanted to go for a long time now so I was so excited for the chance to sail the Gastineau Channel. About 10 of us went with a retired biologist, Van, and even though the weather was pretty crappy, we still had a wonderful time.
Sailing! (sorry its sideways)

The next day the weather totally cleared up and I went on a hike with three friends. We hiked on the West Glacier Trail at the Mendenhall Glacier and I finally got to not only touch, but also walk onto a glaicer. We explored the Glacier for a while and had a picnic lunch on the freezing ice. We stepped off the glacier to look for some ice caves we had heard about. As we were walking along the side of the glacier, we found some beautiful blue ice, bluer than anything I've ever seen before. It was underneath an overhang of ice that would break off at any second so we approached with extreme caution. We knew it was really dangerous and stupid to keep going but we couldn't resist getting a closer view of the ice. As we continued to take "just one step closer" we ended up finding an ice cave. We had no idea what they would be like or where they were so we were so excited to come across this. We stepped inside to a beautiful secret world of blue. I can't even begin to describe the experience but hopefully the pics will help you understand it's magnificence.
Holding a piece of the glacier that calved into the lake
Sitting on the Mendenhall Glacier

Beth, Niza, Sean, and I inside the ice cave
Beautiful glacial ice

The river that flows underneath the glaicer

After saying lots of goodbyes in Juneau, we left on Friday morning to start the trip North. We first took a ferry from Juneau to Haines and then drove through BC and the Yukon, back into Alaska and down to Anchorage. We camped at some awesome spots along the way, saw tons of glaciers, HUGE mountains, black and brown bears and moose. It was by far the most beautiful drive of my entire life.
Driving through BC.
A bunch of us jumped into a freezing (literally-yes, that is ice in the water) lake in the Yukon
Beautiful sunset at 10:30 pm at Deadman's Lake Campground

The North Shop where I now live. The tents are set up around this building. This is where we keep all the tools and equipment and there is a big kitchen to use and a bathroom with a shower! :)

Our crews show up a week from Monday and I can't wait to meet them!!


passport in my pocket said...

oh wow -- these images are stunning!! looks like an amazing experience.

KMarie said...

Beautiful photos claire! really incredible! i love it! I am so glad you are having such life changing first time experiences!

Karina said...

The ice is so nice! Breathtaking! Are those carharts you have?