Thursday, January 12, 2012

The last Alaska post!

Apparently in 10 days of being in Alaska, I took nearly 300 personal pictures. The number of pictures that I took for work was nearly three times that amount. I was a picture taking fool. Mostly because I knew that the odds of being back any time soon were slim to none, so I tried to capture everything that I could. I took pictures with my cell phone, personal camera, and my "work" camera. If I wasn't taking pictures...I was sleeping or eating...and even eating didn't truly stop that. My partner and I managed to eke out a day off during the mad rush that was our trip to Alaska and drove down to Seward, AK to go check out one of the more accessible glaciers from the Harding Ice Field.

The drive down to Seward was gorgeous and we stopped everywhere to take pictures. We probably took twice as long to get down there as necessary because everything was so breathtaking in the morning light.

Me with Gorgeous Glacial Lake

Aforementioned Glacial Lake

Kenai River-The water really is blue colored

Snow Capped Peaks in morning light

Since I'm a geologist, I was more than a little excited to see a glacier up close. Since I'm a geologist who grew up and trained in Texas, I haven't ever seen a glacier up close. Nor seen the landscaping effects that I had only read about. Needless to say, I was a little geeky about the whole thing and insisted that we hike the 1.5 miles up to the glacier itself. My only disappointment was that because it was the end of summer, the glacier had retreated pretty far back and was therefore, not touchable. We did get to hear the glacier cracking, groaning, and calving, which was pretty awesome.

Exit Glacier

Hiking to the glacier in the outwash plain.

Glacial Pool filled with melt water.

Striated Rock from the glacier dragging across it.

Really awesome blue glow from the supercompacted ice.

I feel like I'm with a celebrity! (Note extreme geekiness!)

After we hiked back from visiting the glacier, we went down into Seward, had lunch, shopped, and then checked out the Kenai Fjords State Park. It was gorgeous, but I was still on a glacier high, so I admired it a bit and we started back to Kenai.

Kenai Fjords State Park

Marker commemorating the start of the Alaskan Railroad at the park.

Mile 0 of the Iditarod Trail.

We spent one more day working in Alaska and it was time to go home. It was an amazing journey and I am thrilled to my toes that I was fortunate enough to get to take it.

But I was sure glad to step onto the plane for home...

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