Alaska. From Juneau, I took a very noisy ride on an eight-seater plane to Gustavus, where I saw a porcupine walking the beach and another porcupine climbing a tree.
Most of the time in Gustavus was spent riding on a boat around blue glaciers in the Glacier Bay National Park. I saw some glaciers calving, meaning a big tip of the ice breaks off and falls into a pile near the water’s edge. I confess I was not as impressed as most others seemed to be. I was impressed, however, when a large man asked a waiter on the boat if there wasn’t more food coming for lunch and he was quickly given a second full plate.
Glaciers move so slowly that movement is measured in inches per day. The layers of ice are formed as snow evaporates and becomes packed. Many glaciers weigh thousands of tons with only a fraction visible above the water.
The National Park is a World Heritage Site and spans over five thousand miles. Much of the local wildlife depends on the more than one thousand glaciers for survival. With all that ice, there are unbelievably three hundred plant species in the National Park. It is the most visited National Park in Alaska.
“I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”—John Muir
”Glaciers are almost gone from Glacier National Park.”—Donella Meadows
“A man who keeps company with glaciers comes to feel tolerably insignificant by and by.”—Mark Twain
“The snow is melting into music.”—John Muir
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