Browsing Tag

Glacier

Glacier National Park – Montana

The ‘itch’ to visit Glacier National Park in Montana came about after watching a Discovery Channel show about the best places to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).  Did I see the northern lights – you’ll have to keep reading to find out!

The trip, taken over the Fourth of July weekend, was a spur of the moment decision and some compromises were made on sleeping arrangements. Glacier National Park campgrounds were booked solid, so we settled on  St Mary/ East Glacier  Kampgrounds of America.

The most exciting moment of going to Glacier National Park was getting there. The 50 mile drive from via Going-to-the-Sun-Road is spectacular. If the sun is shining and the snow has melted, taking in the beauty of the park can take up to three hours to drive from the West entrance to the East entrance. This isn’t because traffic is terribly slow-moving – It’s as slow-moving as any two lane road weaving through mountains. It takes three hours because the snow-capped mountain tops, free-roaming wildlife and natural waterfalls are breathtaking – resulting in a stop every 5-10 minutes.

The bighorn sheep gathered near Logan Pass. Logan Pass is the highest point reachable by car in the park. At this juncture, peaks and valleys are visible for miles.

BigHorn SheepWhile spending a weekend in the great outdoors, it’s important to go out for a hike and see the wildflowers, like the ever present Bear Grass, and the hidden streams along any given path.

Bear GrassWe hiked the 10 mile round trip Iceberg Lake Trail. Along the way we saw mule deer, and we also made sure to wear our bear bells and carry our bear spray as earlier in the day A momma bear and cub were spotted out and about.

Iceberg Lake TrailThe tours conducted by  Glacier Park Boat Company  explored St. Mary’s Lake in all of its glory. The water was a beautiful shade of blue and the reflection of the mountains in the water was a definite sight for ‘city’ eyes.

St. Mary's LakeOh, and about the Northern Lights – It didn’t happen this time. Maybe it’s time to vacation to Iceland and guarantee myself a glimpse of illusive wonder.

Hubbard Glacier, Alaska

The Hubbard Glacier part of the cruise was a beautiful day out at sea. The ship began sailing toward the glacier on a surprisingly warm and clear Wednesday morning in May.

The sheer vastness of the Hubbard Glacier was astounding. To know this glacier is the result of mountain runoff freezing and thawing before the next winter is just mind-boggling!

Glacierview3

I know what you’re thinking, “How close can you actually get?” The answer – very close.  After traversing through  chunks of ice like in the picture below, we finally made it up close to Hubbard Glacier.

Glacier Pieces

Glacier Pieces

After a few hours we finally arrived at the glacier. We were close enough to see natural changes occur called ice calving. Ice calving happens when chunks of ice breaks off at the edge of glacier and crashes into the water. The rest of the day involved a polar bear plunge into the cold, saltwater of Yakutat Bay on board the Celebrity Century . Enjoy the  Calving pictures below!Glaciershot upclose icecalving2 Icecalving