Tuesday, July 4, 2017

North to SE Alaska for Our 40th

It seems like it was just a few years ago we celebrated our 40th birthdays. They were a big deal then with black balloons, gag gifts, and cards about being over the hill. All we had to do was just show up, laugh, and wonder where the time went.  In retrospect, that milestone was nothing compared to our recent 40th wedding anniversary.  We arrived at it with a lot more luck and effort than just showing up every day, although that certainly helped.

We needed more than black balloons to mark this occasion, so we decided to go BIG and host a celebration in Glacier Bay, Alaska (48 miles by air from Juneau) with our daughters, their boyfriends, and Kathy's brother Steve. Getting them together in one place at the same time from London, Boston, New York, and Oregon City took months of planning, and we're so glad they could get time off to join us.
Bear Track Inn,10 miles on dirt roads
from "downtown" Gustavus

Unlike our honeymoon when we backpacked without porters to the 16,000' elevation near the basecamp of Mt. Everest, we're getting soft in our old age. We stayed at the wonderful Bear Track Inn, on the edge of Glacier Bay National Park. True to Kelemen-Ellis family style we crammed each day full with outdoor activities and the evenings with food, drink, and card games.  It was a trip and family event of a lifetime, and hopefully we can do something like it again in 10 and 20 years.

Alaska, with its scenery and wildlife, is truly amazing.  See it while you still can (and while its unique wildlife and glaciers are still there)!

Day 1:  Arrival

Day 2:  A wet and scenic day of sea kayaking

Day 3:  (Our anniversary) Glacier Bay
We saw sea lions, eagles, mountain goats, a wolf,
humpback whales, puffins, and much more.

Our boat, complete with Park
Ranger Patrick, who narrated the
geology, history, and wildlife
the whole day

The much more

Margerie Glacier, 1 mile wide, 21 miles long,
250 ft. high, 50-100 ft. below water.
(Note cruise ship for scale)

Grand Pacific glacier, 2 miles wide, 34 miles long,
60-80 feet above sea, 0-60 feet below

On our way back to Bartlett Bay
An anniversary toast
Special cake
Day 5:  Flying from Gustavus to  historic
Skagway and back
The train from Skagway to White Pass, along the route
of the Yukon Gold Rush
Day 6:  Homeward bound.
(The 10:30 pm sunset view from our room)

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful, Ron. You and Kathy do such a great job planning out your adventures... and sharing them! Makes me want to go back to Alaska.