Thursday, June 25, 2015

Day 1 in Alaska- Exit Glacier

Our itinerary for our trip to Alaska included tons of travel and adventures... but not sleep. So we went straight from the plane to the rental car and on the road towards our first destination the Kenai Pennisula (pronouced- Key-ni).

One of the benefits of our trip this summer is that because of Alaska's location near the Artic Circle, the sun only sets for a few hours (depending on your location) and it's light enough out to see without needing headlights on.

Eventually we did take a 30 minute nap in the car, but we reached Exit Glacier around 7am and got out of the car and for a hike.

Although some animals were spotted previously, we didn't see any. And despite information saying we'd be able to walk on Exit Glacier the area was roped off. Apparently you can hike on it... if you take a plane which will then land on it.

 As you can tell the scenery was stunning.

Interesting facts about Exit Glacier & The Harding Icefield:

* Exit Glacier is one of many glaciers along the Harding Icefield.
* The Harding Icefield is the largest icefield completely contained within the United States.
*Harding Icefield is 700 square miles and thousands of feet thick
*In 1936 a steamship dropped off Yule Kilcher in Seward instead of his correct destination of Homer. Rather than wait for another steamship he attempted to cross the Icefields and was unsuccessful. Later in 1968 a mountaineering party, which included Yule Kilcher left Homer on horseback, travelled across the Harding Icefield and exited the icefield on skis at Exit Glacier. Thus it was named Exit Glacier.
*It's estimated that 150-200 cm of snow, rain and hail fall on the icefield every year and as they build up and layer, the ice is compressed and made dense, which shapes the rocks and carves the landscape of the Kenai Fjords as it melts and moves.
*The crevices in Exit Glacier can be more than 100 feet deep.
* Inside of glaciers are blue, because the other colors from sunlight (red, yellow, and green) are absorbed by the ice and only the color blue reflects back.
*Exit Glacier is now (as of 2015) 3 miles long and may have extended all the way to the town of Seward.

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