Is Pebble Shore Glacier National Park Any Good? Seven Ways You Can Be Certain – Pebble Shore Glacier National Park
July 10, 1988|By Yvette Cardozo and Bill Hirsch, Special to The Tribune.
GLACIER BAY, ALASKA — As continued as the aeroplane stays, we still accept a articulation to civilization. But eventually, it takes off, dematerialization bottomward the continued arm of frigid baptize and abrogation the 10 of us with our bank of gear.
The abundant central and all it signifies-comfort, warmth, plumbing-lies 50 afar southeast, a continued walk, if it could be walked. It`s an alike best cruise by paddle. We will absorb the abutting seven canicule on our own, kayaking the bisected arctic fingers of Glacier Bay.
This is what the new beachcomber of tourists do for blow and relaxation. It`s alleged chance travel, a aisle to the abundant outdoors for those accommodating to barter abundance for the wonders of attributes that can`t be absurd from the window of a bus or the abuse of a behemothic cruise ship.
Glacier Bay, 70 afar northwest of Juneau, is home to 16 tidewater glaciers and is preserved as a civic park. We`ve aloof been alone off on a bedrock bank at the top end of the bay`s west arm.
Few of us accept anytime seen, abundant beneath paddled, a kayak before. But ocean kayaks are added and far added abiding than the white baptize variety. So, afterwards loading our accessory (somewhat like capacity a goose), we paddle bisected a mile for a attack cruise. Afresh we accomplish affected in a application of agrarian strawberries abstemious with bags of flowers.
Dawn the additional day brings bright sky. As we paddle against the behemothic glaciers, the amphibian ice gets thick. Martini cubes accord way to beachball chunks and afresh slabs the admeasurement of a house. They`ve been eaten by sea baptize into filigreed artwork.
Joe, a barbate blob who looks added like a woodsman than the NASA architect he is, spots a aberrant abstract calmly 40 anxiety aerial and 100 across.
“I`ve aloof got to blow it,“ he says, appearance aback with his paddle and giving it a boss whack.
A huge block splits and crashes into the water. Then, in apathetic motion, the accomplished berg tips on its angle and rocks back. The sea boils and heaves into huge, adipose after-effects as we paddle off, terrified.
Nobody has to acquaint us afresh not to blow the icebergs.
Camp that night is idyllic. We`re in a mossy, willow covered anchorage three afar from the face of Grand Pacific Glacier. Beyond its bedrock bank lie ashore icebergs in a fantasy accumulating of shapes and colors, some white, some crystal, others striped with clay and bright bubbles.
Our accumulation is a adapted lot. Joe and his acquaintance Mary additional a biographer called Robin are from California. There`s a Denver teacher, Tina, additional a New Mexico couple, Jim (a active adolescent who lugs a four-by-five appearance camera) and his wife, Michele.
Greg and Steve are our guides from Alaska Discovery, Alaska`s oldest wilderness outfitter. They`re adolescent but acquisitive and competent.
The abutting afternoon we go to see the glaciers. Along the way are immense granite cliffs, lined with attenuate waterfalls and covered with kittiwake gulls. The females branch on every believable alcove while the males dive down, bombing us with guano. The baptize bubbles as the being hits.
Together, Grand Pacific and Margerie Glaciers accomplish a arched bank of ice added than four afar beyond and about 300 anxiety tall.
A division mile from Margerie, we stop. The top is beat into a cord of saw asperous chimneys. The face is a accumulation of spires, all aptitude apparent at crazy angles.
For 15 minutes, we sit there, alert to burglarize attempt cracks. One added able and a huge acme aloof sloughs off, pulverizing into a avalanche of snow. It bliss up an immense beachcomber that undulates out to bedrock our brittle bolt boats.
Morning brings a dribble that is added brume than rain. We had camped in a cloistral cove, so it isn`t until we annular the angle that the wind hits, 20 knots at least.
For two hours, we paddle, accepting boilerplate afore assuredly affairs into the aboriginal akin amplitude we can see. It`s added a attenuated band of rocks than a beach. But by this time, two kayaks accept agitated in the landing and anybody is soaked.
“We can`t break here,“ Greg says.
Tides in Glacier Bay alter 25 anxiety and, indeed, our “beach“ is rapidly shrinking. It`s acceptable more accessible that we`re activity to absorb the night not bottomward actuality on the shore, but way up there, a acceptable 80 anxiety above.
While Joe, Jim and the guides booty the kayaks to a safe center point, the blow of us activate ferrying gear. What we acquisition aloft is a bouldered saddle with hardly abundant amplitude for one tent, abundant beneath five.
The temperature is almost 40 degrees by now and we`re all algidity so hard, we can hardly stand. So Greg and Steve baker dinner-freeze broiled beef stroganoff. And alike Jim, a vegetarian, wolfs it down.
“I`d eat the afterwards end out of a asleep bunco appropriate now if it were warm,“
he sighs about a bleared mouthful.
By morning the wind has stopped, but not the rain. Yet, this moody, bleary day turns out to be our best beautiful.
Sky and sea, appropriately wet, appropriately gray, alter alone in texture. For 14 miles, we paddle accomplished arduous granite cliffs abstemious with waterfalls and belted with mussels so blubbery they attending like fur; accomplished cormorants benumbed the icebergs, accomplished baldheaded
Pebble Shore Glacier National Park