A Bluebird Day
Wow! What a day. Five years as a guide in Glacier Bay National Park and 12 years guiding in Alaska and southeast Alaska still takes my breath away. Today I woke up to one of the few bluebird days that we have had this summer and guided an all-day kayak in Muir Inlet in the east arm of Glacier Bay National Park. I have always wanted to kayak here but it has always been out of reach because of the remoteness of the area and the lack of boats that make it into the East Arm.
A bluebird day, perfect for an all-day kayak trip
We began our trip by kayaking with small bergs of ice in the water and admiring the incredible blue color of bergs that had been stranded on land by the falling tide. They truly resembled a garden of ice sculptures and looked as if they had sprung up from nowhere as the McBride glacier that calved them has receded far enough into the fjord that it was not visible from our vantage point. It was strange to be kayaking through ice on such a warm day (70 degrees today!) and looking at landscape that was devoid of trees except for a few young Black Cottonwoods.
Incredible blue small bergs
Our first break was on a small beach and then we were off to kayak in front of the Riggs Glacier which has receded quite a bit since I last saw it 7 years ago. What a sight! Cascading blue ice, blue sky and yellow kayaks filled my vision and camera lens.
This was our backdrop for lunch and our small hike through the feathery plumes of yellow dryas afterward.
A small hike with Riggs Glacier in the background
Back in our kayaks (it was an all-day kayak after all), we paddled at the base of Mt. Brock and the 3,000 ft. cliff that dominates the skyline as you look north into Muir Inlet. I have marveled from tour vessels at the 2,000+ foot water falls here in the past and but I never thought that I would have the opportunity to kayak below them and dowse myself with their cool fresh water. (It was hot out after all!)
Cool water cascades down one of Mt. Brock's cliffs
The rest of our afternoon was filled with waterfalls, blue skies and reflection-filled calm waters. In the end, we kayaked 9 miles in an area that few people get to see from a tour boat, let alone a kayak, and spent a rare bluebird day in one of Glacier Bay’s most remote and beautiful fjords.