It Started with a Snowflake
By Dai Mar Tamarack, Expedition Guide on the Safari Quest
Enjoying some rare t-shirt and shorts weather here in Southeast Alaska recently, one family onboard spent an afternoon flightseeing in a floatplane over fjords, river valleys, and glaciers near Petersburg, AK.
We always see these massive rock peaks and snow-covered mountains off in the distance while traveling on the boat, but it isn’t until you are flying high among the peaks that their true beauty can be comprehended.
Traveling up the Stikine River valley, you take in the different shades of green surrounding the river lowlands. The grass is crisscrossed with animal paths and sometimes you might even get lucky enough to see one of the many moose who use those tracks. One flight earlier this year even saw a playful orca breaching in the water. But it is the glaciers that really steal the show.
Getting to see these glaciers from beginning to terminus is an amazing sight. It is also a great way to understand one of the wildest phenomena in nature. It can be difficult to fathom why this glacier even exists when you are floating in front of a 200-foot-tall wall of ice and trying to figure out how it all started with a snowflake. Especially when it is sunny and mid-seventies outside.
The ability to get up into these mountain tops, into a world where no one ever sees, is a part of the Alaskan wilderness. And wilderness is what we are all about.