Three Stories of Exit Glacier
July 18, 2013
Adventure on the Icefield Trail
Nine of us trekked up the Harding Icefield Trail today. Only eight of us came back. Just kidding, it was a lovely hike. The fact that all of us made it back down without injury is a bonus. Not only did we see the phenomenal ice field, we saw four mountain goats, various wild flower and plant species, a gray-crowned rosy finch, and many tired-happy hikers. Beautiful weather, good company, amazing scenery, and only four of us tripped. The Harding Icefield Trail, recommended for those who are willing and ready for an adventure!
-Robin McKnight, Interpretation YCC
The Possibility of Wildlife Sightings in Alaska
When someone comes to Alaska for the first time it is a step into a world that is totally strange to them (Unless they live in a similar region). They want to see and experience everything Alaska has to offer, but when they come out to Exit Glacier asking if they will see bears and I have to say “maybe you will maybe you won’t”, it breaks my heart to see the disappointment in their eyes.
I wish I could say “Yes, you most definitely will.” But I can’t because they might not. And the thought of them spending all this money to come to Alaska and not seeing any wildlife makes me feel bad. So I am sorry if some people didn’t see wildlife on their trip to Alaska. I really wish there was something I could do, but there isn’t.
-Sebastian Kratz, Interpretation YCC
Exit Glacier and its stream contain more than what may meet the eye. Underneath the dirt, silt, and water lies something unbelievably old, powerful, dense, and valuable… Blue Gold! Glacial ice is an amazing thing.
Some of it can be thousands of years old, something that sat dormant underneath the tons of ice that make up the Icefield. That’s the stuff that’s valuable. The air pockets in it have been there that long, too, and it really gives people an idea of what the world was like that long ago.
Now, not all the ice is that old. But even ice a couple hundred years old is made up of snow that fell when the united stated was founded.
Either way, that ice is extremely powerful, too. That ice and its kin covered many of the mountains in the Kenai Fjords, it created the massive fjords, it even created the Great Lakes. Blue Gold en masse does all that and even creates its own weather systems.
Needless to say, even that little chunk of ice floating down the river took hand in one of the most important roles in history.
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Did You Know?
River otters defecate in certain spots to mark their territory. Researchers in Kenai Fjords National Park have discovered that these "latrine sites" enrich the soil, allowing plants to grow in those spots that aren't found anywhere else close by.