Rob and Syd's Western Canada and Alaska trip 2012 travel blog

One of the many beautiful water falls in the area.

Exit Glacier just outside Seward

Some of the "blue ice" of the glacier

The end of the glacier as we saw it on our visit...

The same view today. You can see how the glacier has receded.

A shot of Seward from across the bay. Notice the cruise ship....

Day 73, Friday, July 06, 2012

It was still cloudy and spitting rain but not steady. We took advantage of the break and drove out to Exit Glacier. Exit Glacier is 3 miles long and comes out of the Harding Icefield. We were here with the kids in 2001 and picked our way across the Resurrection River delta and walked right up to the jagged blue cliff face of the glacier. There was maybe a handful of other people out there looking but they didn’t go out there like we did. It is very different today. They’ve built trails that go near the glacier and viewpoints to look at it but you can’t just go out there on the river delta or touch the glacier. (It wasn’t safe then and it’s not safe now.) And there are tons of people out there. We hiked the trail to the top, 2 miles round trip, and we were shocked at the difference. The glacier has retreated a good half mile or more and no longer has a blue cliff face. It looks like it just gradually tapers down to nothing, but it was hard to see the actual front. Rob will post one of our old pictures to compare with today. We also walked the other trails to the viewpoints so we walked more than 3 miles. I’ve never been so hot and so cold at the same time. Then we drove into town for a quick lunch that turned out to take almost 2 hours, they were so slow. Since the visibility was a little better, we drove around to the other side of the bay to take a picture of the town. There was a cruise ship in port today. Yesterday we were floatie free.

Bear Creek runs right along the edge of the campground. We stopped there to look at the salmon in the creek. They come up 7 miles from Resurrection Bay to spawn in Bear Lake. There is an organization that operates the Bear Creek Weir right here. They have this contraption that grates off the water and funnels the salmon through a channel where they can be caught, counted, tagged and either released or harvested. We watched the poor salmon trying to work their way past the grate. They launch themselves up and sometimes hit that grate so hard it seems like they would knock themselves out. One of the workers said right now the numbers have passed what Fish and Game say is sustainable for the lake. So they are releasing the females and harvesting the males. I don’t really get it, but it’s interesting to watch. In 2010, the total count was about 370,000 salmon.

The rain started again when we got back to camp. It’s pretty steady right now. They still haven’t found the missing runner. They don’t expect to find him alive at this point. It’s really sad.

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