Glaciers and Lakes – Canada

On September 4, we moved to Alberta, Canada, to a place on the side of the road.  It was muddy, since it had rained the night before.

The next day, we went to Jasper and Banff National Park, where we visited the visitor centers and looked at some scenery.  We saw glaciers from a distance and a waterfall that plummeted into rapids.  There were a lot of beautiful evergreen trees everywhere, and the natural features of the land were so pretty, similar to those of Alaska.

We then dry camped in the Icefields Parkway visitor center parking lot.  There was a trail there that led to near a glacier, as you can see in the video below.  By now, the weather was getting cold.  Oh, and that bridge picture is of a bridge for animals to cross over the road.  That’s why it’s covered in trees and grass.

The next morning, we went to Lake Louise (crowded), which is part of Banff National Park.  It was a turquoise color, ringed by mountains, with a glacier behind.

After that, we quickly visited Cave and Basin National Historic Site (in Banff), where we went into a cave and saw a thermal mineral spring.  It was very stinky, humid, and hot in the cave.  There were other hot springs there too, one being a swimming pool covered over by brick.

Before heading to Montana to dry camp on the side of the road, we went to a museum called Banff Park Museum National Historic Site.  There was a very large collection of stuffed animals, birds, and insects.

Finally, we headed back into the United States.  It was night by the time we got there, and we just pulled off the road, set up our RV, took showers, and went to bed.

Kenai Fjords NP – Alaska

Kenai Fjords National Park hike

On  Friday, we moved to Bear Creek RV Park in Seward, Alaska.  While in the area, we went to Kenai Fjords National Park.  We hiked about 5 miles on a trail that led to a lookout over a glacier on one day, and on another day, we went to the visitor center.

The trail was very pretty.  It had lots of evergreens, and we got to see meadows of flowers, waterfalls, the glacier, and berries.

The visitor center was by the beach.  We went on a ranger-led walk near the fjord and learned about its ecosystem.  As our tradition, we also did the junior ranger books there and got badges for it.

On both days, it was warm, but near the water, it was windy, causing it to feel cool.

Base Camp Kennicott – Alaska

Root Glacier

After being in Valdez for over a week, we moved to Waterworks RV Park in Glennallen, Alaska.  On the way, we saw a moose in a lake, cooling off in the water.

Six days later, we moved to Base Camp Kennicott, in McCarthy, Alaska.  We stayed there for two days.  Daddy and my brothers hiked to Root Glacier from the campgrounds (but took a shuttle part of the way).  They passed through a historic town called Kennicott Mill Town, and hiked about 4 miles.  It was difficult, because parts were steep.  There were lots of small waterfalls on the way, and it was hot, even on the glacier.

Special thanks to Mason, my brother, for providing me with the details of their hike!

Worthington Glacier and a Fish Hatchery – Alaska

June 30, 2019 – We went to Worthington Glacier and hiked near it.  When we hiked, we got to see a lot of rivers, waterfalls, and rocks from the glacier.  The day was hot and windy, and the only reason I was wearing a jacket was to avoid the sun and Alaskan mosquitoes.  Aiden, Mason, and Tanner had a lot of fun playing with rocks and a small stream to create tiny waterfalls.

After, we went to Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery.  We saw a lot of salmon, gulls, seals, and a sea otter.  I saw a really cute scene between a sea otter and seagulls.  The sea otter was on its back, trying to eat a fish in peace, but the seagulls kept screeching at the sea otter and trying to steal its fish.

That day, we had also visited Maxine and Jesse Whitney Museum.  There were many stuffed animals and displays of stuff the Whitneys had collected while in Alaska in the 1900’s.  There were artifacts, Eskimo toys and clothes, and whale baleen.

Kayaking in Glacier Lake – Alaska

On Saturday, we went to Valdez Glacier Lake.  The lake was pretty big, filled with icebergs which had come from the Valdez Glacier.  The weather was cool but sunny, so we got out our blow up rowboat and kayak, assembled them, and took them into the lake.  We had fun navigating through the icy water and icebergs as we made our way towards the glacier at the end of the lake.  After a few hours, we reached the glacier’s foot, carefully got onto the glacier, and dragged out boat and kayak up onto the rocks.  The glacier was basically a mountain of ice covered in rocks, with water streaming down it.  We hiked on it for some time and checked out its different features.  There were holes in the ice caused by it melting, mini waterfalls, and tiny streams.  After, we started heading back to land, this time quicker because of the direction of the waves.  On the way, we stopped to take a hike up a mountain, because we had spotted the trail.  It was so steep in some areas, that a rope had been placed so that you could grab onto it as you climbed.  Oh, and don’t forget the giant Alaskan mosquitoes!

When we got back, we children continued using the kayak near land, exploring between the icebergs.  After everyone had gotten enough time, we packed up the boats (but dried them first) and went to Chugach National Forest.  At the visitor center, we looked at a waterfall and river, as well as displays with stuffed animals in them.

Finally, for dinner, we ate at a place near the ocean.  People had been fishing, so there was a lot of fish cleaning and seagull screaming going on.  The seagulls were very excited to get the guts of the fish.  Some people had caught halibut, which are very big white fish that generally live in deeper areas of the ocean.

And now, here is a slideshow of all the things we did on June 29:

Land of Glaciers, Waterfalls, and Beautiful Scenery – Alaska

On May 31st, we started on our way to Alaska.  Over a period of three days, we drove to Skagway.  The views were very pretty, as more lush vegetation appeared, and pointy mountains capped with snow or glaciers started to become more frequent.

Beautiful Views from the Car

On June 2nd, we arrived in Skagway, Alaska.  We stayed at Garden City RV Park and Laundromat, in the middle of a small town with historic areas.

 

Cool things about Alaska that I noticed:

  • giant mosquitoes
  • lot of glaciers and waterfalls
  • around 75 degrees F because it was summer
  • Basically everyone wears boots if they are smart.  XTRATUF boots are popular and good quality.
  • Stays bright all day in some weeks of summer, so we had to get window covers

We went to Klondike Gold Rush NHP, but the one in Alaska.  This one was a bit different than the one in Washington.  It was more focused on the different paths gold seekers could take to get to the gold fields.  Skagway used to be a town which gold seekers stopped at.