When you're planning a trip to Alaska the list of adventures are endless, but after researching for hours and talking to several guides, (one on a satellite phone) I decided on kayaking Bear Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park!
The beginning of the day started in rainy Seward, Alaska. At first I was bummed about the weather, but it somehow set the perfect mood for the watery adventure. We met with our guide Pyper who fitted us in our Kokatat drysuits and explained what the day would entail before we headed to the dock.
The boat ride was one of my favorite parts as we cruised through the bay we saw puffins, sea otters and cloudy cliffs with waterfalls. I felt like we were headed to Jurassic Park World, especially as we made our way up the canal towards Bear Glacier.
When we pulled up to shore, my Dad (who had taken the helicopter) was floating on a small piece of glacier ice...needless to say, we were all excited in our own way! It was raining pretty hard and I was debating what lens to secure on my Nikon D810 and decided on my Nikon 35mm. I'm not sure me changing lenses while surrounded by water in a kayak AND with heavy rain would have worked...so that's what I was stuck with. Along with a plastic rain cover which is basically a plastic baggy and my gear was wet instantly.
We took off through the rainy water and you could see the clear opening to Bear Glacier, it was like a secret entrance into the ice world. I had been dreaming of seeing glaciers my whole life and here we were paddling towards them!
It's honestly hard to try to put this moment into words or images. When we passed through what felt like the "gateway" it all felt too surreal. Everything was so quiet. There was no wind just the steady fall of rain as we floated among the beautiful giants, we even saw a seal playing peekaboo in the distance.
Each glacier was so unique, I was worried at first my photos would look the same but each one had such different colors and shapes. We learned the brighter the ice the more recently it had flipped or shifted in the water.
After exploring around for a bit we connected our kayaks and drank hot tea and brownies! This was about when I started to realize I was actually freezing and couldn't feel my toes...or just about anything. So we poured the leftover hot water from the Stanley Thermos over our feet, (thanks Neoprene) but it was a sad few seconds of relief.
We were the only ones in Bear Glacier that day and as we were making our way out of the park we heard a low rumble that grew louder and louder...it was a glacier moving in the water! I knew it was a lucky occurrence, but our guide said it's happening more frequently due to Climate Change and I thought about the generations that may never experience this beautiful place.
After we docked the kayaks everybody else took the speed boat back and I waited for the helicopter. I had originally thought it'd be great for some cool photos, but my camera was soaked and I couldn't get anything in focus. Not to mention my whole body at this point was shaking!
This final picture was the only proof that I actually went on this adventure, but I think it shows how awesome Liquid Adventures was as they photobombed in the background! This adventure was everything I wanted it to be, and if you'll be making it to the Last Frontier anytime soon email me for any suggestions.
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