August 12, 1990 -- Day 14

Anchorage AK to Seward AK

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Portage Glacier After breakfast with Dick and Janet Amon this morning (wonderful sourdough pancakes), we drove down the Kenai peninsula to Seward. On the way we stopped to see the Portage Glacier. The glacier snout comes down into Portage Lake and calves off icebergs into the lake. We saw a man and woman chipping up some of the small chunks of ice and putting them into ice chests. They explained they had a nearby cabin and used the glacial ice because it was so dense and compacted that it would last the better part of a week. The glacier and the lake with the floating icebergs was eerily beautiful.

Seward is a bustling harbor town, twice as busy as normal since this week is a salmon fishing derby. Bedlam would be the appropriate word. Dad and Tom made arrangements to go fishing while we elected to go on an all-day wildlife cruise into the Kenai Fjords Park area.

We also went up to see the Exit Glacier, so named because it was an exit from the Harding Ice Field -- an immense ice pack that is the source of the countless glaciers in this area. It requires a healthy hike to reach the Exit Glacier, but one is amply rewarded by the view. The glacier looms over you on a glacial plain, and the swift streams flowing from it have the same blue tint we saw at Lake Louise, due to glacial silt. The glaciers themselves are also blue. The color is due to the densely compacted glacial ice absorbing all wavelengths of light except blue, which is reflected.

This evening we dined on fresh halibut, served as "fish and chips", at the Harbor Inn. The food was outstanding and the price was reasonable (by Alaska standards). It was undoubtedly the best "fish and chips" I've ever eaten, and I wholeheartedly recommend this restaurant.

Exit Glacier

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Linda Dowdy
Bethel, Minnesota
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