Monday, May 28, 2007

By Polar

I Love my little word jokes, especially when they are in the "post" titles, but let's get this out of the way right up front: this is a NON polar ice field we have been traveling beside (By) all day, not Polar. Still, at our campground of this day, the top two feet of soil is not quite thawed enough so that water and sewer are operable yet- a few days away perhaps. But the next 40 feet or so of perma frost is staying right where it is- no mater which global is warming! Destruction Bay of Lake Kluane is mostly frozen over. But around the edge and at places 20 to 50 feet out from shore, are the tell tale crystal clear chards that announce the ice out process is in full swing. There is nothing prettier in the world than the edge of a glacial lake at ice out- crystal clear, deep blue water falling to the depths that the eye wants to, but cannot, see into; chards of clear ice, floating ice daggers that twinkle and tinkle like wind chimes in the crisp air that still blows across the lake to hasten the process. Cracks in the ice remind of the glaciers coming and going of old, promising that fish are lurking just below and ravenous to attack the anglers first offering of the new and fresh season of combat. Such is the precipice of anticipation for me as I prepare mentally to enter Alaska proper on the 'morrow and fulfill the dream of a lifetime.

Let's talk stats: the ice fields in the pictures below are more than a mere snow capped mountain, which, by any standards is beautiful in its own right. But the icy fingers you see in these photos are glacial ice flows dating back 20 thousand years plus or minus and are...GET THIS!...2200 feet deep. If you did not previously get what I was saying when I told you the camera, the photo, and I could not capture the moment- perhaps this will help.

Perspective: The campground is gravel, not really even open yet, and ugly by many standards of beauty in and of itself. But would you spend 25$ Canadian though, to be cradled in the arms of ice fields and mountains, rivers and lakes, dating back tens of thousands of years- the beauty and awe of which is unquestionable if you can just look passed the gravel of the vacant camp site next to you. Problem answering that rhetorical question? Would you pay that amount if it included filling your fresh water tank, which is running on empty, from the owner's house hose? And if he let you tap into his wifi connection gratis, would that make it worth the price of admission. The answer, for those of us who have now traveled this route is a resounding, " Hell yea!"
Tonight I think I will sleep with the window shades open. Mountains in a 360 degree circle for the last thing I see before I fall asleep. Water filling the 180 degree view. Light not fading until close to midnight. And light reappearing three hours later. No one here other than me and mine to complicate the issue. Yukon, yes, but sweet dreams of Alaska....

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