When much younger, fifty plus years ago, my sister and I experienced another glacier. We had the good fortune to travel with our mom and dad on a road trip where one of the beautiful things we saw was the Columbia Icefields in Canada. On that trip, we actually rode in a vehicle that took us across the glacier. A tour guide pointed out crevasses that went deep down through the ice, and told us many interesting things about the glacier. At one place, we were able to get out of the vehicle and walk on the glacier. We were wearing jackets, but it was still cool. One thing I remember is feeling the cold from the glacier coming through the soles of my tennis shoes. That was the very first time we ever saw a glacier.
Located in eastern Alaska and part of Yukon Canada, Hubbard Glacier was named after Gardiner Hubbard in 1890. According to "Alaska's Place Names" Hubbard Glacier was named by Russell of the US Coast & Geological Survey for Gardiner G. Hubbard, 1822-97, Massachusetts lawyer and educator, regent of the Smithsonian Institution, and founder and first president of the National Geographic Society.
Hubbard Glacier is the largest tidewater glacier in North America. Being a tidewater glacier means that it flows into the ocean. It is approximately 76 miles long. At its foot, it is approximately seven miles wide. As it continues to grow and move forward, these measurements are constantly changing.
Hubbard Glacier is nicknamed the “Galloping Glacier”
…because it is rapidly advancing. It’s current rate of advance is approximately 80 feet per year. The ice we saw at the face was approximately 450 years old and at some locations, over 2000 feet thick.
This actively calving glacier creaks and groans as it moves. You can definitely hear the creaks and groans coming from the glacier. When huge chunks of ice crash into the bay, it makes for some exciting moments. It is a wonderful, sort of eerie sound, like thunder. The Tlingit people call the sound ‘white thunder’.
We arrived at the entrance of Yakutat Bay at approximately 2:00 p.m. But it was not until 3:00 p.m. that we actually arrived at the face of the Hubbard Glacier. While at the face of the glacier, the ship turned around and at approximately 4:00 p.m. we departed from the face of the glacier.
In Yakutat Bay as we are heading for the face of the glacier
|Heading for the glacier|
|Mountains to our left|
|Glimpse of the glacier|
|Glacier is getting closer|
|Glacier with mountains and clouds|
|...and closer -- what a site!|
|Glacier ice splashing into the water|
|Another chunk of ice splashing into the water|
|Ice chunks that have fallen from glacier|
|Chunks of ice in front of the glacier|
|View from our balcony as we head away from the glacier|
|Waterfall as seen from our balcony|
|Leaving the bay|
|Even at midnight it is light enough to see the mountains.|
Thank you everyone for visiting and following my adventure. Feel free to make comments. In my next post, I have the good fortune to photograph a bald eagle on her nest.
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