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Adventures in Hypothermia



Totally stealing one of Mr. Tiki's more prettiful photos 'cause I didn't take anything worth shit yesterday.

We went on a cruise of Prince William Sound. In retrospect, not highly recommended, though Katmai may have spoiled us. We got there quite early, as you have to squooge through a narrow one lane tunnel to get out to Whittier, and it's only open once an hour for traffic. Anyways, it was pouring, we got bad instructions about parking, so ended up beaching the rental car in a mudhole maybe a quarter mile up the road. Then advised there was no place inside to wait out the 2 and a half hours 'til boarding, blah blah blah, so ended up not pleased, huddled under a tarp, losing feeling in fingers and toes.



Anyways, limited time on Intarnets here (dang tubes is clogged again) so suffice to say, we ended up being crowded in cheek by jowel in the upper deck, due to lower decks being crammed equally full of busloads of Japanese tourists. Limited opportunities therefore to actually see anything from the craft, as there was always a human amoeba of tourists in the way - they never went anywhere in groups of less than 60, or so it seemed. Despite the cruise video showing mobs of wildlife, what little we saw (ie otters) we steamed right past to the J tourists would have an opportunity to stand, one by one, and get each and ever one's photo taken in front of a glacier. No, I'm not kidding. Also, the ranger dude claimed global climate change is due to an ice age, or some damn crap he heard on Beck's right wing babble show.

Anyways, Mr. Tiki took some pretty pix of glaciers plus cute sea otters, so not all is lost!

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( 7 cousins babbled — babble away! )
avalonjones
Sep. 3rd, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC)
The glacier photo is gorgeous! It's so BLUE! And sea otters, squee!
reichiere
Sep. 3rd, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC)
OMG Prince William Sound!
The locals in Whittier say to the Tourists "Nothing is prettier then Whittier!" But to each other they say "Nothing is shittier then Whittier."

I spent three summers up there working on cruise ships. Whittier was my link to civilisation.... ahaha... Whittier's year round population is 198....

Did you get to you go to Harvard Glacier (College Fjord) or did you go up Harriman Arm to I think its Sunrise Glacier...? I never went that way. I always went to College Fjord. Or was it the shorter trip Blackstone Glacier?

Did you swing by the Kittiwake (Gulls) colony on the way out of Whittier? It's the third largest in Alaska, and the largest that you can safely sail to or something like that.

Your actually really lucky to see Otters out of the water. In my three years there I only saw it twice ever. They very rarely ever leave the water, even just to go on small ice burgs.

Where else are you going in Alaska I might be able to give you a few visiting tips. :)
reichiere
Sep. 3rd, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
Re: OMG Prince William Sound!
oh! That tunnel? It's the longest in the US and the second (I think.. it's in the top five) in the world!
tikistitch
Sep. 4th, 2009 05:58 am (UTC)
Re: OMG Prince William Sound!
Yeah, I did hear it was the longest in the USA! The tunnel was one of the best things about the day!
tikistitch
Sep. 4th, 2009 05:00 am (UTC)
Re: OMG Prince William Sound!
The college glaciers were TOTALLY fogged in - they didn't even go to that bit of the sound! They took us to Surprise, and one called Barry, and then one called like "Harriman" or something? They said they rarely go up "Harriman Fjord." We were joking it was the "Harrison Fjord." Because we are doofs. Anyways, they say they almost never go to that particular glacier because it's so far up.

Funny, the two Alaska ladies we talked to seemed to think sea otters were common as dirt!

We've been to Katmai, done that Sound tour, now we're up at Lake Clark. Then we go to Denali, and then to Gates of the Arctic I think?

Lake Clark is funny - TONS of locals, but very remote. They evidently fly *everything* in here.
(Anonymous)
Sep. 4th, 2009 05:34 am (UTC)
Re: OMG Prince William Sound!
Yah College Fjord can get really foggy, but it's amazing. It's Harriman's Fjord 'cause he was the guy who financed the ship up into Prince William Sound. (I'm guilty of calling it Harrison Fjord though too...) He and his crew were the first people get up into the sound, and they responsible for naming most of it. LIke college Fjord all the glaciers are named after their colleges. Our ship rarely went up there too because it is a longer sail.

And otters *in* the water are really common, but out of the water they're not!

Denali is realllly pretty, but make sure you have a ton of bug spray those mosquites get bigger the farther North you go! But I really only spent time at water ports, I only went inland a couple of times.

You'll get to see more bears, and I'm sure in Denali you'll get to see several Moose! If you get a chance to take a touristy plane ride around Denali its really awesome, and even cooler if you get to land on top of a glacier! :)

starshipangels
Sep. 4th, 2009 04:02 pm (UTC)
i love the glacier photo!!!! makes me wanna touch the ice *_*
( 7 cousins babbled — babble away! )

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