A Final Glimpse of Alaska ~ The world is full of magical things waiting patiently for our senses to grow sharper. W. B. Yeats

Our cabin on the ship grew noticeably colder, to the point I checked the thermostat to see where it was set. The cold air wasn’t coming from the inside. So I peeked outside.

This was the view as we entered Glacier Bay National Park and that morning’s meditation – the one attached to this post – couldn’t have been more appropriate. We stood on the deck and the air continued to chill the further into the park we sailed. Passengers lined the railing wearing gloves, hoodies, scarves, windbreakers, anything to insulate against the cold. We were ¼ mile away and still felt the frigid air that came from those massive rivers of ice and snow.

There is constant noise coming from the glaciers, you can literally hear it receding as it groans, cracks like thunder, and calves in a ‘swoosh’ of ice and powder. We were fortunate enough to catch a good-sized calving, but there was a large section with a fissure that ran from top to bottom and we all just knew it was ready to go. With every rumble we waited for the piece to fall, but it never did. At least not while we were there! 

If anyone wants to know what the color aquamarine truly looks like, look at the inner ice formations of a glacier. There were spires and chunks of the most beautiful blue hue. 

When we first looked at our itinerary and saw we would be at this one glacier for more than an hour, we wondered why we’d spend so much time there. Now we know that hour was not nearly enough. The majesty of the place made us aware of our own small size, slowed us down to wonder at and appreciate the beauty, the history, the science of the landscape.

Ranger Pat from Glacier Bay National Park held a short presentation before we journeyed into the park. While he of course loves this park and encouraged us to really enjoy it, that wasn’t his only message. We all live someplace where there is a patch of blue or green near us – a state or neighborhood park, our own backyard. Ranger Pat wants us to spend time in them, to sharpen our senses, experience the beauty each of those places hold, and take care of it.

These final pictures are from Denali National Park. Wherever your travels take you, may you notice the magical things the world offers ~ whether in nature or from the cultures and people who inhabit it.

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