Travel (Ridgeback Ramblings) Whilst much more today, this began as the recording of a once in a lifetime adventure after doctors advised that I was living on borrowed time. A quest to see family once again, most after 30 years or more. The adventure would take us on a world tour over seven months, which we didn't expect to complete.....follow me to read more.
Thursday 1 September 2011
WT - Alaska Skagway (Glacier)
We awoke at 07:30 to the Captain announcing our arrival at
Skagway, which has a number of original buildings over a hundred years old and
while that may not sound all that impressive compared to the pyramids, it must
be remembered that this is a very isolated town (with a population today of
only 800) that only the toughest of people could settle.
Had Ronnie and I had any sense at all we would not have done
the hiking we did the day before, as it is we had forgotten that we had booked
an early excursion to wander about on a glacier like a couple of mountain goats.
Meeting at 08:10 at the end of the dock and a 3 minute ride (seriously) to the
air port gives us time to don emergency life jackets and special ice boots with
these little metal studs (no not spikes). We were given our safety briefing (no
roundhouse kicks to our fellow travellers while wearing the ice boots etc.) so
that we can prance about on the ice…. did I mention the ICE!
That’s right all
you sun loving people (you know who we
are) who can’t stand the cold… hehe! Cold doesn’t even begin to describe it.At first it’s not so
bad – so what if you left your gloves on the ship in your haste…. Till you’re
standing on the ice, may look dirty but that doesn’t make it warm. This is a
frozen river of ice, not 5 or 6 inches of ice covered water, try over 150
metres of almost solid ice (and this is a small receding glacier). You’re like
an ant on a giant ice cube,,, and you are doing this for what?….FUN?
The gentle breeze of about 8 knots along the length of this
little glacier in 20 minutes has you thinking a blizzard is starting as your
nose begins to run, lips burn and fingers sting. Fortunately over the next 20
minutes you lose all feeling on your face (so you don’t even know your node is
running) so you are only left with the popsicles you
call fingers. Just then our guide explains that this is
the purest water on earth running in rivulets down the glacier, if you
sacrifice a hand you can taste this pure water by scooping it into your mouth.
Of course I did it… I’m a ridgeback from oz – she’ll be right mate!
20 minutes later you are looking about for the emergency
stop button when the guide says, “Okay for the short stayers, let’s start
heading back.” – so I ask “how long are you out here for?” he responds, “We get
dropped off at about 07:00 till pickup at 20:00!”, “Rather him than me”, thinks
We were no sooner arriving at the LZ (Landing Zone) when the
choppers (Helicopters – for the benefit of the bikers) start arriving. A 30
minute (warm) flight sees us back at the air-port and almost ready for the next
Silt and dirt deposits from the glacier.
Two glaciers are converging here and this rock has been forced to the surface.