"God never made an ugly landscape. All that the sun shines on is beautiful, so long as it is wild." John Muir
Recently, I have been reading about Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska. If you have not been there - put it on your short list of places to visit. There is a spectacular expedition cruise aboard the luxurious Silver Discoverer sailing from Seward to Vancouver on July 8, 2015. Among the places visited on this 12-day cruise are Elfin Cove, Sum Dum Bay and Glacier Bay National Park.
I have been to Glacier Bay by cruise ship. What happens is a park representative gets on the ship and takes over the ship's intercom to describes the area. Very cool and a worthy experience, but next time I would like to explore the area much more.
I recommend the Silver Discoverer for my experience-driven clientele. Guests aboard the luxury expedition ship will have a completely different adventure during their visit to Glacier Bay as compared to most others. For my Silversea clients, there will be ample opportunity to cruise around Glacier Bay National Park in a Zodiac and photograph stunning pictures of the glaciers and a variety of wildlife. I would love to get a photo of a bear grabbing a salmon out of one of the streams carrying the run-off from one of the 15 tidewater glaciers in the park. The area is excellent for sighting Humpback Whales, Orcas and Steller Sea Lions.
Believe it or not, the earliest signs of human occupation at Glacier Bay go back about 10,000 years. How they survived here is still a question. There is an archaeological site just outside the park that the rangers and guides will tell you about. That site was discovered about 200 years ago. The Haida, Eyak and Tlingit tribes could have occupied the coast that long ago, Today, the Tlingit tribe is the most prominent native culture.
John Muir and Sum Dum Bay
I want to leave you with this passage written by John Muir during one of his many visits to this area. His description of the area 200 years ago captures the beauty of this fantastic destination that still exists today:
"This morning we found out how beautiful a nook we had got into. Besides the charming picturesqueness of its lines, the colors about it, brightened by the rain, made a fine study. Viewed from the shore, there was first a margin of dark-brown algae, then a bar of yellowish-brown, next a dark bar on the rugged rocks marking the highest tides, then a bar of granite boulders with grasses in the seams, and above this a thick, bossy, overleaping fringe of bushes colored red and yellow and green. A wall of spruces and hemlocks draped and tufted with gray and yellow lichens and mosses embowered the campground and overarched the little river, while the camp-fire smoke, like a stranded cloud, lay motionless in their branches. Down on the beach ducks and sandpipers in flocks of hundreds were getting their breakfasts, bald eagles were seen perched on dead spars along the edge of the woods, heavy-looking and overfed, gazing stupidly like gorged vultures, and porpoises were blowing and plunging outside." John Muir