Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Glaciers, Glaciers, Everywhere!!

Burns, Middle and Bryon Glaciers are found in beautiful Portage Lake. We made a visit to Begich-Boggs National Park to admire the glaciers and icebergs of the lake. The scenery once again is breathtaking!

Parts of a breached iceberg still floating.
I have already found a new adventure for my next trip to Alaska, the Portage Glacier boat tour. Next year Madelyn will be old enough for the ride to 26 glaciers and icebergs, including the Byron Glacier that you can actually walk on.

Middle Glacier

Burns Glacier is a valley glacier.

Maddy and Smokey the bear hanging out at the visitor center.

Portage Lake Glacier--loving the cold weather!

I was beyond giddy to see snow and glaciers in June!!!

The top picture is the trickling of the waterfall the ends in a rushing cascade of the bottom picture.

Middle Glacier

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Anchorage and Turnagain Arm

The Chugach Mountains frame the city of Anchorage.

We land in Anchorage at 11:45 p.m. and the sun was bright and shinning and high in the sky. Our bodies were tired from traveling all day, but mental were given a twist by the Midnight Sun and the odd fact that people were walking around Anchorage like it was an early summer evening. Not a few random people, but kids riding bikes, people doing yard work, buses making regular stops. The only clue that is was late into the evening was that the majority of the stores were closed. Even the "Eat Late" at Taco Bell store. By the time we got our rental car and headed to the hotel, Madelyn was out cold. So we toted her to the only open restaurant near us--Denny's. The sticker shock of the price of the food really took us by surprise, but after traveling 12 hours to get there, we quickly understood. (By the way, McDonald's has a $2.00 value meal--and that was cheap.) At the hotel we attempted to draw the black out curtains, but they just didn't block out all the light. Maddy was up at the crack of TEXAS time, just as schedule for home but we were three hours behind central standard time. You would think a nap would for sure be in her future, but she was just as interested in the nature around as we were.

In Airport park, part of Denali National Forest.

Earthquake Park the site of North America's strongest earthquake of a 9.2 magnitude in 1964. You can still see where the earth separated and rose seven feet from the other plate.

The Cook Inlet waterfront in Anchorage.

Mackenzie Point--taken just for Mackenzie

Turnagain Arm provided us some of the beautiful scenery. The four hour drive from Anchorage to Homer went by fast in terms of so much scenery to look at in awe and wonder. But at the same time we felt compelled to stop at every scenic point and take pictures. What should have been four hours turned into a seven hour drive when you added up all the pit stops. But it didn't feel so long, because we were truly captivated by the majesty of the area.

We took over 200 pictures during our drive, but they just do not do the beauty and majesty justice.

Turnagain Arm has two high tides and two low tides a day. The current is extreme and you could visibly see the rippling of the current as it was pulled out to sea. Beluga whales and sea otters are often seen in the waters. We saw several Sea Otter Rafts floating along and looking ooh so adorable. Maddy even saw some whale spray.

Psalm 90:2 "Before the mountains were brought forth,or ever you had formed the earth and the world,from everlasting to everlasting you are God." It make me sad that I wouldn't get to see this view everyday in Texas. God never ceases to amaze me with his creations!

Overlook Waterfall was one of the many cascading beauties we saw, but this one was just WOW!
The entire drive was riddled with cliffs with small cascading waterfalls remnants of the melting snow caps above.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

A day in Seattle

Seattle Aquarium has an awesome Touch and Feel pool program.

A little apprehensive at first because the water was so cold, Maddy had so much fun touching the starfishes and anemones.

Maddy standing in the Jellyfish enclosure.

Maddy was all eyes as she watched the octopus suck its way over the glass to her. She was enthralled by watching the individual suction cups contract and release it was just feed some yummy seafood concoction.

It was feeding time for many of the exhibits while we were there--just sheer luck. The diver would take out several little fishy's and hold them up for the larger fish that would just swim by and snatch up their lunch. In this picture, Madelyn's head is in the bottom right hand corner, the diver came over to her and waved and threw out a large handful of fish and immediately the tank rushed right up the corner. Maddy jerked back as one of the sand sharks plunged into the glass. Thrilled with the action, she wanted to see more.

Maddy and Daddy give their Gig'em

This adorable sea otter kept trying to escape his enclosure. One day he will scratch through the glass and escape into freedom.

This seagull "Gus" is one of Madelyn's new friends. After the Aquarium went ate lunch outside on the pier. Gus felt like he was one of the family and promptly perched himself right next to Madelyn. For a while I was pretty sure that Bailey the Beagle's spirit had been reincarnated into Gus, because as soon as we got our food, Gus chimed in with "Mine, Mine, Mine" incessantly until he was fed scraps.

After lunch we took a harbor cruise in Elliot Bay and Puget Sound.

Madelyn is so much like me, she is very content and happy to be on water.

The day we were in Seattle was the first time this year that the temperature reached with 75 degrees with bright sunny skies....beautiful day!!!

Mt. Rainer in the distance, behind Seattle's famous seaport loading dock.

After the harbor cruise we walked--trekked up hill some very steeps hills up to Pike's Market and walked round, watched the fish throwing guys, and my personal favorite Beecher's Cheese Factory. Last time we visited Seattle I was three months pregnant with Maddy and was beyond nauseous with the multitude of smells of the market. Michael and I went to Beecher's then, but I was too sick to eat anything, so for the last five years all I have heard from Michael is how wonderful their Macaroni and Cheese was. I can now say for myself that it is in deed good, but their Squeaky Cheese Kurds were the best! Yummy!