Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

All to Ourselves: Mendenhall Glacier

It’s one of those wonderful mornings, we are still on Pensacola time and wide awake. LO, why not, we hit the sack the night before around seven, unable to stay awake another minute. Quick breakfast in the lobby – we brought our own home-mix cereal, but there is milk and fruit we can add, grab a quick cup of coffee, then out to the glacier. When you say ‘the glacier’ you mean the Mendenhall. People havre been coming for years to visit this glacier.


When I was a kid, it was bigger, farther out, and there were only little trails to take out to get closer. Now, it is built up – a place to watch bear catch salmon as they swim up the stream to spawn, and several built up places where tourists can view the glacier, nice paths to walk on. Normally, there are bus loads of people, and I mean that literally. This morning – holy smokes – we are the only car in the parking lot at almost seven ayem.

There are blue places in the sky between white fluffy clouds. There is sunlight filtering through, lighting up the glacier, and making the icebergs glisten.


While AdventureMan shoots shots of Alaskan terns for his birding friends, I shoot icebergs. We listen to the silence, the utter peace of being alone out in this majestic location.



We spend about an hour, hiking around the various viewpoints, feeling so luxurious, the luxury of sheer privacy. As we leave, the buses start arriving. We take the Mendenhall Loop around the lake to Tongass National Forest campgrounds, to see the glacier from another viewpoint.


As we near Skater’s Cabin, full of old memories of my Mom tying up my ice skates and giving us hot chocolate out of a thermos, our old friend calls. We used to go out fishing and berry picking with them on their big former Coast Guard boat, Dad would go hunting with her husband. She is now 90, and she is on the phone inviting us to dinner the next night.

We are so honored. We don’t want to put her out, we don’t want her to have to fix dinner, but we always have such wonderful conversations with us (she asks us things like ‘tell me what it is like grocery shopping in Tunis?’) and we get her to tell tales of life in early Juneau, so we accept.


It’s been a wonderful morning. We know just where we want to have lunch, a place we haven’t tried before. And tonight is the opening parade for Celebration 2014!

June 18, 2014 - Posted by | Adventure, Aging, Alaska, Beauty, Birds, Environment, ExPat Life, Heritage, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Road Trips, Travel


  1. I was there in 91. It has pulled back, but still beautiful. Cheers

    Comment by humanity777 | June 18, 2014 | Reply

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