This weekend was otherworldly. I slept on the banks of a rushing glacial river across from an icy, looming giant, Child’s Glacier. Its ice is striped with churned up earth and gigantic boulders, that it moved as easily as you would kick a pebble. Parts of the ice are saturated with the most perfect glowing blue. It’s the most satisfying color I’ve ever seen. I touched an iceberg, an amputated limb from Mile’s Glacier, which was bigger than my house. The top of Mile’s, the part that faces the sky, is layered in multilevel frozen waves. Like amphitheater seating, but instead of seats there is till and deep, dark crevices. I hiked up along the side of Mile’s Glacier and the earth varied from fine silt to huge boulders, all of which was loose and shifted at times with the slightest push. Being here, you really get a sense of how glaciers churn up and carve into the earth. The face of Mile’s Glacier is tall and flat. Some parts at the top of its face stick out farther than parts at the bottom. We saw some of these chunks calve. Most of the time you’d hear a deep, rumbling crack, and by the time you looked in that direction all you would see was the splash of the ice hitting the water. The face of Child’s Glacier is more receded than at Mile’s. It is more of a slope. Just a few years ago, Child’s looked like Mile’s does now, a sign of the rapidly changing climate. I saw a Eurasian Collared-Dove flying around our camp, a beautiful bird but sighting it here was disappointing because it’s well beyond it’s normal range. I learned the call of the Hermit Thrush. It starts with one beautiful clear note and finishes with this amazing dissonant trill. It almost sounds electronic. As I walked back to my tent one night, I decided it was my favorite bird song. Before bed, I sat outside of my tent; the glacier was still lit up at midnight. I heard the rushing river and a constant, distant booming and cracking. It was the glacier, shifting and adjusting. I went to bed even though I wanted to stay up all night listening. I fell asleep with the vision of that blue and the sound of the rushing river.
[YouTube-Glacier Blubber https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW5J0xXJ-Tg&w=560&h=315]