timistravels

My job allows me to visit a lot of Alaska on a yearly basis. I wanted to capture the trips in one location!

Taku Glacier; 2 trips in one week, so very different!

on September 5, 2012

Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012

Harry and I had a certificate for a ‘glacier hike’ that we had won, but needed to use it by Sept. 1.  We had tried other days over the summer but had not had a lot of luck, BUT our luck changed on a PERFECT beautiful day in Juneau.  We arrived at North Star Treking and boarded the helicopter with 3 Canadian’s that were on a cruise ship.  We’d been told that b/c it was SO nice out we’d get to go on Taku Glacier vs on Mendenhall Glacier, Taku is only accessible on perfect days, where the Mendenhall is an option on cloudy socked in days.
We flew over Split Thumb   and over some hanging glaciers, 

off in the distance we could see Canada and Devil’s Peak.

Both had new snow on the tops!!!  We continued over the icefield and up and over towards Hole in the Wall Glacier.  Taku Falls was right below us, a waterfall that falls 600 vertical feet feeding into the Taku River system! 

It was beautiful.  Coming around the corner and seeing Taku Glacier from the front was beautiful.  Taku Glacier is the only glacier on the Juneau Icefield that is advancing, so you can see trees, rocks and more that are being moved forward with the momentum of the glaciers movements. 

Once off the helicopter,

we got to walk around on Taku Glacier for about an hour. 

It was breathtaking to say the least… see all the pictures I have included.  On the flight home we flew over Norris Glacier, Norris Glacier

saw ice dams, and other amazing views,

until finally we were back to the airport in JNU, what a great day.

Sunday/Monday Sept. 2, 3, 2012

Our friends Matt and Kelly have a cabin up the Taku River and invited us to join them for the long weekend.  They took their boat up on Sat. but we opted to fly on the ‘dead head’ flight to Taku Lodge on Sunday.Harry on plane ride, leaving JuneauTaku Lodge was where we landed, this is a tourist destinatioin that has been there since 1923!  The flight was $65 person, to simply be dropped at their dock.  On the flight we saw the normal valleys and peaks but one neat view was that of the water below.  In this shot you can see where the river water meets the ocean water.  The river because it is made by glacial water is gray and made of fine silt (sand like) which is really just fine ground up rock from the ice moving over it.  on our flight you could see the water break, this is where the river water (silty from the glacier) and the ocean water, bluer and clear, meet!

Matt and Kelly came on their river boat and loaded us for the ride back to their cabin.  Harry and Kelly as we leave the Lodge

Riding on the river was such an amazing sight!  There are waterfalls coming down on all the rocks towards the south side of the ride and 3 glaciers on our north side, Hole in the Wall, Taku and Norris. view from Taku Lodge, of Hole in the Wall Glaciersee the eagle on the log? the edge of the glacier is behind those<br /><br />
trees

riding boat right in front of glacierFace of Taku Glacier

first spotting of the cabin on Taku Point

We got to the cabin, off loaded some gear and took off again for more exploring!  This is when the fun began!!!
We got up near Davidson Creek and thought it would be fun to go to the front where it flows into the river/ocean.  We were attempting to find the slough that would lead us there but instead we got into the wrong slough and headed towards the opposite direction.  Before long, we were stuck!attempting to get us out of the slough

Stuck in the low tide, mucky, muddy shallow slough of some other falls.  Kelly and Harry jumped turn us around, I hopped out to lessen the weight load and Matt stayed in boat to try to get motor back on and drive it out. Harry helping out!

It took a good 45 minutes of pushing, pulling, tugging and such to get the boat out of the slough and to high enough water (1 foot was all we needed) to ride the boat back to the cabin.Here we were skiing across the mud flats trying to get out of the sloughmore of the sloughI basically walked out over the mudflats, but it felt more like cross country skiing!  I ‘slid’ across this mud.

Each of us was muddy and wet, most of us got water in our boots.  Matt cheering as Kelly and Harry rode the boat out!

We laughed a lot during the time, and it was not really scary because we knew the tide would eventually go the other way and get higher.  The scariest part was probably after we got in deeper water and took off at a good pace, me up front, Harry and Kelly in the middle and Matt in the back driving, and BOOOOMMMM we hit a rock!  Harry said my feet went up in the air and the look on my face was priceless.  We were all okay, but it was funny.
relaxing at night in the cabinThat evening we had a nice dinner in the cabin, honkered down for a good nights rest, and awoke to a cloudy, socked in Sunday morning.

Harry and Lena,(matt and kelly's dog) enjoying the walk in the rain

Bummer, we could not enjoy the view as much as we might have on a good day. that is Taku Glacier as seen from inside the cabin, what a view!

We hiked the property, looked at the old cabin, sat in the hot tub, a fish tote transformed into a hot tub, you can't really tell but the glacier is directly across from this.

YES, I said hot tub, read for a while and headed back to town mid afternoon.
It was a  great weekend, but you will notice immediately by looking at these pictures, the difference between a sunny day and a cloudy day in SE Alaska!  These maps might begin to show you where we were… you can see downtown Juneau with the A and then the cabin at the B.

You can also see the glaciers that are feeding the River

.

Here is a great link to some of the history up Taku River!

http://www.history.noaa.gov/stories_tales/taku.html


5 responses to “Taku Glacier; 2 trips in one week, so very different!

  1. KAREN WHORTON says:

    wow, what a great story…exactly what I picture alaska to be!

    Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2012 23:13:29 +0000 To: whorton0704@msn.com

    Like

  2. Ginny Mulle says:

    Winter clothes already! Can’t say I’m jealous. We’re going to a friend’s cabin in Lake Tahoe his weekend and some days next week and the temperatures are expected to be in the high 70s (like here) or low 80s. I can’t wait to jump in to that lake!

    Like

  3. Tom Milan says:

    Wow, Timi! What COOL adventures! Great pics as well. I also enjoyed reading the adventures of the surveying crews. Do you guys ever go out to pick wild strawberries? Sounds like you would have to compete with the bears. Next week, Bret and I are leaving for a short fishing trip to AK. We are flying in to Anchorage. I can hardly wait! Alaska has been on my bucket list for a long time. I would love to ride my DR up to AK some time but that is sort of unlikely to happen.

    Like

  4. kathy grisinger says:

    Great pics! It is always nice to see sweatshirts in the summer because here all you see is sweat! The views were amazing. Thanks for keeping us up to date. Love ME

    Like

  5. terrie graat says:

    Wow! What a great weekend trip – I am so jealous. Ready to visit your great state again! Take care! Thanks to you and Harry again for the wonderful memories! Terrie Graat

    Like

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