Bill & Jim's Alaska Trip

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July 3
Kenai Peninsula 1

Portage Lake

Burns and Portage Glaciers

Portage Glacier (side view)

Portage Glacier

Glacial ice floating

Portage Glacier

Closeup of glacier

Glacier cave

Camp on the beach

The beach

Fishing boats

Cape Ninilchik sunset

Driving south from Anchorage, we stopped for a boat tour on Portage Lake out to the glacier. The MV Ptarmigan took us along the opposite shore of the so that we could get a dramatic view of the glacier. At first, we could only see the (relatively) unimpressive Burns Glacier. After a while, we could start seeing the side of Portage Glacier. Presently we were seeing the entire glacier coming right down to the water.

The ice that has split off of the glacier floats around on the lake. As the Ptarmigan moved around, the captain pushed some of the ice with the boat. We got within 300 feet of the glacier and could see the ice with great detail. Because the ice is so compressed and has little air in it, only blue light is refracted through it, giving the ice a very cool appearance.

Again on the road, we drove through Soldatna and down the west coast of the Kenai Peninsula. We went to the first campground we found (at Clam Gulch) and found it to be a gravel lot with deep parking spaces. We would have had RVs 2 feet away from us on either side. Not being an acceptable situation, we drove on for something better. As we pulled into a lodge that claimed to have a campground, we saw one of the local characters motioning to me with jumper cable clamps in his hands. Giving him a jump start, he talked us into camping on the beach.

Arriving at Ninilchik, we drove past the campground onto the beach and found a nice camp site with no one anywhere near us. Late in the evening, fishing boats started arriving just off the shore. I took a picture of the sunset (at 11:15) with the fishing boats in the foreground. At dawn, the boats started moving off (presumably to go fishing for the day). Finally, a very peaceful night.
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