17 July 2015

"This is Why We're Here!"

16 Jul 2015--On Tuesday, 2 days ago, we headed out to Exit Glacier and the Harding Ice Field.  We have had some pretty lousy weather since Ellen joined us, but we didn't have any rain for our day out and about so we were pretty upbeat.  haha  This is where we are staying in Seward, once again in beautiful surroundings.  The 2nd pic shows us down at the harbor where we made reservations for a boat tour the next day before we headed out for the glacier.

These 2 pics were taken at a pullout on our way to the glacier, and they are basically the same scene, but I liked them, so...haha

At, and outside, the Kenai Fjords National Park Visitor's Center.  At one time everything in our view was covered by ice, but the most amazing pics were the side-by-side 2004 and 2010 pics of the same area...that's like the glacier disappearing before your eyes!

Feeling fresh and ready to attack the trail...but very mindful of potential bear activity after reading the warning signs.  The last line on the last pic cracked us up!


It wasn't long before we were off the pavement and climbing...Ellen wasn't always pleased with the situation ahead of her.  haha


But like us, she recovered quickly and pressed on.  The scenery alone is enough to keep you going!



Even with breaks to take in the beautiful views, it didn't take long before Ellen shed her sweatshirt, but only occasionally did she lose the smile.  haha


Don't know the name of the flowers, but they were pretty.

We spotted some mountain goats way up on the mountainside, but I was able to zoom in to get some decent pics.  In the 3rd one you can see a baby.

Back to climbing, but getting closer and closer to our endpoint.


At this point, I have joined Ellen in shedding the sweatshirt.

We made it!!!  Up 1.8 miles from out start point, and the view/s have made every inch of it worth it!  We are at the area of the glacier called Marmot Meadows, above 1/2 way to the top if we did the whole climb.  Exit Glacier was given its' name because back in the day the explorers used this as their exit from the Harding Ice Field, which is the largest ice field in the US and is named after Warren G. Harding.

Close-ups show all the crevices that a quick look otherwise overlooks.


Joining us on the rock was this bird.  Took us a while to get his picture because he kept moving, but Cathy got him in the tree and I got him almost at my feet.

What goes up must come down, so here we go!  The contrast in colors in the 3rd pic is gorgeous!

I think having 4 kids has taken quite a toll on Ellen over the years...she needs a little help here in this video.

Cathy always stays at the bottom to catch Ellen in case she falls.  haha

You would think Ellen was out doing serious mountain climbing...Thank God she got "in shape" before coming here by walking the 4 flights of stairs at her work on a daily basis!

Here, I thought the first video was of the last rocky descent...oops!  Not!  And at this point Ellen is both sore and a little shaky!  haha


We have finally made it!  Check out how pretty the surroundings are in the 2nd pic...all green, but beautiful!


After about 4 hours and 3.6 miles, here I am trying to coax Ellen off the railing.  The poor thing is exhausted and cracking me up!  On a "strenuous scale" of 1 to 10, Ellen rated this about an 8 or 9, while Cathy and I agreed it was more like a 3 or 4.

On the ride home, we noticed this adult eagle first, and then her babies in another tree that she was watching over.

So we all had a great day!  It wasn't raining, we couldn't have asked for better scenery, and we had quite a few laughs...does it get any better than that?


  1. Hi Paula, Ellen and Cathy

    Thank God I didn't have to climb on those rocks with my knees - u would have never gotten up or down the mountain - although down looked worse then going up.

    Looks like you gals are having a blast.

    Love ya,

    1. Ellen actually mentioned you on the way down Trisha, so it's funny you should mention it. haha

  2. This was a extremely tuff hike, I don't care what Paula says!!!! She is right that the beauty around you makes it worth it. But for Paula and Cathy I think the beauty was an added benefit, they were having a great time at my expense!!

    1. hahaha...I must admit, we did laugh a lot at Ellen, but she clearly overstates the difficulty level of her hiking experience!

    2. Absolutely not Paula, everyone has the right to state their opinion!!! And I will stick with my opinion of extremely tuff hike!!!!!!

  3. Dont let Paula pick on you Ellen, I have the same troubles that you do. It's hard on the knees!!!! HEY WHERE ARE THE WHALES!!!!