Tag Archives: Alaska

Athabasca Glacier – Columbia Icefield – Canada

Standard

Canada 422As part of our Uncommon Journeys Train Adventure across Canada, we disembarked the train after four days in Jasper, Alberta, Canada for marvelous ride through the Colombia Icefield.

Our destination was the Athabasca Glacier in the midst of the Columbia Icefield.

What a marvelous ride it was..

Canada 319Canada 317Canada 316Canada 315Canada 314Canada 313

The Athabasca Glacier is one of the six principal ‘toes’ of the Columbia Icefield, located in the Canadian Rockies.

In the photo below you can see the Glacier just behind our heads…

Canada 325

The glacier currently recedes at a rate of about 5 metres (16 ft) per year and has receded more than 1.5 km (0.93 mi) in the past 125 years and lost over half of its volume.

The glacier moves down from the Icefield at a rate of several centimeters per day, leaving behind mounds of crushed rock…

Canada 328

 The leading edge of the glacier is within easy walking distance; however, travel onto the glacier is not recommended unless properly equipped.

Hidden crevasses have led to the deaths of unprepared tourists.

YIKERS………….we best take the bus!

Canada 323

We went to the Icefield Interpretive Centre, and purchase tickets to take the Terra Bus out onto the Glacier.

These are fantastic vehicles and the only ones in existence are here on the Icefield and in the Antarctica.

Canada 346The Terra Bus is specially designed to take very steep grades…here are shots from our journey out onto the Glacier…

Canada 331Canada 330Canada 329

The Athabasca Glacier is surveyed each day in order to ensure that it is safe for our excursion onto its surface….

Canada 334 Canada 332

No matter the age of the individual, once upon the Glacier, we all become curious youngsters…..

Canada 340Canada 338Canada 343Canada 344Canada 337

We had a grand time visiting the Glacier and will have those marvelous memories for all time…

 

 Canada 336Canada 349

As I write this post we are back at home in Texas and it is 103 degrees and the memories are most wonderful!

Thank you for taking the time to join us.

Here is a parting shot of us at Portage Glacier  on the Kenai Peninsula of the U.S. state of Alaska taken in the 1990s….

august 004

What’s in a Name

Standard

Ever wondered how some towns got their names?

Let’s take a look at some American towns and follow the timeline back to see how their were named

Here we go……….

Peculiar, Missouri

Peculiar is near the Kansas border, just south of Kansas City and currently has around 1,800 residents

In 1868 the Postmaster, E.T. Thomson wanted to name the town Excelsior; however, he was informed that the name was already taken

Mr. Thomson reapplied with several other names, only to be informed that they too were taken.

He finally told postal officials to assign the town a unique name, one that was “sort of peculiar”

Well that is the rest of the story….

 

 
Lizard Lick, North Carolina

Located 16 mines east of Raleigh this town has been home of lizard races since 1972

Back in the day, the area was home to a federally operated liquor still…

…lizards were brought in to cut down on the number of insects…

Traveling salesmen noticed the creatures and dubbed the community

Lizard Lick

Hell, Michigan

In 1841, George Reeves, an early settler was asked what the town should be called……..you guessed it..

He said “You can call it “Hell” if you want to…..

This is the place people refer to when they say “When Hell freezes over”

In the Winter, Highland Lake dam often gets icy enough to stop the water flow

There are several festivals in Hell…..

Satan’s Holidays in the summer

Run to Hell – a road race

and, of course, in  October is Halloween in Hell

Chicken, Alaska

This small village, near the Canadian border is named for a bird….no not the chicken…….the ptarmigan

You see this grouse-like creature who somewhat resembles a chicken from a distance is the Alaska State Bird

in the late 1800s the area was settled by gold miners and in 1902 the town decided to incorporate

Problem was that no one knew how to spell ptarmigan so they went with chicken

The town now has a full-time population of about 30 people and mail delivery is every Tuesday and Friday

There is a saloon, but no telephones or central plumbing

Noodle, Texas

Texas slang in the 1800s included “noodle” to mean “nothing”

In the late 1800s that is what settlers found when they arrived at this locale near Abilene

Noodle now proudly contains two churches, a store and an old sign

Embarrass, Minnesota

This town, located 205 miles north of St. Paul, is typically the coldest spot in the continental United States.

Midwinter Temperatures are often minus 60F

It snows in June

The name comes from the original French settlers who used the French word for obstacle – embarrass – to describe the hardships they faced in the territory

Slapout, Alabama

In the early 1900s, the town grocer, Oscar Peeples, would tell his customers he was “slapout” of items his customers requested that were not in stock

The town is located in central Alabama, north of Montgomery and is not just a crossroads

A church, a bank, barber shop and the remains of Mr. Peeples old store, slapout of everything

Joe, Montana

Well you guessed this one…..

In 1993, when Joe Montana signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, a Missouri radio station urged the residents of Ismay, near the North Dakota border, to change their town’s name to Joe

All of the citizens, yes all 22 of them, voted in favor to change the name

Money raised from the selling of “Joe Montana” souvenirs has enabled the town to build a new fire station

Spot, Tennessee

This really is just a spot in the road an hour west of Nashville

The town acquired its name from a sawmill operator who was asked to give the area a name by the postal authorities….as he was sitting with pen in hand to respond to the request……..

wait for the drumroll……..yes, a spot of ink dropped to the stationary and ………..well the rest is history

Satan’s Kingdom, Vermont

Home of a beautiful river gorge, with towering cliffs this area has been known as Satan’s Kingdom since the 1820s

There are many theories about how the town got its name, one of the most prevalent is….

There was a Native American Tribe leader named…….Satan

another is that the area was inhabited by many of society’s outcasts and therefore became known as Satan’s Kingdom

 

I will leave you with some other Town Signs ……. you can research the origin of the names on your own……

Alaska

Standard

We have been to Alaska many times and always find it so inspiring to be in a land so large and beautiful and to realize how small and insignificant we really are. It is quite the humbling experience. Alaska is the largest of the states in the United States of America  in land mass and is the 4th least populated. Half of the residents of the state live in Anchorage! The U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867 for 7.2 million dollars………..the value of one of Brad Pitt’s houses!

The changes to the glaciers through the years we have been visiting are a true indication of global warming. What once was a beautiful ice and snow paradise is quickly becoming a barren brown desolation.

The hotel we stay in has sea planes arriving on the lake outside…..we were never brave enough to ride in one……..I be the witch has been on several! We purchased some of Matthew Adams beautiful pottery and my favorite, the traditional Alaskan doll with the handmade clothing that is removable. Such beautiful craftmanship!

I hope you enjoy our journey to Alaska and if you have not been…….put it on your bucket list!  Make sure you take the train from Anchorage to Seward and then the tour of Prince William Sound to see what remains of the beautiful glaciers.

Our Favorite Hotel

View from Hotel Window

Anchorage

….lions….and tigers…..and BEARS……….OH MY!!!!!!!

Cute Seal

Eskimo Doll made from Reindeer Antler with Removable Clothing

 
Such Beauty
The Journey Begins…………
Beauty Everywhere
In a distance……….Denali
 

 

Beautiful Pastoral Scenes
Vast Open Spaces
 
Magical Wilderness
…..and more ice
Giant Fields of Ice
Portage Glacier
Out Fishing
The Town of Seward
Ancient Ice
Prince William Sound
So many Glaciers!
This ain’t no Flying Monkey!!!!

 

A Magical Place