Alaska is fabulous even in the rain—rugged mountains, spell-binding glaciers, forests dripping with moss and waterfalls at every turn. I broke in my new camera, trying to learn how to use a few of its many features. The song that kept going through my head was the old Swedish hymn, "How Great Thou Art."
Near the top of the valley we crossed the stream. (Click link for video.) It wasn’t something I would have wanted to attempt without our experienced guides. They stationed themselves at strategic points to give a firm hand for the difficult spots. We were given the opportunity to call this the half-way point of our hike if we were uncomfortable going forward. The guide who made the offer looked straight at me as he said it. He didn’t know me very well. There was no way I would come that far and turn back short of the glacier. (I'll have you know, I was not the oldest member of our group of 16, although I’m pretty sure I was the second oldest.)
Much of our walk had been in fine mist, but during lunch it started to really rain. The upper regions of the glacier disappeared in a cloud that seemed to chase us down the mountain as we retreated to the rain forest below. We were a pretty bedraggled group that caught the train returning from Canada and celebrated with homemade salmon pate on crackers. We had spent six and a half hours on the trail, going less than eight miles round trip because of the ruggedness of the terrain.
Back at the ship I headed straight for the hot tub, singing “How Great Thou Art” all the way.
[If the video link doesn't work, go to my Youtube page and click on crossing movie.]