Glacial Ice Cave


This evening one of Aki’s other humans and I kayaked across Mendenhall Lake to the glacier’s face. Tourists in rented red kayaks meandered their way past us, struggling to get the boats back to the beach. I love being on lake on overcast evenings when the wind drops and the lake waters are gun metal gray.

2The roar of Nugget Falls blends with the complaints of gulls that appear to yell at us from nurseries formed on rock recently revealed by the retreating glacier. We have no problem finding a landing place near the glacier’s face—another sign of the retreat. A well-trod gravel path leads to the mouth of an ice cave. Last winter we needed ice cleats to walk on the cave floor. Today, it is ice-free gravel. Last winter we could wander down at least two tunnels. Today, one has collapsed and we have to duck under a low roof in the main chamber.3

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