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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Exit Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

The one glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park that can be accessed by land is Exit Glacier, just a few miles outside of Seward, Alaska. Mountain Dad and I were excited to see such a massive geological feature in person and luckily the hike to the Glacier is relatively easy.

The receding level of this glacier is well documented with sign posts on the road indicating how far the glacier reached in the year on the post. The wall of blue ice was an impressive sight, well worth the hike, even if the trail at the Edge of the Glacier got steep and rocky toward the end.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Outdoor Retailers 2014 Summer Show, Salt Lake City, Utah

Twice a year outdoor gear companies the world over converge on Salt Lake City for the Outdoor Retailers conference. This year's four day summer show (plus a demo day on Tuesday) was just last week at the Salt Palace Convention Center downtown. It included booths from the largest companies in the gear industry - Arc'teryx, Big Agnes, Black Diamond Equipment, North Face, Columbia, Goal Zero, Camelback.

Every kind of outdoor product was represented at the show - climbing equipment, tents, stoves, camping supplies, trailers, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, clothing, shoes, food. This was my first time to Outdoor Retailers and the sheer volume of things to see was overwhelming. I spent my time in one small section of the Salt Palace Ballroom and only scratched the surface of what possibilities there were.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Aialik Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

Kenai Fjords National Park has the unique position of being one of the few national parks where the majority of its land is covered by ice. Because of its location, the easiest way to explore this national park is actually by boat, which is the reason Mountain Dad and I took a cruise through Resurrection Bay with Kenai Fjords Tours.
Aialik Glacier
The weather was wet, cloudy and cold, and I was very glad that I had purchased a rain jacket just the day before. Because of the stormy weather, the water was really rough as we crossed into the open ocean outside of Resurrection Bay. The four to six foot swells and ten to twenty knot winds were enough to make Mountain Dad quite queasy. To me it felt a lot like a roller coaster, not a sickness inducing traumatic event, only because I took motion sickness medicine beforehand.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Primrose Campground, Chugach National Forest, Alaska

On our first full night in Alaska, Mountain Dad and I decided to set up camp at Primrose Campground in the Chugach National Forest, on the shores of Kenai Lake. Now, I know people warned me about the land of the midnight sun, but I really didn't expect constant daylight to throw me off so much.

In the summer Alaska can get up to 22 hours of daylight in the summer (Fairbanks, summer solstice), so it's relatively bright outside ALL THE TIME. That'd be great if I wasn't so accostomed to sleeping in the dark. Sleeping in a tent without blackout curtains made bedtime feel like naptime, even with an eyemask. It made me focus more on how tired I felt, not on the external cues of darkness I hadn't realized I needed. This must be how my kids feel at bedtime in the summer.


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