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Whittier Alaska – Day 7 (Friday)

An early morning drive led us through a long tunnel to the town of Whittier. This small town, with its military bunker that has sat dormant since the Cold War ended was one ferris wheel short of looking like Cherynoble. The marina across the street, however, told a very different story. It was hopping with activity and cast a beautiful view of the green-blue waters and snowcapped mountains.

Once our boat was loaded and in the water, we began seeing one amazing sight after another. Our purpose for the trip was to explore Prince William Sound and hopefully find a bear for dinner. My friend had packed his 30-06 and gave me the .44 magnum in case I needed it at any point. Bear are extremely dangerous and we were not taking any chances.

As we glided across the frigid waters in our boat, we came across a series of cascading waterfalls that split apart and regrouped as they ran down the mountainside. There were hundreds of seagulls flying around white-speckled rocks that the waterfalls ran around. It wasn’t until we got closer that I could see everything that was really going on. Each of those hundreds of white dots on the rocks was also a seagull. It was the largest flock of birds I have ever seen it real life and it was amazing.

Later in the day, we came upon beautiful glaciers. As we navigated our boat between ice-floats to get a better view, we noticed the rocks on the ice-floats in the distance were moving. Upon closer inspection, we found that those “moving rocks” were actually dozens of sea otters playing around on the ice and surrounding water. Soon enough, they began popping up closer to our boat and inspecting us with curious eyes. They were quite a sight to see.

The glaciers, which looked like a massive rush of water frozen in time between the mountains, glowed with a bright blue hue. They were massive and seemed timeless. We were weary of getting too close to them for they were dangerous and were were already needing to navigate rather large ice floats. We couldn’t believe the beauty of this secluded place. It is amazing how beauty exists that is so rarely viewed by man.

Once we left the ice floats for safer waters, we beached the boat for lunch. After we ate, we explored and found a sea otter den whose entrance was littered with broken shells. It was a beautiful view from where we stood, and we enjoyed it before working our way back down towards the beach.

As we continued our search for a bear, we motored in-and-out of various coves until we found an old ferry which had washed up on shore years ago. It was rusting out and little more than a skeleton remained in some places. Sensing adventure, we began to explore the damaged hull, being careful where we placed each step. The carcass of the old fairy was filled with mystery, but knowing we needed to get the boat back off the beach before the tide would leave it high-and–dry, we discontinued out investigations and headed back home.

We didn’t get the bear so we went home and cooked moose-hotdogs from last season’s kill. They were very tasty and reminded the others of their successful moose-hunt a little while previous.

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