06 January 2015

Ice Ice Baby!

Over the weekend, we finally made our way out to the Matanuska Glacier! We had plans to go around Thanksgiving when family was in town, but the stars didn't align (read: the Army didn't cooperate with my scheduling) so we weren't able to make it. We've lived in Alaska for nearly two years and this was the first time I had step foot on a glacier. Pathetic I tell you! 


Our house in Palmer is only about an hour drive from the Matanuska Glacier, one of the state's "must see" destinations. The drive along the Glenn Highway to the glacier was beautiful with plenty of places to stop and take pictures. We did have a little trouble figuring out where to turn off the highway, for those of you who plan on visiting. The entrance to the glacier access point is just past milepost 102. The little side street is essentially in the parking lot of a yellow ice cream shop/visitor center. Not impressed by the signage. ;)

matanuska glacier
 
After driving down a snowy hill and over a semi questionable bridge (about a mile or so), we arrived at the visitor center. Our car read the outside temperature at a cool -6 degrees. There we peed, and signed a waiver to walk on the glacier. Walking on the glacier was free, so there's that. We do love free. ;)  The lady inside told us to "dress warm" since it had only warmed up to -10 on the ice... burrrrrr!

matanuska glacier

After driving another mile or so, we reached the base of the Matanuska Glacier. Holy. Cow! We quickly got dressed in our layers of winter gear, loaded the baby in the BOB and headed towards the ice! Since the weather was a little more intense than we anticipated, we had to minimize the time Mallory was exposed to the cold temperatures. Kyle set his stopwatch to whatever super duper arctic army school taught him was safe and off we went! (I'm in no position to make fun of him. I forgot both my hat and gloves at home...Kyle had extras for me. He wins.)

matanuska glacier

I have to admit that when we moved to Alaska and I thought of a glacier, I pictured an iceberg. Like Titanic style. Since we can see a different glacier from our back door, and it was in fact not a massive chunk of ice in the middle of an ocean, I became underwhelmed. The idea of exploring one in person didn't really get me all hot and bothered. Boy was I wrong!

matanuska glacier

matanuska glacier

matanuska glacier

The glacier was incredible! Words and photos just can't do it justice. It is so beautiful while at the same time, so intimidating. 27 miles of glacier! Come on...

matanuska glacier

matanuska glacier

matanuska glacier

My friend Kelsey and her family also made it to the Matanuska Glacier this weekend! (Shout out to the Army for cooperating!) Check out their experience here.

Happy Tuesday!



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