Personal Journey: Floating by a glacier was like a trip back in time
I could tell we were making our way deeper into the fjord in Glacier Bay National Park because the air temperature was slowly dropping into the 30s from just a few hours earlier, when we were in the Gulf of Alaska in the Pacific Ocean. Here it was mid-August, and I was bundled up in a coat, scarf, gloves and earmuffs while my friends were sunbathing on some beach at the Jersey Shore.
We slowed to one side of Margerie Glacier, a massive tower of blue ice rising 250 feet above the water and extending 100 feet below. Beyond the glacier - farther in than we could venture - was a wilderness of snow and ice even more isolated from civilization. Margerie Glacier is so close to the U.S.-Canadian border that you can almost see the tundra of the Yukon Territory.
As we glided closer to the southernmost point of this massive glacier, passengers milled around the snack bar or strolled along the decks. But they stopped, and an eerie, yet peaceful, quiet enveloped our ship as we pulled alongside the face of the glacier.
As is the case on most cruises, there was no time to linger. It was time to move on from this highlight to the next. And though I did enjoy each subsequent stop on my seven-day Alaska cruise, it's the image of Margerie Glacier that first comes to mind - a journey to the untouched world of the Ice Age of so long ago.
Judy L. Hasday lives in the West Park section of Philadelphia.