America’s Last Frontier: Alaska—AustinWoman

Austin woman magazine, May 2017

Standing on the deck of the ship, the massive blue glacier towered above us. Among the 80-plus passengers, there was a collective silence of awe, broken only by the regular cracking thunder of a piece of ice calving off the glacier, a delayed sound heard seconds after its visible splash into the frigid waters below.

The boat and people onboard seemed dwarfed beneath the powerful, 12-mile-long Johns Hopkins Glacier, one of the few Ice Age relics in the world that is still advancing rather than shrinking. In fact, during the past 350 years, the glacier has grown and retreated down the 65-mile length of the inlet, culminating at the solid, 250-foot-high, 1-mile-wide block of ice. It was a moment when we realized you do not inhabit a place, but the place inhabits you.

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