If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know I’m not a morning person. I am still the same irascible little brat I was as a two-year-old if you try waking me up before I’m ready. Forty years of school, work, and life has not changed me. So, it should come as no surprise that I struggled on the morning my cruise ship sailed into Glacier Bay, Alaska.
Did I want to see a glacier? Sure, but that didn’t make the persistent voice of a Glacier Bay National Park park ranger over the ship’s PA system any less irritating at 8 a.m. But, there’s one thing in life more powerful than my need to sleep in: the desire to discover. Apparently, I’d already missed a family of bears and a few mountain goats clinging to a mountainside. So, I screamed into my pillow a little, sighed deeply, and got out of bed to get my camera.
Glacier Bay, home to more than 50 named glaciers, came six days into a seven-day Alaskan cruise aboard the Norwegian Jewel. Margerie Glacier, about 21 miles long and 250 feet high, is the most impressive. The Jewel rotated a complete 360 degrees, just to give everyone on board the time and space to view it.
Despite sharing the experience with thousands of other passengers, there was a quiet reverence on board that morning. Between camera clicks, people stood silently and listened. Waited. And if we held our breath we could hear the thunder off in the distance, a rumbling that meant the great walls of ice were expanding and breaking. Certainly something worth waking up for.