August 12, 2007 – The Chugach Mountains and Portage Glacier

Today was a short travel day – only 44 miles to Portage Valley. This valley is situated in the Chugach Mountains. How about this:

We are staying at the Williwaw Campground in the Chugach National Forest. Here is our campsite:

And here is the glacier right above us. We can hear the water just rushing down the mountain – the sound is incredible!!!

Once we set up we went to the visitor center for the Chugach National Forest. Did you know that there are 10,000 glaciers in these mountains? WOW!! (Not all are named.) We learned about the wildlife, the glaciers and the area. Portage and Girdwood were hit hard by the 1964 Earthquake. Both towns sank 6-12 feet and were flooded by the high tides. So both towns have been rebuilt in different areas nearby.

The visitor center is located on Portage Lake and up until the 1970’s the glacier was visible from the center. Now to see it we had to take a boat tour (which we did).

Portage Lake with some of the glaciers:

Portage Glacier:

The reason it is called Portage is travelers used this glacier as a main travel route over the mountains. Can you imagine!!!

We did not see any calving but we had the sights and sounds of waterfalls all around us.
Glaciers fascinate me…their sound, their movement, their age, how they are formed, how they have stayed since the last Ice Age, and their appearance. I will leave you with what I call “Nature’s Sculptures.”

Miles Traveled: 44
Routes Traveled:
Alaska: Hope Highway; AK-9 (Seward Highway)

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