Our adventure began with a thick, eerie fog in a bay known for mysterious events. Thomas Bay is infamous for a few strange occurrences, including one event that is recounted in the book The Strangest Story Ever Told. Luckily, the fog lifted, and the sun came out strong. The first operation of the trip was an introduction to the scenery that makes Alaska unique and the glaciers that make it legendary. Zodiac tours through Scenery Cove and in front of Baird Glacier gave us a look at the Tongass National Forest and the Stikine Icefield. The forest reaches the water level in this area, and trees stretch their limbs out and over the rocks in an effort reach the coveted rays of sun. The weather today was as good as it gets anywhere, sunny, and warm. Bald eagles flew overhead, and marbled murrelets dove into the below.
The afternoon excursion was a hike and kayak at Cascade Creek. This landing has an incredible waterfall that can be accessed and viewed by all the hikes, despite difficulty level. The forest here is draped in sphagnum moss, lined with lichen, and shaded by a canopy of Sitka spruce and western hemlock. As you hike deeper, the temperature drops, and you can feel the moisture from the rainforest exhaling. It’s truly humbling to walk among century old giant trees in an ecosystem that has taken generations to mature. Kayaking offered up close views of harbor seals fishing at the mouth of the river, where the waterfall met the sea. The pristine weather held steady all day. A great first day of explorations and sunlight has everyone buzzing with excitement for more ventures tomorrow in Totem Bay.