Glacier Bay National Park is one of the largest protected areas on the planet. This morning, we entered its southern border via a location called Fern Harbor. The landscape is a classic post-glacial scene. Slowly rebounding bedrock reveals new land that is quickly recolonized by lichens, soil, meadow grasses, and, eventually, flowers and trees.

Tracks were everywhere. Moose, bear, and bird. Beyond the tidally influenced meadow loomed the Fairweather Mountains. 14,000+ ft peaks blanketed in snow and ice on this bluebird day.

Our afternoon took us a few miles south to the Inian Islands. Weaving through this archipelago of tortured geology, boiling tidal exchanges, and sweeping landscapes is only part of the appeal. In addition to that adventure, we observed the numerous Steller sea lion haul outs, thousands of black-legged kittiwakes, adorable sea otters, and the occasional hungry humpback whale that all grace these waterways.

All these spectacles took place beneath a brilliant blue sky with warm, inviting winds…very atypical in this part of the world. We’ll take what we can get!