The rangers came aboard The Pearl early this morning, three special guests to help me, Miss Wendy, Lauren and Josh appreciate and enjoy the wonders of Glacier Bay. It's one of the memorable highlights of our week-long journey through the Inside Passage of Alaska.
By breakfast time the ship was awake and abuzz, most everyone jockeying for position as we steamed into Tarr Inlet. The captain maneuvered the ship around pieces of fallen ice – some bits the size of small cars – and gently brought the Pearl about; ever so slowly the Grand Pacific Glacier came into view.
It was stunning and massive, compacted tons of snow turned into jagged fingers of bluish ice. The morning haze had burned off and the rays of the sun glistened majestically about the area.
Ranger Ruth – I fear she's related to Dr. Phil or Captain Kangaroo – asked that we look about and take in the natural wonder that now spread across our world. She offered up numbers and dates and other scientific data about glaciers and snowfall, winds and tides. I think she made up lots of stuff and, when at a loss for words, fell back on her touchy-feely mantra about the beauty of nature.
Of course Ranger Ruth was right. The world here in Glacier Bay seems created by the finger of God, a chilly Garden of Eden that is just about perfect.
Miss Wendy and I left the masses on the upper decks and retreated to our private little balcony. Glacier Bay spread out before us, thousands of acres of still waters, pristine woods and jagged mountains. The Pearl's engines had been silenced and only the gentle call of seagulls and the hushed lapping of water against the distant shore broke the calm.
It seemed we had stumbled onto something sacred, the Cathedral of the Great Outdoors. No need for prayer books or hymnals in this sanctuary. In Glacier Bay, your heart will sing out its own happy tune and, for a moment, your soul will be filled.
PICTURE PERFECT: Glacier Bay (photo above) is stunning, thousands of acres of still waters, pristine woods and majestic mountains.