Tag Archives: glaciers

climate change in my lifetime

In honor of Leo DiCaprio’s acceptance speech on the Oscars last night, here’s a couple of nature photos I’ve posted here before, showing visible climate change over a period of 45 years.

Two photos of Athabaska Glacier, an offshoot of the Columbia Icefield, in Jasper National Park.

So far as I can tell, the two places I stood when I took these photos weren’t all that far apart (granted, the 1970 photo was taken from closer up than the 2015 photo was).  The parking lot and road haven’t moved, either.

I took this photo on a family vacation in 1970, when I was eleven years old.
I took this photo on a family vacation in 1970, when I was eleven years old.
I took this when I went back to the Canadian Rockies last summer (2015).
I took this when I went back to the Canadian Rockies last summer (2015).

Once upon a time on a trip to Alaska, day 21

Portage Glacier Recreation Area, Alaska

Thursday, July 5, 1973

We left my aunt’s and drove just a couple of hours to Portage Glacier, which is sort of on the neck of the Kenai Peninsula.

Portage Glacier

“The scenery is gorgeous.”  That’s the first time I actually wrote those words in my diary, which sort of flabbergasts me considering what we’d seen up to that point.  But I think I was massively impressed by my very first icebergs.

Portage Lake with icebergs

According to Wikipedia, the glacier has receded to the point where you can no longer see it from the road.  Thank you, global warming.  This was not the case in 1973.  And the visitor center is new since I’ve been there, too, although we did visit one.  We also hiked a trail, then I sat in the car and read while my parents hiked a second trail.  Remember, I was fourteen at the time.  Self-absorbed teenager and all.

The Kenai Peninsula portion of our trip was actually the part I remember the most.  It’s where we had the most encounters with animals, where we had our only success fishing, and where the scenery struck even me so hard I remember it.  We spent about a week exploring it before we headed back to Anchorage.

 True Gold , a novel about the Klondike Gold Rush, is now available through Amazon and Smashwords