After an exciting morning kayaking in front of Harvard Glacier in College Fjord the captain was heading back towards Port Wells. We anchored up in a small bay and the skiff was put on the water. We were ready for a hike in the yellow and orange fall colours of the Chugach National Forest.
Chugach National Forest was formed in 1907 and is covering large areas of Prince William Sound. Three fun facts about Chugach National Forest:
- Its Bald Eagle population larger than the lower 48s combined
- Approximately 30 percent of the national forest is covered by ice
- It is the world’s northern-most temperate rainforest
Photo credit: USDA
Despite this being a short hike it was fairly strenuous walking as most of the hike was through swamp, there are no hiking trails out here in the wilderness. But with such a spectacular view that was soon forgotten. It is amazing that glaciers and lush forest live hand in hand like in the Chugach. There was no evidence of human activity except from a couple of boats out in the fjord.
The hike was at a comfortable speed as everyone frequently stopped to pick blueberries, There was lots of them and they were very sweet and tasty. We found both low bush and high bush blueberries, the latter being my favourite. There was also lots of wild Alaskan low bush cranberries, but they were quite sour so I sticked with the blueberries.
BALD EAGLES & WATER LILIES
We also spotted a this juvenile Bald Eagle keeping an eye on us from the top of his three crown. Only the adults have the easily recognisable white head. We actually saw lots of Bald Eagles, no wonder since the population of these magnificent birds is more than 30.000 in Alaska.
On our way down to Esther Passage, where Discovery have sailed ahead and is waiting for us, we passed this wonderful pond that had water lilies probably blooming earlier in the summer. I was not expecting to come across water lilies in Alaska, what a nice surprise.
Once onboard Discovery again our excellent chef Matt served up a delicious treat while local refreshments were served on ice. Ice cubes freshly picked up from Harvard Glacier earlier in the day. The ride through the narrow Esther Passage was a delight (could be the Alaskan Summer talking) and we spotted both harbour seal and mountain goats.
Our next stop will be a meeting with the loud and smelly sea lions! More to come …
This post is part of our mini series from our Alaskan Honeymoon. We are currently on post 6 – Hiking on a field of blueberries. If you missed any of the previous posts check out the links below the map.
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