Author Topic: Off Topic: I am back from my trip! :)  (Read 4038 times)


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Off Topic: I am back from my trip! :)
« on: 八月 10, 2004, 01:49:56 pm »
Last week (entire week), we went to Alaska with another couple. It was an expensive and exhausting trip, but definitely fun. Alaska is a very large state as you can see from the map, yet, it only has a population of 600k ---- I guess even less than any "towns" in China :p ... So the vast wildness is relatively well preserved. Yet the govt. there is still very careful about protection of the enviornment ---- as the tourists increase and the local (esp. native) people become mroe aggressive toward nature, many plants were consumed too fast. Well, also as a result of natural transformation though. So there are many "revegetation" areas which are carefully labelled and protected ---- to allow the grass and other kind of plants to grow to cover the bare grounds. The great amount of forests in the US do not come from nowhere.

Oh, of course, the little bit of forest is not a real attraction, since you can easily see them anywhere else. The big eyecatcher-stunner are the huge amazing beautiful glaciers. Those were formed from hundreds of thousands of years ago to merely about 150 years ago. They are constantly moving, melting and forming, everyday. We travelled to several of them. Alaska is full of this kind of giants, so we could not exhuast all of them. In particular on the second day of our trip, on our 10-hour hiking tour, we reached the edge and later even stepped onto the surface of the "exit glacier" around a small town called "seward". Well, it is actually quite dirty when you come close to the giant ice block ---- the mountains in Alaska are rich in coal mines (much like the mountains we have in China), as a result, the surface (and sometimes quite deep into the glacier) is usually covered with dark gray or black dirts. :)  In fac! t, for a common tourist (as opposed to professional climbers), it is quite dangerous (well, it is also dangerous for the pros.) to walk on a glacier since there are many hidden cracks in those thousand-year-old ice blocks, if by chance you stepped onto one, you journey may well end there. :p .... Nevertheless, after we arrived at a local summit by 5-hour-climbing, there was still quite a distance away from the real chuck of ice, I wasn't satisfied at all. So we decided to take the risk of our own and managed our way through the rocks to surface of the glacier and took several pictures. And wisely chickened out after that :) .

On the fifth or sixth (I apparently lost count soon) day of our trip, we went on to a "sea kayaking" tour. The guide led us (each pair of us paddle of boat, real fun :) )into the bottom of the so-called "Columbia Glacier" where it merges with the sea water. We took many pictures there and enjoyed many clean pieces of ice since the sea really washed away the dirt. The huge chucks of ice are actually falling away from the main glacier body all the time and smaller pieces are also falling from the bigger pieces (shall be called icebergs) all the time. When they are cracking, you can hear very loud sounds from them and when they are falling, if you are close, they are like thunder explosion and can be, if you are toooo close, fatal. We managed to suppress our "adventure desire" this time (instead of ignore the natural dangers ) and followed the guide. We did not paddle into the deep inside of the ice palaces, inste! ad, we zigzaged through several bigger, wider gaps between the icebergs and rested on an island (a true island, not iceberg :) ) ----- just to witness one of the huge iceberg collasping behind us, sealing one waterway which was open into the heart of ice palace. Once again, we were proven wise :) .

There are several other tours we did in the trip, later after we edit our pictures, I may post some of them for you. ---- if you guys would like me to do so and Prof. W would allow it  :)

P.S. I am still quite busy this week.... so if you would like to see the pics, you may need to wait for a while :)
In general, the men of lower intelligence won out. Afraid of of their own shortcomings ... they boldly moved into action. Their enemies, ...  thought there was no need to take by action what they could win by their brains. Thucydides, History