For your 45th Birthday - you really are "Denali Bound" - Complete w/final thoughts - 2/17/2013 - Page 15 - PassPorter - A Community of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel Forums
As of January 1, 2019, we have closed our forums. This is a decision we did not come to lightly, but it is necessary. The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk. The server software itself must be updated, and it cannot be without removing the forums.
So it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our long-running forums. They came online in 2000 and brought together so many wonderful Disney fans. We had friendships form, careers launch, couples marry, children born ... all because of this amazing community.
Thank you to each of you who were a part of this community. You made it possible.
And a very special thank you to our Guides (moderators), past and present, who kept our forums a happy place to be. You are the glue that held everything together, and we are forever grateful to you. Thank you aliceinwdw, Caldercup, MrsM, WillCAD, Fortissimo, GingerJ, HiddenMickey, CRCrazy, Eeyoresmom, disneyknut, disneydani, Cam22, chezp, WDWfan, Luvsun, KMB733, rescuesk, OhToodles!, Colexis Mom, lfredsbo, HiddenMickey, DrDolphin, DopeyGirl, duck addict, Disneybine, PixieMichele, Sandra Bostwick, Eeyore Tattoo, DyanKJ130, Suzy Q'Disney, LilMarcieMouse, AllisonG, Belle*, Chrissi, Brant, DawnDenise, Crystalloubear, Disneymom9092, FanOfMickey, Goofy4Goofy, GoofyMom, Home4us123, iamgrumpy, ilovedisney247, Jennifer2003, Jenny Pooh, KrisLuvsDisney, Ladyt, Laughaholic88, LauraBelle Hime, Lilianna, LizardCop, Loobyoxlip, lukeandbrooksmom, marisag, michnash, MickeyMAC, OffKilter_Lynn, PamelaK, Poor_Eeyore, ripkensnana, RobDVC, SHEANA1226, Shell of the South, snoozin, Statelady01, Tara O'Hara, tigger22, Tink and Co., Tinkerbelz, WDWJAMBA, wdwlovers, Wendyismyname, whoSEZ, WildforWD, and WvuGrrrl. You made the magic.
We want to personally thank Sara Varney, who coordinated our community for many years (among so many other things she did for us), and Cheryl Pendry, our Message Board Manager who helped train our Guides, and Ginger Jabour, who helped us with the PassPorter-specific forums and Live! Guides. Thank you for your time, energy, and enthusiasm. You made it all happen.
There are other changes as well.
Why? Well, the world has changed. And change with it, we must. The lyrics to "We Go On" for IllumiNations say it best:
We go on to the joy and through the tears
We go on to discover new frontiers
Moving on with the current of the years.
We go on
Moving forward now as one
Moving on with a spirit born to run
Ever on with each rising sun.
To a new day, we go on.
It's time to move on and move forward.
PassPorter is a small business, and for many years it supported our family. But the world changed, print books took a backseat to the Internet, and for a long time now it has been unable to make ends meet. We've had to find new ways to support our family, which means new careers and less and less time available to devote to our first baby, PassPorter.
But eventually, we must move on and move forward. It is the right thing to do.
So we are retiring this newsletter, as we simply cannot keep up with it. Many thanks to Mouse Fan Travel who supported it all these years, to All Ears and MousePlanet who helped us with news, to our many article contributors, and -- most importantly -- to Sara Varney who edited our newsletter so wonderfully for years and years.
And we are no longer charging for the Live Guides. If you have a subscription, it's yours to keep for the lifetime of the Live Guides at no additional cost. The Live Guides will stay online, barring server issues and technical problems, for all of 2019.
That said, PassPorter is not going away. Most of the resources will remain online for as long as we can support them, and after that we will find ways to make whatever we can available. PassPorter means a great deal to us, and to many of you, and we will do our best to keep it alive in whatever way we can. Our server costs are high, and they'll need to come out of our pockets, so in the future you can expect some changes so we can bring those costs down.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your amazing support over the years. Without you, there's no way us little guys could have made something like this happen and given the "big guys" a run for their money. PassPorter was consistently the #3 guidebook after the Unofficial and Official guides, which was really unheard of for such a small company to do. We ROCKED it thanks to you and your support and love!
If you miss us, you can still find some of us online. Sara started a new blog at DisneyParkPrincess.com -- I strongly urge you to visit and get on her mailing list. She IS the Disney park princess and knows Disney backward and forward. And I am blogging as well at JenniferMaker.com, which is a little craft blog I started a couple of years ago to make ends meet. You can see and hear me in my craft show at https://www.youtube.com/c/jennifermaker . Many PassPorter readers and fans are on Facebook, in groups they formed like the PassPorter Trip Reports and PassPorter Crafting Challenge (if you join, just let them know you read about it in the newsletter). And some of our most devoted community members started a forum of their own at Pixie Dust Lane and all are invited over.
So we encourage you to stay in touch with us and your fellow community members wherever works best for you!
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AK is a wonderful state. I see the weather is still very unpredictable. You were adventurous to start the hike. I think that I would have changed my mind as soon as I saw the registration point. That is to know who to go looking for when the count doesn't check out. Great that you didn't go all the way into the river. Hyperthermia is not something to play around with.
We kept driving south – stopping along the way including pulling over at the pass where the highway enters the Kenai Peninsula. There was a still lot of snow piled up all around. We took a biological break and continued on.
We also stopped for some roadside waterfalls.
George and Rachel at one of the roadside waterfalls
We also stopped on the shores of the Copper River for a bit and took some photos. We continued south and passed Kenai Lake – which was beautiful, but the typical grey/green color that you see in Alaskan glacial fed lakes. Our next stop was Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park.
I had visited here and hiked to the glacier with colleagues in 2009. Much to my dismay, the visitor's center was still closed... but the trail was open and we even met a couple of Rangers hiking on the trail.
This glacier has a paved trail for parts of the area, and an unpaved, rocky trail for part – almost all of the area was still covered in snow and ice. It was Memorial Day and there were still a couple of feet of snow on parts of the trail to the Glacier.
Chris and I had decided from the beginning we were going to hike to the Glacier, George decided to sleep in the minivan and Rachel decided to walk one of the other flatter trails that went to a glacier overlook.
Along the trail are date markers - showing where the glacier was on that date. And what was interesting me was to see how developed the environment was at each date sign, showing the development of the ecosystem since the glacier retreated.
Chris walking on the trails
An informational hut along the trail with signage about the glacier and the Harding icefield, which is where the Exit Glacier originates.
Chris fell on the trail while hiking....
He couldn't believe I took a photo of him as he fell.
And he fell again... #2
This is where the glacier was in 1961 - see how grown up the trees are??
And now we left the cover of the grown trees and came onto the rock path that was uncovered by the glacier.
Looking out over the U shaped valley carved by the glacier.
Can you see the scrapes in the rock? This is where the glacier drug across the rock while carrying other rocks, scraping gouges into the rock on the bottom.
First glimpse of the glacier
The blue ice in the crevasses of the glacier
More scraped rock right near the front of the glacier.
Panoramic view of Exit Glacier
Toe of the glacier
Me standing next to the glacier
A man saw Chris taking photos of me, and offered to take a photo of us... it wasn't the best photo, but it will have to do.
After we finished taking photos, we hiked down to the toe of the glacier, where the glacier fed stream begins and the moraine from the retreating glacier is.
Down in the valley, crossing the stream
Chris decided that instead of hiking back up to the glacier to return to the parking lot, we should hike across the outwash plane, cross the stream and take the trail to the overlook.
And as Chris tried to cross the stream... he fell... again - #3.
Good thing for waterproof boots!
After our hike - we woke George up, listened to Rachel tell us about her hike and continued our drive down to Seward for dinner...
Next - Dinner at Rays, a return ride to Anchorage and a visit with Mr. Potter.
Fantastic photos of the glacier. You really can see so much history of the landscape in one photo. I love the photo of the darker rocks in the foreground and the glacier peeping through--you can almost feel the movement as it creeps along.
After we finished our hiking at Exit Glacier - we loaded back into the minivan and completed our drive to Seward. It was about dinner time, and since we still had a 2+ hour drive back to Anchorage, we opted to get dinner and not do any exploring of Seward.
We ate at Ray's on the waterfront in the Seward Small boat Marina. It was cool and rainy - so I opted for warm food. I started with a clam chowder -
Followed by FRESH Copper River Salmon - YUMMY!!
And I finished with creme brulee.
I have NO Idea what anyone else ate - I was too busy enjoying my food and trying to warm up...
But I did notice what Rachel had for dessert -
I love the look George is giving her....
After dinner - George was complaining his back was hurting and he wanted to go lay down in the car, Rachel wanted to go shopping and Chris wanted to take photos in the marina. I opted to go with George because I was cold.
Here are some of Chris' photos from the marina -
And he found this cute guy swimming around -
The otter looks like he was eating his dinner too!
After everyone returned to the car, we made a beeline back toward Anchorage - with minimal stops on the way. However, as we reached the outskirts of Anchorage - we saw Potter Marsh - and decided to stop. Potter Marsh is a large freshwater marsh on the southern side of Anchorage where large numbers of birds are known to come between April - September. The Marsh was formed when the train tracks between Anchorage and Seward were constructed, which dammed off a small freshwater stream that drained into the Turnagain Arm.
There is a large network of wooden walkways that you can use to access different areas of the Marsh. When we got there - we had about an hour before it closed for the night. We arrived there about 8pm and it closed at 9pm. It was cold and very windy - but everyone was game to see what we could see.
Ducks on the bank of the marsh
A sandhill crane. We heard him fly in, and sqwack... and then he was joined by another crane and they talked to each other over the marsh.
Magpie in the tree behind us.
Panoramic view of Potter Marsh
George and Rachel on the walkway
Water exchange pies under the railroad tracks
Rachel and George got cold, and Chris and I kept walking out to the end of the boardwalk.
Looking back toward the city across the marsh. In the summer they say this area is just covered with birds.
You can't tell - but the wind is blowing and I am FREEZING!!
And now you can see how cold Chris is too - glad we brought the tripod.
We walked back to the car, loaded up and headed back to the hotel for the night. We needed to pack up all our stuff - because tomorrow morning we load up and head to the ship!!!
Next - Retracing our path and visiting a wildlife refuge...
That otter is so cute! I love the way the mist covers the higher peaks and then floats away and suddenly the view is completely different! I never tired of watching this on the cruise. I hope it was nice and warm in your hotel rooms so you could get the chill out of your bones!