One of the first things I did after moving to Maine in 2004…was to leave Maine for an adventure of a lifetime on the Tatshenshini River, which flows through the Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Wilderness Park, where it then joins the Alsek River. From there, they flow together to the Pacific Ocean in Alaska. This is about as remote as wilderness gets, and I was only able to be there thanks to our intrepid guide, Scot Balentine (now my husband)!
These photos have been a trip down memory lane for me and with the time between then and now, I’ve long forgotten the names of many of the locations we visited, but the trip itself still exists vividly in my mind, just as it appears in these photos.
After the trip, I was in charge of our reunion slideshow, and in the process of gathering everyone’s photos (there were literally hundreds), I wasn’t diligent in labeling who each photo belonged to. While many are definitely mine, some of the photos featured here may not have actually been taken on my camera, so if you happen by this page, and recognize a photo that is yours, please be sure to comment on the photo so I can properly attribute it!
On the Water
Time on the water was just a part of our journey…
Camping in Heaven
Each camp was more breathtaking than the one before. With good company and plenty of great side adventures to keep us occupied, we were always excited to find our next “home” along the river.
A highlight of our trip was camping at the base of Walker Glacier. I had never before set foot on a glacier, and it was more of an emotional experience than I might have expected. The other-worldly sensation of walking on crystal blue ice, layered with crevasses that led down into unseen abysses (slipping into one was a legitimate safety concern), and being connected to a force that literally shaped, and continues to shape the mountains around us and the valley we were traveling through, was exhilarating!
And then…there were the flowers. Fields and fields of stunning flowers!
Camping on Alsek Lake was another major higlight of the trip. Across the lake was a large glacier (for which I don’t have a name) that was consistently calving off huge chunks of ice, filling the lake with icebergs of all shapes and sizes. The icebergs slowly float and morph, sometimes flipping over, making for one heck of a show from camp. So mesmerizing, in fact, that part of our crew couldn’t resist the adventure of paddling much too close to one. Thankfully, that particular iceberg didn’t decide to flip until the next morning!
With this crew, even the takeout was an adventure!
Above all, my most vivid memories are of the people who shared this adventure. If you really want to understand the true character of your own soul, as well as the people you choose to have in your life, unplug, head into the wilderness, and reconnect there. It will immediately, and forever, change the way you look at life, love, and the world around you.