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Our canoe had reached the closest safe point to Davidson Glacier. From the middle of the lake, we were about one-quarter of a mile from the face of the glacier. It loomed ahead of us, beautiful and immense. We turned the canoe sideways to the glacier, and watched and listened quietly.
Davidson Glacier seemed almost alive! Large chunks of ice tore away from the glacier and fell into the lake. Small waves gently lifted our canoe as the ice splashed into the water. Waves lapped at large caves in the base of the glacier, making a roaring sound. Around us, bergy bits towered higher than our boat.
Small growlers floated by, green or black or white or blue. Depending on what part of the glacier they've fallen from, growlers, bergy bits or icebergs can be many different colors. If they fall from the bottom of the glacier, they may be dark green or black from all the dust and crushed rock they've absorbed. Bergy bits with stripes have passed against valley walls, or a moraine where two glaciers meet. Blue icebergs come from a very dense part of the glacier. White ice has lots of air frozen inside. White ice may squeak or sizzle as it melts, releasing the air.
Too soon, it was time to return from our glacier adventure. As we paddled back to shore, I turned around again and again to see the face of Davidson Glacier.
Soon we retraced our steps, and enjoyed a picnic lunch on the beach as we waited for our little planes to return us to Skagway and our cruise ship. Mmmmm! Hot cocoa, Alaskan salmon, Alaskan honey, and fresh-baked cookies were a delicious end to our glacier adventure!
Miss Cynthia lifted me to her lap as she brushed cookie crumbs and honey spots off my fur. I looked up at my human friend. "Miss Cynthia," I said, "I love glaciers!"
"I'm not surprised, Perry Bear!" she answered, giving me a nice hug. "You are a polar bear, after all!"