Many people envision Alaska as a tundra-laden landscape, dominated by small willows, distant glaciated peaks, and grizzly bears. We have covered over 500 miles during the past four days, and we saw all of that in different ways. All the glaciated peaks we saw this trip were nearly within reach. The few willows we encountered were anything but small, and the bears in this area are referred to as coastal brown bears because, although we are in Alaska, we are in a very unique part of this massive, diverse state. We are in the aqueous part of Alaska, Misty Fjords National Monument to be specific. This, the panhandle, is known for its coastal forests, prolific rainfall, and, as our destination today implies, fjords. Misty Fjords National Monument is a prime example of glacial processes at work. Deeply incised waterways extend many miles into the panhandle’s interior, terminating in grass-lined river valleys perfect for the day’s activities, Zodiac cruises and kayaking.

Under calm, blue skies we took to the ripple-free waters of not-so-misty fjords and loved every second of it!