The Porch

The Porch

Welcome, Friends!

So much to do and so little time! I’m sure many of you can relate. Hopefully, I’ll be able to share more adventures soon. In the meantime, here are some photos from a recent exploration. Last weekend, I took my two boys on a trip to the Matanuska Glacier, about 100 miles north of Anchorage.
 

Matanuska Glacier AK

 
This is a picture taken from the Glenn Highway of the glacier.

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Notice the blue color in the crevices. The blue is present because the dense ice absorbs every other color of the spectrum except blue. Occasionally, we’ll stumble upon an ice cave on a glacier. When you enter them, everything glows blue. We don’t spend much time in these caves… glaciers are dynamic. You never know when one of these caves will collapse.

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Me standing at the glacier’s face.

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Kier jumping over a glacial rivulet.

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Teko jumping over the same spot (yes, he made it!).

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One of the glacier’s extreme dangers: this is a sinkhole that a lot of these rivulets dump into. A few years ago, a teenage boy slipped into one of these holes and disappeared. A video camera was lowered on a cable 800′ down the hole and there was no sign of him. We dropped a boulder into this particular hole and it took six seconds for it to hit the bottom. You must use extreme caution when approaching these holes.

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As we climbed higher on the glacier, we came upon this beautiful glacial lake. When I was a kid, Dad and I landed on one of these glacial lakes in the Wrangell Mountains on a sheep hunting trip. We hiked 20 miles in to hunt, and when we returned to the lake a few days later to be picked up by the float plane, the lake had dumped (the glacier shifted and all the water drained out). We were lucky enough to find another lake a few miles away.

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We ran into a group of serious ice climbers a little higher on the glacier. I think they were a little put off when the boys and I passed them up without using any fancy equipment (we did use an ice axe).

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The boys nearing the top of our climb.

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  • myfairlady

    Wow! It is so beautiful! Your boys looking like they are having a blast.

  • Nancy Labonete

    These pictures are so unreal. Alaskans are very lucky to be surrounded by God’s beautiful creations.

  • John B. Hefmier

    Welcome back, Chuck Jr!! Missed your posts. Thanks for the pictures of you and the boys at the glaciers.

  • Sue Lynn

    Wow…I get squeamish just looking at you guys jumping these…I’m a wimp! Welcome back we missed you!

  • chuckjr

    Thanks for sticking with me guys! I’ll try to post a couple new stories each week.

  • Welcome back, Chuck. Based on this calculator the boulder impacted at 574 feet, which means it may have hit a sidewall on the way down.

    http://www.ajdesigner.com/phpprojectilemotion/vertical_displacement_equation.php.

    The camera went down 800 feet. How deep is this sinkhole?

    Fascinating stuff.

  • Lynda

    What a great post, what lucky boys that their father takes them on such wonderful adventures … Also thank you for sharing…

  • c4pfan

    Wow! That looks like so much fun! Thanks for sharing it.

  • indemind

    Welcome back Chuck….Awesome photos of you and the boys…. By the way how is your Dad doing?

    • chuckjr

      Thanks Indie! Dad’s getting a little stronger every day. We thought we were going to lose him a couple of times but he’s really coming around.

  • virginiagentleman1

    I am glad that you have returned to your ‘porch’ Chuck! Just brush the dust from the rocking chairs and we are good to go!

    I enjoyed the pictures of the boys and you and it looks like you were having a great day together on the glacier! Dang it, try as I might, I can’t find one single glacier in Virginia where we can go to beat the heat! Whodathunkit!

    The picture of your Dad on your facebook page was a welcome sight. Tell him that VG remembers those early days of recovery after open heart surgery and that soon those walks to the bathroom won’t seem like a marathon. It takes some time but eventually life returns to near normal. I say ‘near normal’ because having ones chest opened, the sternum cut down the middle, having ones heart stopped for hours, and someones hands playing around ones heart is most certainly not normal!

    I left a reply to you a few days ago on the May 6th Porch comment section about ICD’s. If your Dad’s surgeon thinks he should have one, I would urge him to do so. Energy and drive return to a heart patient quicker with one implanted. The first week or two after mine was implanted, it felt like I was walking around with a 4 ounce fishing weight hanging from my collar bone! These days I barely even notice it. Since mine went online March 7th, my strength and endurance have returned much faster and I can do most of the things I did before my surgery. Within a month of having my ICD implanted, I was working around the yard ( with frequent breaks) and generally feeling like my old self.

    Now I go fishing often, can swim up to a mile, and take long walks that allow me to see parts of my farm that I haven’t seen since last September! The ICD made a HUGH difference for me.

    If you or Dad have some questions, I might have a few answers based on my own personal experience.
    Anyway, it is great to see ya back on the Porch! VG

    • chuckjr

      Thanks VG! I will pass your message on to Dad. I know he will appreciate hearing from someone who’s been through a similar wringer.

      Great to hear that you are doing so well. Tell all my friends at c4p that I’m still reading their great comments… I’ve just been quiet lately.

    • chzn2bfree

      VG …just wanted to say shalom and so appreciate your posts!!!. You are known among my circles….how? Yes the man of the Green Cathedral, but more so for both you and Sarah, you each are known as:

      ************* FRIEND OF G-D **************

  • MaMcGriz

    I can’t help but see you and the boys passing up those ice climbers as a perfect metaphor for us as Americans as we attempt to deal with our government. We can do so much more with so much less.

    Sure glad to see ya back.

    Hugs to Mom and Dad.

  • PaMom4Palin

    Every kid should climb on a glacier! So glad you are back 🙂

  • chzn2bfree

    Great to have you back Mr. Heath !! These stories have been missed and provide a wonderful respite from the news. So thankful “Dad Heath” (per VG) is reviving. Hard to imagine him in downtime, but hope the restfulness gives time for reflection & inspiration. Love you all, but would really like to meet your dad !! Glad he is still with us, may he be granted more years to share with the younger generation. Heaps of blessings upon you !! and thanks for The Porch.

  • BermudaBob

    Chuck, glad to hear that your Dad is doing better!

    Bob