Saturday, December 10, 2011

Alaska 10

When packing for a trip to the great outdoors, your correspondents generally endeavor to travel light. This is both because we're generally on foot and therefore carrying everything we choose to bring for miles and miles. More philosophically, we generally take the "getting away from it all" aspect of wilderness to include a variety of our favorite intoxicants and stimulants. I.e., we don't pack coffee, and we don't pack booze.

Lucky for us, our fellow travelers on our kayaking trip (a guided group with eight paying clients) operated with a different philosophy. First of all, the trip was not cheap (that danger pay from Afghanistan continuing to burn holes in our pockets), and part of the service we paid for was having our guides cook gourmet meals for us. "Gourmet" in this sense entirely graded on a curve, but taking into account that we were literally several hours by boat from the nearest grocery or kitchen, they did pretty well. They also provided coffee every morning, which was a nice treat. If you've followed Google here in search for information on kayaking the Northwestern Lagoon or elsewhere near Seward, we heartily recommend Sunny Cove Kayak.

More importantly, some of the other clients were smart enough to realize that adding a couple pounds of weight to your kayak is much less burdensome than carrying the equivalent in a backpack. Taking the philosophy "any fool can suffer in the wilderness," some of our fellow kayakers brought some bourbon and some gin, with the goal of mixing drinks with glacial ice. I gather that there exist some theories that glacial ice is better for drinks because it(choose one) is more pure/is more dense/has ancient air particles in it/just sounds cool. Pictured above, paddling back to camp with chunks of glacial ice gathered from the lagoon.

Whatever motivation was necessary to inspire these kind people to bring and share martinis and bourbon as we sat on the beach, watching avalanches of ice fall from the glacier across the inlet from us, it was much appreciated.

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