The John Hopkins Glacier is one of the few glaciers in Alaska that is advancing and appears to be a healthy glacier. The cruise ship in the center is the Zandaam, a hugely gigantic monstrosity. Our much smaller Alaskan Dream was able to get pretty close to the glacier but there is a lot of ice floating about. The Alaskan Dream can maneuver fairly well due to its catamaran.
The Lamplugh Glacier required a close-up shot to show its intense colors, which are really just reflections of light but you don't have to know that. Nature painted it.
We spotted many brown bears on shore searching for food. Good thing we were onboard the ship and not strutting about ourselves on the shore. Although, I imagine they prefer fish.
Not all glaciers reach the sea. Some of them are "hanging glaciers" that slowly move through the valley. This is the Gilman Glacier, which is a hanging glacier.
Our trip to Alaska has given me a new appreciation for its beauty. I pictured Alaska as walls of ice with polar bears floating on icebergs, and it's a million times more spectacular than that. Here you see lichen on the face of the rock. I sold a home in Citrus Heights on Lichen Street a few years back, and not only did I not know how to pronounce it, I did not really know what lichen was. Now, I see lichen and I know it's providing nutrient-rich soil for plants and vegetation to grow; eventually for trees to take root in which shorebirds will roost and seek protection from the elements; it's the beginning of a new cycle of life.