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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Cont., Tracy Arm by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Continued,
TRACY ARM WILDERNESS - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time by Robert Glenn Ketchum

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act (#Wilderness), this new blog focuses on a wilderness area in the #Tongass rainforest of southeast Alaska. This is the tale of a 10-day kayak trip - a testament to WHY wilderness is important, by world-renowned Conservation Photographer Robert Glenn Ketchum.





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Due to the size and quality of the photos included in this blog, and as too many photos tend to slow a blog down, we have opted to host these previous entries on a separate post in order to best optimize your reading experience. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #50
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #50:  The only remaining part of camp you have not seen is the tent-site for myself and Carey. Russell’s tent was situated above the tideline between large rocks and the hillside (see post #48), which caused him to be angled slightly upslope, BUT out of the reach of the water. There was little else useable around that part of camp because the boulders were so large, SO Carey and I went, literally, OUT INTO THE RIVER! The powerful waterfall coming out of the valley and down to the tideline had built a sandbar/boulder “dome” in the middle of the river at peak flood. It was safely above the tideline, and at it’s highest point was quite sandy with just a few smaller rocks. Carey and I cleared enough of them to create a comfortable, tent-sized platform. The one drawback to our location was that the river split and went around both sides of our dome of boulders, so we had to navigate several stream crossings to get to the kitchen and our gear.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #49
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #49:  Now I am under the blue kitchen tarp looking out. For me, the size of the boulders on our “beach” finally suggests the scale of it all. We are among big rocks in a very marginal pitch made more dynamic by a massive tidal flux, and the amount of rain falling. Russell is “seated” in “the dining room”. Note his comfy, padded chair; he is sitting on his lifejacket! Not only did it make the rocks less hard, BUT it had been storming for days and the rocks were COLD, so he is also preventing heat loss. I suspect he was also eyeing the cheese, trying to determine what to eat THEN, and what to parse out for our remaining days.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #48
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #48:  Even in previous posts #45 & 46, it's still difficult to digest the scale of it all.  So here is an “in-camp” sequence that will give you a better sense of our #fjord "perch." Russell’s tent is up to the right. The blue tarp covers our kitchen and gear stash. Russell and Carey are underneath at the moment, munching. Various gear is positioned on the tallest boulders. The kayak and tarp are rope-anchored to large rocks. The tide will reach COMPLETELY UNDER the blue tarp tonight, and the kayak will float! This is good for washing food scraps away so as not to attract bear, however before it gets dark you want to check all your “stuff” that might be lying around because it could “disappear” by morning. Given the size of the boulders on the beach, you might imagine finding a tent site was a creative exercise.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #47
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #47:  This map is a LARGE overview of #TracyArm, showing most of our approach up the #fjord, and both arms of the #SawyerGlacier. We were in the south arm, and closer inspection of this map clearly shows what happened to us that late afternoon. If you have been reading this blog, you realize just how grand the scale of this landscape is. On the small-scale topo maps we were reading, the beach we were hoping to find seemed “near” the face of the #SouthSawyerGalcier. Wanting to get there as quickly as possible, we paddled a line up the middle of the fjord, trying to avoid the extra work of following an irregular shoreline. At the point we rounded the rocky promontory / “nose” on the southern shore, we could see the face of the glacier and all of the ice, so we pushed in along the south wall as we tried to progress. NOT discovering the hoped-for beach, we then back-paddled that same wall. When coming around that nose (you can see it sticking out into the fjord), we realized the presence of the bay, beach, and river system we had previously paddled right past! Note how large the river valley is that helped to form our camp beach (the green area extending back into the icefields to the left of the nose.)
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #46
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #46:  This is the reverse position from the last post. I find it amazing how there are clearly considerable dimensions to this beach / river complex that is now our camp, and from offshore at a distance it simply does not read like this AT ALL! Russell and Carey were prepping food, and snacking to stay warm while I “documented.” The blue tarp was our kitchen, and the high tide reached into it later in the evening. Russell‘s tent was the light brown one on the right side, and it's in the safest, driest perch. Carey and I were in the blue tent that was quite comfy because we cleared a few rocks, and were on a sand bottom. We also had a GREAT view, HOWEVER we were on a mound in the middle of the spread of the river. We were rather hoping it didn't rain any harder and bring the river up. So much for that idea!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #45
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #45:  Finally somewhat ice-free, we paddled along the shoreline of the small bay to find a rock strewn BEACH that was approachable. It had probably been created by a VERY substantial river pouring out of a side-cut valley. We had missed this entirely in our journey up the #fjord, because this beach wasn't visible from our paddling position.  Once again, scale is EVERYTHING! After setting up camp, I got back in my kayak to make this image. The river comes in from a sizable valley that is barely visible. Note the dark “notch” that angles up and to the right, at the top of the whitewater falls coming down to the beach.  That is the valley! Also, note the dark edge of the shoreline.  That's kelp, still exposed, as the tide hasn't crested yet. What is barely noticeable is another band of greenish rocks, above the dark line of seaweed. That line is where the high-tide stops. Check out how close to our “kitchen” the water will come! Something else you can't see here are the smaller “arms” of the river, which flow in, around, and through our encampment. We considered camping on the hill above the tents, however, the scrub was so dense there wasn't any place for our tents. So instead, we found ourselves flirting with the incoming tide, hoping it didn't rain harder, and cause the river to swell!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #44
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #44:  We originally planned this kayak trip for August, in order to witness an epic equinox tidal event, due to peak on our last night. The downside of that choice was that we had to deal with a stunning high tide twice a day that drowned most camping beaches. AND we were in the shortening daylight hours of the Fall season. Typically the 15-18 hours of daylight in the Summer season disrupts sleeping habits, and many people complain about it. HOWEVER at this moment we were all wishing for more of it! The sun's illumination was fading quickly now, and the in-flowing tide was making our “escape” especially challenging. Big ice was EVERYWHERE around us, and VERY intimidating! We clung so close to the #fjord wall, paddling was awkward, yet we did inch forward. This close to the southern wall, we saw new details of it that we had not seen from mid-fjord. Then suddenly, we rounded a granite nose into a small bay that was nearly ice-free! Above the cracking and tinkling of the bergs we also were sure we could here water flowing somewhere nearby....
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #43
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #43:  As we paddled further up the south arm of the #SawyerGlacier looking for an approachable campsite, we were running out of time. The Alaskan evening was growing darker, and the weather was miserable. The ice had gotten bigger and more dense. We were constantly having to push our way past smaller bergs, and were very concerned about being walled-in by larger ones. We finally could see the face of the #glacier, however we did NOT see the creek / beach we were hoping for! The only navigable water was flush against the #fjord wall on the south side, and eventually even that closed down on us and we could go no further. Sleeping in your kayak is not fun. AND dangerous. But we were exhausted, hungry, and not sure what else to do. Then the tide changed, and it began pushing ice back up INTO the fjord, so now even a retreat from our position was becoming difficult! Managing to turn our boats, we began a slow creep, backtracking along the wall, and hoping to get to more open water so we would not be trapped, or possible even CRUSHED.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #42
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #42:  In search of a campsite, we hoped the big rock outcrop (to the left) would have some level surfaces, and offer us access to the freshwater in the waterfall. Now that we were this close, however, it took-on entirely different dimensions than had from across the #fjord. While the outcrop "might" have room for a tent or two, we just simply couldn't access it! Note the dark band on the rocks at water level that looks something like a bathtub ring. The high point of the dark band marks the high tide line. At this point in the tidal flux, that band was more than 15-feet of impossibly slippery moss and kelp above us, and there was NO WAY to scale it, nor get around it! We were disappointed and pushed on. It was probably for the best, as someone would likely have been swept away trying to draw water out of the raging stream. With all our gear, we needed a beach of some kind, even if brushy and boulder-strewn. On the topo map, and farther up the south arm, what appeared to be a large river flowed in from a side-canyon, and we now saw that as our ONLY hopeful destination. So we were off....
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #41
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #41:  The weather soured once again, and we were being buffeted by fierce winds and rain. Freshwater flowed everywhere, and the vertical walls offered few “platforms” for a camp. Even at the highest tide, getting out of the kayaks and scrambling up steep granite faces onto a terrace was next to impossible.  When the tide was out, however, the moss, kelp, and starfish covered walls were exceedingly slippery, and simply unapproachable. Also, as narrow as the #fjord appeared, it was still a considerable distance to paddle from one side to the other as we searched. And scale, once again, was deceptive. Look at this post carefully, and then visit this blog next week to see how much things change as we paddle closer. From this POV we are hoping that there "might" be an accessible camp platform on the large rocks to the left of this waterfall....
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #40
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #40:  As we paddled around the rocky promontory and into the bay that formed the “Y” junction of the north and south arms of the #SawyerGlacier, we discovered many things. Once in the bay, and next to the southern shoreline, the tidal push against us slackened. There were MANY larger icebergs in this bay, and MUCH more ice. The weather was wilder as we were in a sort of vortex between two steep-sided canyons, both channeling high winds. AND THEN, the illusion of the solid rock “wall” across the bay was revealed. Once again, scale is deceiving. In the rain and low clouds, and in the middle of the previous large bay that we crossed to get to this point, the north wall appeared continuous. However, as we rounded the peninsula on the southern shore, the skies lifted momentarily. There were spots of sunlight, and across the #fjord we realized the wall was NOT continuous; a peninsula of land on that side concealed the opening of the north arm. From our new POV, that entrance appeared narrow... wrong again as we will discover in the coming days!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #39
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #39:  Returning to the map once again, you need to see this to believe it! Our black-bear-beach camp is just out of site on the bottom, left shoreline. The morning paddle brought us around the “S” curve, and in the middle of this next section the tide turned against us while we snacked. The last post (#38) shows a small rocky peninsula to the right and massive walls to the left. That POV is from the bay before the “Y” in the #fjord. The rocky peninsula in that picture is almost in the middle of this map, pointing directly across at another peninsula. At the moment our paddling POV has not yet revealed the small island, NOR any of the fjord running off to the left (top) of the map. This “gateway” that we will soon be passing was once the face of the #SawyerGlacier. In rapid retreat, the Sawyer has now split into north and south “arms”, and we are about to enter the big bay where the arms divide.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #38
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #38:  Scale is everything. Here we are paddling, and are just now realizing how HUGE the bay of ice is, and are trying to get around the rock peninsula and into the final "leg" of #TracyArm. The closer we get, the less narrow the gap appears. Now if we can just get through it, as we are pushing against the outgoing tide! The “distant” view creates the illusion that the ice is practically impenetrable, and the outgoing tide is bringing a lot of it directly at us. However, down at kayak-level, navigation was possible by paddling to the areas filled with small “shards," avoiding the big bergs, and more congested places. As we approached the final reach of the #fjord, the walls and waterfalls rose another 1,000-feet, and our “pathway” seemed like a tiny slot beneath the towering summits. Whew! Remember to breath!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #37
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #37:  Anticipating an increasingly tiring paddle for the next few hours because of the shifting tide, our snack energy-heat infusion was more than welcome. In our renewed state we began an aggressive stroke to reach the junction of the north and south arms of the #SawyerGlacier. Somewhere beyond that we hoped to find a camp sight. The #weather kept the show going, and now ice was EVERYWHERE around us; clearly a GREAT reason to be in a hard-shell kayak! At the moment, none of the ice was of the scale we had seen nearer the #fjord mouth, but these smaller-but-not-so-small-and-REALLY-pointy ones we were dealing with seemed to completely cover the surface. Notice here, the fjord narrows further and bends to the right through a “slot” between the right-hand peninsula of rock, and the sheer, cloud-clad walls to the left. Apparently THAT is where we are headed.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #36
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #36:  With so much weather pouring through, not only were the clouds streaming, the water was, too. There were more waterfalls than you could count, so for the time being it seemed we had drinkable freshwater.  Finding an accessible campsite for three, conveniently close to drinkable water might require a bit more inventiveness. We were several hours into our morning paddle, and fully “in-the-zone.” We were also farther into the fjord, and began encountering ice calving from the north and south #SawyerGlaciers. Having a “snack” break and pondering all of this, we realized the ice around us was slowly beginning to move DOWN fjord; the tide had turned.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #35
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #35:  It wasn't that the weather was getting better, yet it did seem to favor us! It wasn't raining much, and the cloud show was unparalleled. The various side #canyons occasionally offered up some fantastic views, and they seemed to grow more lushly vegetated as we got deeper into the range/fjord. NONE of them offered any “beaches” though, and the shoreline remained vertical and slippery. When we hit this view, however, I pondered trying to get ashore as I was quite certain this valley led to Shangri-La. Fortunately, my colleagues convinced me otherwise, and we paddled on....
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #34
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #34:  As our paddle carried us up-fjord, it was also taking us into some VERY large #mountains that form the border between the U.S. and Canada. In past history, those mountains generated many #glaciers that carved numerous side valleys, BEFORE they consolidated into the #SawyerGlacier, which carved #TracyArm. This far into the arm, those side canyons were becoming more frequent. If we were lucky at the moment we paddled past, sometimes the weather broke-off and we could the see the growing scale of where we were, and sense the smallness that was us.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #33
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #33:  Intermittent wind gusts of quite some velocity created surreal effects with the clouds as we paddled forward. At one point a low cloud - almost like a fog - had come down around us, and was blowing by slowly in a clammy chill. Then a screaming gust arrived and pushed the cloud into a sheer #fjord wall, which sent the cloud fragments up the rocky crags between the trees and over the top of the summit. It looked like water flowing uphill and over the waterfall at the top! Clearly as the morning progressed, I had trouble discerning exactly which "flow" I was paddling in. And we were camping where!?!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #32
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #32:  There were claw marks in the moss on the sides of the rock pinnacle, however they never quite reached the ledge at the top where our food bag was stashed. Grateful for good advice, we celebrated by returning to camp and eating some of the food we had worked hard to protect! The morning was still early, but after breakfast we immediately broke camp, and loaded the boats because we planned to catch the incoming tide to launch, and then carry us up the arm. Besides, given the events of the morning, we were now running on adrenalin, so we might as well get out on the water and put it to good use. The day's paddle would end - we hoped - at the termination of the #fjord near the #glacier. BUT there was no apparent camping site on the map! We were definitely "flying blind" going in that far. If there was no place to put out, we might have to come all the way back here, so an early start was a good thing. I WANT TO KNOW where my next camp will be! As we started to get into a paddling rhythm, the constantly changing weather continued to pour through, and the fjord grew deeper, and more dramatic with every bend....
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #31
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #31:  It rained on-and-off during the night, but stopped early in the morning so I got up. In the #weather break I could see up the fjord in the direction we would be heading. Our next camp looked to be a number of twists and turns away and the walls just keep getting taller and MORE SHEER. As Carey and Russell were slowly rising and getting dressed, I strolled toward the kitchen area where we had covered the kitchen gear with the blue tarp. As I came upon the tarp, I found a medium size black #bear curled-up, sleeping in the middle of it! I started shouting, “Bear!!!” and backing away. As a result, my shouting woke it up, and terrified, the poor bear ran off into the bush. My companions and I immediately headed to the food stash to see if we had been raided. There are no markets in a fiord, and the boat would not be back to pick us up for 8-days, so we were all praying that slippery rock pinnacle worked as had been suggested...
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015


TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #30
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #30:  A shoreline and beach are rare in a sheer-walled fjord. “Black Bear Beach” was lavish. At lowest tide, the first exposed shore rocks are kelp covered, REALLY slippery and pretty much not navigable while carrying a boat and heavy gear in wet, clumsy rubber boots. A bit higher up the beach, the kelp gives way to moss, less slippery but still difficult and uneven to scramble over. Best to land-and-launch at highest possible tides. At "Black Bear Beach," beyond the rocks at shoreline there was an actual sand berm slowly being invaded by the ever-encroaching bush-thrash. The tents went there and it would be our last "soft" bed for awhile. The kitchen was a good distance away in a rocky cove. And as advised, before going to bed we stashed the heavy food bag -- with great difficulty -- on a towering, slimy, moss-covered shoreline boulder (with no trees around, the boulder was the most unreachable location). We covered the stoves and kitchen gear with the blue rain tarp, and "rocked" it down an all sides, in case it was windy / stormy that night.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015


TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #29
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #29:  Returning to the map once again, we have paddled “up” #TracyArm, coming in from the lower left corner. On our first night, we camped at the tiny V-shape on the left #shoreline, directly across from the point of land where the #fjord turns right. Leaving that camp we have been paddling further up-arm (to the right). Were you to follow along the bottom wall of the fjord, you can see the big bay beneath #IcefallLake. Then it's followed by two smaller bays continuing up-fjord. Finally you round a section of wall and a green #river valley is visible, cutting back deeply into the #range. That river has carried enough debris into Tracy Arm to create a very substantial rocky beach and shoreline. This is the last time we will have such luxury.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015


TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #28
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #28:  Finally some breaks appeared in the clouds, and we entered the section of the #fjord that we thought hosted our intended camping beach. On the right hand side of the fjord, a large #valley with a sizable #river came through from ranges in #Canada. On the topo map it appeared the river created a rocky beach with some actual shoreline, and room to set up tents and a kitchen. One of our guide friends in #Juneau had warned, however, that we needed to stash our food bag(s) on the HIGHEST shoreline rock we could reach. This was because black bears followed the river down out of Canada, and sometimes they would show up and raid a camp that was left unprotected. I understood, BUT at the moment looking at these walls, all I could think of was, "rock climbing black bears... Really!?!"
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015


TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #27
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #27:  Back in the boats, we were finally a bit more comfortable. And we were sure sometime relatively soon we would happen upon “Black Bear Beach,” our intended camp for the night. In the interim, the clouds lowered once again, however it didn't rain. Our continuing paddle brought us back into our heightened state of reality, and when we floated up to this berg, I was feeling particularly “heightened.” You could not dream this stuff up:  how is this for a luminous blue? The sculptor did a pretty nice job as well!. This little puppy (actually it was quite large) ate up a bit of our time as we could not resist paddling around and around it, watching the light change its coloration, and listening to the hiss and pop of its ongoing meltdown.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015


TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #26
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #26:  Finding a location where one can pee while kayaking in a #fjord is tricky business. Between the vertical walls and the moss / seaweed covered occasional rock shelf, options are few and far between. We all needed to stop, and finally we came upon a small ledge that did not look too slippery. And it was JUST above our present water level so we could scramble onto it from our boats. It was so small, it could only accommodate one of us at a time, and as I was finishing my turn, this image started to happen. With my rain gear around my ankles, I quickly crawled back to my kayak in my long johns, scrambling for my #camera. After several #frames, I finally exhaled, lost in the reverie of the view. Then I heard Carey teasingly say, “Can you please get on with this, I have to pee, too!”
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015


TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #25
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #25:  Of course, if you have to pee, the sound of running water only makes things worse. With all the #rain, the sound of running water surrounded me... and then we came to this #cove. The heavy enduring rain had turned this waterfall into a raging monster. For me the sound of “big water” only made things more urgent, but I was certainly NOT going to find anyplace to stand around here. Really? All I need is just a little shelf that is not too slippery. Oh yeah, this is a fjord!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #24
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #24:  The mood and sense of place changed quickly and dramatically as the #weather poured through. As you saw in the last post, we paddled for a while in nearly zero visibility. Then suddenly, the #rain would stop and the sky would lift, and we would be staring at increasingly huge walls and summits that we didn't even know were there just minutes earlier. It was breathtaking, and clearly one of the greatest shows on earth. The gods were kind enough to offer me some dry moments, as well, so I could change #film. With this show going on I was burning through film. Now, if I could only find an actual shore to stand on so I could get out of the kayak for a minute and pee…
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #23
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #23:  Paddling for most of the day is a meditative thing; you become aware of every nuance to your seated position and your stroke. You also become VERY aware of the world around you that you are passing through; a truly heightened state of perception. As I floated amidst this #landscape, I realized my allusion to #Chinese scroll #paintings left me with a sense of paddling back in time. However WILDERNESS was speaking to me at some other level, and I also sensed we were paddling, NOT up the fjord, BUT into a crack in the world where we might see, or sense, the inner-workings of this #planet.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #22
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #22:  The sound of cascading #water continued to increase throughout the morning as the #weather closed around us and it rained REALLY hard. We were headed about 6-miles further up the arm to a place on the map identified as #BlackBearBeach (more about that later). For the moment we were part of an amazing adventure. Receding #canyons to where? #Summits, walls, and #waterfalls were all disappearing and re-appearing in the #fog and #weather squalls, floating in an abstract space like a #Chinese scroll painting. And we were three puny humans in funny little boats riding one of the world’s largest #tidal surges into the heart of some of the tallest coastal #mountains in the world! This was a pretty cosmic paddle... and we weren't even there 24-hours yet!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #21
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #21:  A kayaker's perspective in a large #fjord is an amazing thing. Because you can quite literally paddle right next to walls that rise 2,500-feet, it gives you a stunning sense of the fjord's sheer "verticality". The idea that a fjord is all carved-out by #glacial #ice is very humbling. Often the enormous walls seem to go up endlessly into the sky. With every passing squall, I could sense how these summits shredded the storms flowing up-fjord out of the #Pacific. Storms wrung an immense amount of moisture out of fjords, streaming down the walls, and feeding the lush growth coming out of every crack and crevice. The sound of cascading water resonated throughout our morning paddle, changing with every bend, bay, or newly revealed streaming rock face.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #20
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #20:  About mid-morning we lost our spots of sunlight and big #weather moved back in around us. At first, we were just slog-paddling in the #rain, but I got hot and humid, working up a sweat inside my rain jacket because the weather was actually quite temperate. I decided to take the jacket off and just paddle in my #Patagonia capilene undershirt. I was generating so much heat, I actually steamed, and the shirt never saturated because my heat evaporated the rainfall that contacted it. It was cool and very refreshing and changed the mood of my paddle. It was not easy to work from the kayak and keep the #cameras dry, but as I was struggling less to be personally comfortable, I could now enjoy the amazing show the weather and the #fjord were putting on.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #19
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #19:  A large #iceberg presents a curious kayaker with a tricky issue of judgment. There is no doubt that getting up-close-and-personal is REALLY interesting.  Icebergs are beautifully sculptural, some of the colors and shades seem out-of-this-world, and they make amazing sounds, dripping and cracking. HOWEVER – and I have seen this happen MANY times – because of melting, they will fall out-of-balance and roll over in the water without any warning. THAT could easily capsize or crush a kayak that was too close, and a big berg might also send out a capsizing wave. So here, Russell and Carey are “considering” their approach. Hard not to want to go in for a closer look. I mean, where in the world are we really AND will we ever be here again!?!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #18
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #18:  My colleague, Russell, and Carey were in the 2-man “cargo” kayak for the day, allowing me to work and use them as models. Much #ice moves up and down #TracyArm with the fluctuation of the #tide and some of it – as you have seen in previous posts – is considerable in size. Here Russell and Carey approach the first sizeable #berg of the morning, glowing blue in the spot of sunlight. The resident #bird population is clearly concerned about the strange object approaching them. And you can see what a lovely day it was weather-wise.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #17
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #17:  Not unexpectedly, the familiar sound of #raindrops on the big blue camp tarp started about midnight and was pretty fierce for two or three hours. By breakfast, however, the gods were kind and the weather broke off. We got a good meal and loaded the boats without getting our gear soaked, then we were off for the day. The heavy #rainfall during the night, and the #weather system moving through, brought the steep walls of #TracyArm alive with flowing #water. With the summits playing peek-a-boo in the clouds, our paddle would start up the narrowing arm at a low tide, riding the incoming surge up-arm to what we hoped would be the next accessible camp. Paddling near the walls was especially interesting because the 18-foot #tide exposed #shellfish, #starfish, and marine growth clinging to the sheer #fiord shoreline WELL ABOVE US!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #16
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #16:  Looking at the map again, a #fiord #summit comes in from the bottom-right of this frame. The tip of this wall/summit points to the top-left corner of this image at the bend of the arm. Look directly across the arm from that point and you will see a distinct up-side-down “V” on the opposite shore that clearly has a #stream drainage coming down the #mountain slope above to meet the tip of the “V” – that is our camp. Not only was it an excellent location, we would discover it to be the last usable site for MANY miles once we started our paddle up the arm to the right. Notice #IcefallLake in the lower-right of the frame. That is a very large lake, 1,500-feet straight-up the wall, ABOVE the fiord!!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #15
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #15:  As I always do, once chores and food were accomplished, I took the #camera and wandered. I thought I would follow the stream to see what I might find, however the open floor we were camped upon quickly gave way to classic #rainforest bushwhack. I love #Alaska's #Tongass rainforest and the verdant understory, BUT it is a ruthless undergrowth to try and traverse. For those unfamiliar with this #habitat, while it may appear leafy-ferny-mossy, that is a dangerous illusion. Notice the upper-third of this picture, filled with the large, luminous, green-and-yellow leaves connected to the tree-like branches. They may look lushly beautiful, YET the plant is called Devil’s Club for a reason – EVERY branch and EVERY leaf is covered with thousands of spiny thorns, the bigger the branches/leaves, the bigger the thorns. This plant also entwines its limbs through other vegetation, so if you are bushwacking you are constantly being spiked through your clothing.  Exposed hands can really take a beating with just an off-balance grab of the wrong thing!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #14
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #14:  TRULY a great find, our #cove not only had a small gravel #beach that was not steep (in a #fiord getting ashore can be difficult), the freshwater #stream came out of a #forest that was large enough to have a big canopy and some open forest floor with room to position the tents and establish a kitchen. The trees not only serve as tie-offs for the “roof” above the kitchen, their branches make stashing food from #bears for the night, much simpler. These are all LUXURIES we will soon appreciate!!!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #13
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #13:   Still adjusting to the #kayak positioning, and the strength demands of somewhat constant paddling, Carey is more than happy to be ashore, and in the process of stretching her back in an alternative direction for awhile. The clouds have lifted, the rain seems to be clearing momentarily, camp has been set-up in the woods, a meal is being prepared, and we are officially OUT THERE – very much on our own. Our party of three has two kayaks.  A single, and a two-man “cargo” carrier, which are off the beach, anchored to trees in the forest. The tide tonight will leave about 1-foot of shore between the mossy forest floor and the saltwater line, so nothing can be left on the beach or it will be swept away.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #12
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #12:   As long as we kept moving, we knew there would be fewer beaches and ever more steep walls.  However we hoped to find one forest camp before entering the stone-zone. Hard to even see on the available map, JUST before the paddle would make the right turn, up-arm, we found this spot.  A sizeable beach (that would go under at high tide), a freshwater source, AND a nice accessible forest floor thickly draped in rainforest beauty. Six + miles and we would be home for the night!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #11
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #11:  Returning to the map once again, we paddled out of #HolkhamBay (bottom of the image) and are paddling up into #TracyArm. From our drop point in the bay, we were hoping to cover about 1/3 of our total paddle distance in that first day and camp as close as we could get to where the arm bends to the right. If you follow the shoreline around #WilliamsCove you can see beach, but AFTER passing the cove... not so much! A little further up-arm, a small beach on the left juts out, but there was no convenient freshwater, AND it looked like the beach would go under at peak tide. The right-hand shore was a vertical wall of trees and there was NOTHING there, so we continued to paddle towards the bend as we were still running with the tide.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #10
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #10:  We paddled for several hours in relative quietude, hearing only the splash-and-pull of our strokes. We were all trying to get comfortably positioned in our kayaks as we would be living in them for the next 10-days, and we had A LOT of paddling to do. We also wanted to establish some rhythm with our paddle strokes. The stone #beaches along the #shoreline slowly gave way to rock walls of increasing scale, all densely populated with trees and undergrowth right to the saltwater line. The #fjord was unfolding before us. Looking back toward our starting point, most of #HolkhamBay and the surrounding ranges had disappeared in the low clouds. The water around us seemed like glass, only we were definitely moving past the shore at a notable clip headed, for the moment, up-arm.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #9
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #9: I was amazed at the rate the tide was moving; you could quite literally cruise along without much paddling, and when you paddled it was like flying. Rock points and shallow bars ran out from various coves along the #shoreline and this particular extension served as a haul-out for seals until the inflowing tide submerged everything. Remember, this tide flux is a VERTICAL 18+-feet. That could cover hundreds of yards on a gently sloping beach. Our mission was to find a location that had freshwater nearby, AND did not go underwater at high tide.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #8
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #8:  As the last of our gear was stowed in our kayaks, and we squeezed ourselves in, the #weather came.  It started to rain, and you could hear the noise of the waves and riffles as the #tidalflow began across the bar, and up into the arm. We confirmed with our boat-drop the day, date and place for our pick-up, and then he waved us farewell with these parting words (which I have used MANY times since), "Now you are going to find out how big this place is!" As we paddled into the tidal current and began to accelerate, we passed some of the first large #icebergs that came down the arm. These had grounded themselves on the bar and awaited the rising, reversing tide to push them free....
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #7
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #7: So, let’s take another, closer look at the map. Our boat has dropped us in sheltered water between the large island and the peninsula extending from the mainland. When these #fiords were created, the #EndicottGlacier came from the lower-right, and the #SawyerGlacier (#TracyArm) came from the upper-left carving solid granite thousands of feet above water AND thousands of feet now-below the water in the fiord. At some point there was probably a consolidated glacial face that extended into #Stephen’sPassage, but most notably when the glaciers retreated their silt and sand moraine formed a very shallow bar extending from the peninsula ACROSS the entrance to Tracy Arm. We would now kayak with the accelerating tidal flow over that bar and into the arm. When we return from our trip up-arm, we will camp on the very tip of the peninsula to witness the year’s highest/lowest tide and await our boat pick-up.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #6
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #6:  We chose to make this kayak trip up into #TracyArm at the #solstice high-tide of late summer. We would be paddling and camping in one of the greatest #fiord tidal exchanges in the world; more than 18-feet, twice each day. In the huge water exchange of the fiord, you do NOT want to be paddling against the current! We hoped to reach #Holkham Bay from #Juneau at slack-tide, offload the kayaks and all the gear into them, and start paddling up the arm as the tide exchanged and the current began to move in our direction. We were right on time, and the still waters of Holkham rippled as we dropped our boats overboard into the water. The weather wrapped itself around us, however it was barely raining. Our "trip" was about to begin...
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #5
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #5: After prepping gear in our hotel room at the ever-lovely Alaskan Hotel and Bar in #Juneau, we gathered it and our kayaks together at the dock.  There we were met by a willing local with a fishing boat who was going to run us down #StephensPassage and drop us in #HolkhamBay to start our trip. The day had a lot of weather moving through:  low clouds and constant rain squalls.  While the weather was much as we expected, I took it as a good sign when we rounded the corner into Holkham Bay and a "fool's hole" opened in the clouds, illuminating the #SumdumGlacier. In southeast #Alaska, timing the tide is EVERYTHING!  And we were entering the bay at near slack-water, the point at which the outgoing tide turns and becomes an incoming tide.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #4
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #4:  Our #kayak trip was a party of three, with one solo kayak, and one two-man "cargo" kayak. #TracyArm is in one of the wettest parts of the #Tongass rainforest, so since this is to be a 10-day trip, gear prep-to-perfection is a must. We had just come from another (shorter) adventure getting "warmed-up", and we staged for this next paddle out of the ever-lovely #AlaskanHotel and Bar. Originally it was a saloon and whore house on Main Street, and in 1988 not a lot of the ambiance had changed but the name. The rooms still had huge mirrored bureaus in front of the beds, the bedcovers were the same red velvet as the drapes with white lace curtains. For us, the best was that it was cheap, AND all the plumbing pipes were exposed. Here you see me (in my original printing of Ray Troll's first t-shirt, "Spawn Til You Die") drying and sorting gear in my room. The Patagonia capilene is draped on the feeble radiator, and my tent is up-side-down hanging from pipes. Here I am draining tent poles still leaking water, and the rainfly covers a door on the bureau. I see stoves and fuel cans. I see drippy daypacks. I see... wait, where is the bed!?!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #3
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #3: This view of #Tracy Arm-Ford's Terror #Wilderness isolates #TracyArm and its "entrance". It also shows the features of the topography, more photographically delineating the large snowfields that are atop the fiord system, which you can't always see from the water. In reference to the previous map posted, #StephensPassage is the blue of the lower left corner. #HolkhamBay is the "entrance" from the passage into the arms - #EndicotArm turns to the right and goes out of the bottom of this image. #TracyArm goes in the opposite direction right to the top of the map, then makes a dramatic right turn, winding its way back to the North and South #Sawyer tidewater glaciers which terminate the fiord (for now). Note the island in #HolkhamBay and the small peninsula of land extending into the bay next to the island. Look more closely and you can see a line of watercolor difference running across the mouth of Tracy Arm from the peninsula to the shore on the other side. THAT is a very shallow bar that actually has waves when the tide rushes over it.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #2
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #2: Sorry for the tiny type in this screen shot, however follow me here and you will get this. NO topographic is complete enough for you to understand the scale and sheerness of these #fiords, so my pictures will attempt to do that from sea-level, but I wanted you to have this larger view to establish location. The #Tongass is #America's largest national #forest, and as a r#ainforest, one of the most unique in the world because it is non-equitorial. The Tongass spreads over more than 1,000 mostly mountainous US islands along the southernmost US/Alaska border with #Canada, an area referred to in Alaska as 'Southeast'. In this map, the white to the right is Canada. The line at the green shading is the US border. Immediately thereafter you are among some of the TALLEST COASTAL MOUNTAINS ON THE PLANET. The wiggly blue "arms" are the #Tracy Arm-Ford's Terror #Wilderness, created by deep and massive glacial carving from #glaciers that have now retreated and the #ocean has flooded in. Tracy Arm is at the top-middle of the map. #Endicot Arm is the larger/longer arm extending to the bottom of the map. The very narrow arm running north from the center of Endicot is #Ford's Terror. Further right, #Stephen's Passage is the blue with the line through it. #Juneau is to the north. #Ketchikan is south. To the far left is the green of #Admiralty Island National Monument.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #1
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #1: The end of this month marks the official 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act (#Wilderness). HAPPY 50TH WILDERNESS ACT!! To celebrate, there are many photography exhibitions around the country, and on August 30th, I will be part of one that opens at the Crary Art Gallery in Warren, PA entitled: "Wilderness at 50: Photographic Reflections on the Legacy of Tionesta Visionary Howard Zahniser." Howard Zahniser envisioned and helped draft the original Wilderness Act and he lived nearby (Tionesta). Of the many photographers who have remarkable images made IN wilderness areas, I AM ONE OF THE FEW WHOSE WORK HAS ACTUALLY HELPED CREATE WILDERNESS AREAS. So, in celebration of the 50th, I am starting this new blog which will be focused on a wilderness area in the #Tongass rainforest of southeast Alaska. The tale will tell of a 10-day kayak trip that forever altered how I see the world - a testament to WHY wilderness is important. I hope you enjoy this new blog - Welcome to Tracy Arm-Ford's Terror Wilderness!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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