You are never really that far away from glaciers in Alaska - although nearly
all of them are rapidly receding. (Did you know that Glacier National Park
out West will be entirely melted by the time our children get old.)

The primo way to experience glaciers quickly is to get on the one day cruise
called 27 Glacier Cruise. It's about an hour drive or train ride south of
Anchorage to a coastal town called Whittier. Even with all the great scenery,
the last couple miles are the most incredible as you get up close and personal
in a narrow tunnel driving a few miles through the center of a mountain.

Whittier is a very small town. Nearly the whole town lives in two large buildings
built by the military around world war 2. Hey - just found there is a web cam on the 14th
floor of where most of those folks live

The reason 27 Glacier Cruse is king: they have the fastest boat. It's a catamaran that goes nearly
50 mph. With that speed, you get to more glaciers than any of the other tours.

This was the coldest part of the trip. Of course you can't get licking close to the biggest ice cubes
on the planet without experiencing some of their bone chilling aura. We took lots and lots of pictures
but looking at them all now, it seems pretty silly to say this is Shmoozolostiens Glacier and that one
is Abrakaneezer's Glacier and so on. Actually most of the glaciers we saw were named after Ivy
League schools. Now that makes a lot of sense, doesn't it.

As we slid up close to one of the biggest of these guys and the engines got quiet, something awesome
went into our senses...   continued in part 2