We took a boat tour to Portage Glacier this morning (first 5 pictures). As you can see, we were blessed with a clear, sunny day so the glacier was a beautiful blue. Portage Glacier was a local name first recorded in 1898. It was named because it is on a portage route between Prince William Sound and Turnagain Arm. Hundreds of years ago the glacier filled the entire Portage Valley, a distance of 14 miles, and was connected to what are now five separate glaciers.
We took advantage of the unusually sunny weather and decided to go to Whittier for a picnic lunch. This area that we have been in for the last few days is a coastal rainforest that evidently gets a lot of rain (which we cannot attest to as it was sunny most of the time). To get to Whittier you have to go through the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel—the longest (2.5 miles) highway tunnel in North America, and the first designed for -40 Fahrenheit temperatures and 150 mph winds. The one-lane tunnel must be shared by cars and trains traveling in both directions, and it usually needs to be aired out in between trips (with jet turbine ventilation, another first).
The next four pictures are from Whittier. Sharon and Leslie also got to do a bit of shopping and we all had some delicious ice cream. The cruise ship in the next to the last picture is the ship that was used in filming the television series The Love Boat (for those of you old enough to remember). It is the 50th anniversary of Princess Cruise Lines, so they brought the boat out just for this year. After the ice cream, we felt we needed a bit of a walk, so we took a short hike to Byron Glacier (last picture).