We walked back to our rafts and continued downriver…..
Floating, first, under the Million Dollar Bridge…..
Then right past the glacier!
It was an amazing experience…..We felt so connected to the whole glacier. Different than seeing it from across the river, or from a tour boat. We were floating in the river like the glacial silt and the icebergs that floated downstream.
That evening, we set up our last camp along the mighty Copper River.
The river was beginning to fan out into broad braids running across gravel beds and winding through a wide valley. The gravel bar that we camped on was a bit scrappy, but serviceable.
As we sat around enjoying the ‘happy hour’ snacks, Kate entertained us on her violin and Dale joined her on his guitar.
We built a fire, as was the evening routine, this time in the fire pan……
And savored good food, good company and good fellowship…..We knew that this was our last night of this trip, which gave the evening a mellow mood…..
As the sunset colored the sky, we felt a sense of satisfaction and pride.
With just one night, then the next morning to go, we knew that we had made it through this journey, and had done it with style. We had weathered the rain and the cold, had suffered the annoyance of the bugs and the discomfort of sleeping on the hard ground and of really needing a shower. We knew that we could live with a bit of discomfort, yet still have a wonderful time.
This kind of guided trip certainly brings a level of luxury to the experience, however the remoteness of the setting as well as the fact that there is 'no turning back' creates a need to learn to deal with the elements and take each day as it comes.