Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It's Definitely Worth It! - Emmons Glacier

Hiking is not my cup of tea.  The majesty of the mountains and nature is rather lost on me. Maybe I have been slightly desensitized from all the dramatic documentaries of ‘fantastic worldly places’ I have seen and slightly jaded from movies like Avatar.  Nature is not as endearing as it once was. Hikes had become rather mundane, especially when flying dragons and light-up mushrooms are a click away.
Emmons was a bit different. It was beautiful. The trail curved around almost vertical streams. They were transfixing; the white water was vastly different from the shades of green that surrounded it. The river itself was completely different from every other river I had seen. I had not seen a more photogenic scene in my life.
The water was almost white and running at a leisurely pace through the ravine. It was nestled in between the moraines, the rocks piled from Emmons movement. Oddly enough, it looked like milk running through the rocks.
Colors clashed around the trail, from the tan-browns of the rocks, piled and loose, to the striking white of the ice and water. Around the trail is a sea of green trees, their pointed tips waving to the stark blue of the summer skies. Upon close inspection, hikers can find small creatures going about their business in the trees.
Emmons is receding. The ablation zone grows larger with every year. The ecological repercussions of the slow loss of Emmons are…distressing. We are losing the glacier and the river it provides. But it leaves a picture-perfect ravine and reveals dusty rock that is gorgeous.
While it lasts, Emmons will provide the White River with water year round, becoming a haven for native species like the Bull Trout and Coastal Cutthroat Trout. Somehow thinking of White River as a home for the creatures makes it more beautiful.
 Anyone who is not sure if they want to take the drive to hike Emmons should go. The White River is worth seeing, just for the sake of being fiercely unique. It is in a category all its own. Emmons may disappear before most of us do. Going up to experience it before it’s gone is a better weekend plan than I have heard in a long time. 

Guest Post by Global Academy Student, Lauren D.    

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