Tracy Arm – Ford’s Terror Wilderness: Day 4

Dawes Glacier Iceberg


The fourth day of the trip was all about moving camp. From the tip of Endicott Arm, near the face of the Dawes Glacier, we traveled nearly half the distance back to Holkham Bay in order to spend the remainder of our adventure at the poignantly named Ford’s Terror Fjord. From breakfast until a late dinner, hardly more than a handful of minutes went by without our paddles in the water, but it felt good to exert myself in that fashion. The reward for the effort was ever evident as we glided swiftly past the coastal rocks and vegetation. That is certainly one of the great advantages to traveling along a relatively narrow body of water. You avoid the monotony of traversing vast stretches of open water with no points of reference for use in gauging progress. My satisfaction with the trip was also aided by the fact that I was sharing my tandem kayak with a woman with plenty of experience paddling her own personal craft on the lakes south of Fairbanks.

While conditions were generally pleasant, the weather was wonderfully dynamic in Endicott Arm throughout the entire day. It was a dream come true for someone, like me, who derives such great satisfaction from the visual beauty of his or her surroundings. Sometimes the low lying clouds that clung to the peaks would be rapidly breaking apart to let rays of sunlight stream through and light up the bare rocky slopes that glistened with rainwater or the dark green forests that grew ever thicker and more prevalent as we traveled away from the end of the fjord. A moment later we would be watching a veil of rain making its way in our direction, past each successive ridge jutting out into the waters ahead of us. When crepuscular rays filled the entire sky and spilled down over the mountain into the water across from the inlet to Ford’s Terror, I could hardly contain my joy!

Storm Clouds Over Sculpted Peaks