Two RV Gypsies: Full-Time RVers

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The two RV Gypsies returned to
Matanuska Glacier in Glacier View, Alaska
and were surprised at how much it had changed.
July 23, 2009

The two RV Gypsies hiked on this glacier June 16, 2009 and again on July 23, 2009. The two RV Gypsies didn't even recognize the glacier the second time around because glaciers are always moving and changing and they could not find the big lake they found before. There is a charge to walk on this glacier, and it can be dangerous.

Matanuska Glacier is the largest glacier accessible by car in Alaska. The Matanuska Glacier is a large ice flow, 24 miles long and 4 miles wide at the terminus, averaging approximately 2 miles in width. This glacier is a valley glacier and it exists on a valley floor. The rocky dirt part at the beginning of the glacier has 600 feet of ice below the feet of visitors. Once on the ice part of the glacier, there is 900 feet of ice below your feet.
Matanuska Glacier

Below: The two RV Gypsies drove to the parking lot closest to the Matanuska Glacier and hiked over the gravel, sand and large boulders that has been deposited by the glacier as it advanced. They were totally amazed at how much the glacier had changed, because this time there was mud, more rocks, and the ice was crunchy in places, and often had a thin layer of water on the ice.

Unlike the first hike, there was a lot of deep crevices with running water and even one crevice about 50 feet deep with a "waterfall" in it. That definitely was not there before.

The two RV Gypsies were once again, alone on the glacier (which really is not safe to be alone on a glacier) and they unable to find or get to the lake like they did the first time, which was very disappointing. But they were glad to experience first-hand how much a glacier changes. Only tours with crampons could possibly get to the lake now. (Crampons are outdoor footwear that include pointed metal parts and are worn on boots to provide traction on snow and ice. The two RV Gypsies took a guided crampon tour of this glacier in 2016 - all photos can be found using the TOC button above.)

Matanuska Glacier
Matanuska Glacier
Below: water that wasn't there on the first hike that the two RV Gypsies took here.
new water
new water
new water
new water
below - a big mound that wasn't there before
rocky part of the Matanuska Glacier
a big mound
Lee Duquette on the Matanuska Glacier
Lee Duquette on the Matanuska Glacier
Lee on the grid to cross the muddy area - also not there on the last hike on this glacier.
crossing the muddy area
crossing the muddy area
a balancing rock - new too
a new, extremely deep crevice
a balancing rock
a new, deep crevice
Lee approached another new crevice and took a close-up photo of the crevice.
a new, deep crevice
a new, deep crevice
a new, deep crevice
a new, deep crevice

The crevice shown below appeared to be about 50 deep feet with a "waterfall" running down it because the top layer of water that is on the glacier is melting. Karen made Lee step back a bit, realizing the danger they could be in.

a new, deep crevice with waterfall
a new, deep crevice with waterfall
a new, deep crevice with waterfall
a new, deep crevice with waterfall
The stream of water leading to the above waterfall.
stream feeding the waterfall
Karen thought that the pointy looking ice seen below is the area the two RV Gypsies were trying to get to but could not. It was a very steep drop from here to there. They tried several other routes and just did not succeed. But it was still fun and they did get to the lake the first time around, and saw new stuff this time, so they were very happy.
glacier ice
glacier ice
look below

This is not a linear site, so visitors always have options of where to go next. Below are three options.

OR

back arrow If you missed the first hike (6/10/09) on Matanuska Glacier, where the two RV Gypsies got to the lake, click here to go back to it. You will see how very different this glaciers looked the second time around. But be sure to return to this page again in order to continue on this fabulous Alaska journey.

OR

back arrow Check out the crampon tour of Matanuska Glacier on July 18, 2016 - all three times on this glacier were very different