Trip of a lifetime – part three
The scenery was almost unreal. Filmic and perfect. The trees were vibrant, luminous greens of emerald and lime, the sky a turquoise cloudless blue, the canyon sides obsidian black which became navy under the rays of the sun. The air smelled freshly of pine and a hint of wood smoke hung in the still air. The spectacular and huge panorama was reflected in the seemingly bottomless lake headed by a magnificent, breathtaking glacier a short distance away. They stopped paddling. Jill smiled
‘Its always like seeing it for the first time’.
They were used to the eerie noises and understood that although it never looked much different, the glacier was fluid and ever moving. It cracked and creaked and groaned. Once Jill had said it was as if it was gently speaking in tongues but today Quinn thought it sounded angry and fierce. Both felt the same urgency to get moving across the half mile of the lake. The glacier issued a long and low rumbling growl. The sound increased like a pebbled wave breaking on the shore. A whip-like crack filled the air of the canyon, startling birds out of the trees. Slowly, gently but majestically a wall of the glacier, thirty foot across and twenty foot high broke free and began to slip into the lake. Iceberg like, the majority of the sheet ice slid gently into the water but the top third crashed like a felled tree, slapping the water hard.
The first wave was relatively gentle. It was just a hilled swell followed by more in evenly spaced rippled succession. The inflatable bobbed and Josh laughed as Quinn’s hat fell off and into the water. His laugh echoed across the lake. Quinn turned excitedly towards Jill, kayaking just behind
‘Wow! Did you see that?’
Jill did not respond. Her shoulders were tense. She looked anxiously towards the camp, just a few short metres away.
‘Quinn, quickly, quickly, paddle toward the shore – hurry!’.
Momentarily Quinn was confused. He did not understand the fear in Jill’s voice.
The rippled swells from the glacier fall had made their way, quietly and gently towards the shore. As they met land they bounced away, like disturbed water in a bathtub and moved towards the ripples still coming from the ice fall. Where they met their combined force caused a turbulence. Not that of a storm, or even the passing of a motor boat but as Jill had immediately understood, enough to turn the inflatable kayaks.
‘Get the kids out of the water Quinn!’.