Several miles further up the valley and another day by pack horse we had another camp, more remote and primitive called Camp Glacier. At the time of this picture one of my best friends from Alabama Randy was the camp attendant. He had made this great sign welcoming newcomers and we almost fell off our horses rolling with laughter when we saw it. Randy acquired the name of "Captain Rock" because he smoked Captain Black pipe tobacco and he coined the phrase "rock-bite" after a long restless night of faint sleep on the rock infested ground of this area. He insisted that he had a bad infection of rock bite the following morning.
|Here's Randy after retrieving 90 pounds of meat, hide, and horns from a ram dall sheep taken by one of the clientele hunters. Randy's arrival at the ranch was a big surprise. After I got to Alaska I had written him a long letter describing where I was working and living in the log cabin. He was so impressed that he got on the phone with Austin and within a few days he'd flown into Anchorage! When Mike flew in my weekly groceries at base camp Randy was with him and I had no idea that he was coming, and still can't believe it today! We had a great summer in '79 and '80 and Randy returned every season for the next 6 years and became a guide.|
Camp Glacier was basically three ten man army tents and a small canvas wall tent for cooking. It was the last low land camp before the valley split into two glaciers about a mile away. From here we had one more camp called the Silver Spoon Camp high up above the tree line.
|For a better perspective on Camp Glacier from high above, it is hard to see because the green army tents blend into the terrain so well... but it is located beside the small feeder stream in the open area below the trees in the lower, right side of the photo.|
|A nice full-curl set of sheep horns after a successful hunt.|
Here's Randy cutting and scraping the flesh and fatty tissue off of a dall sheep hide. Virtually nothing from the animal was wasted. Of course the hunter would take the trophy head and horns and hide, but all of the meat was taken back to the ranch where guests were served only the best! The morning after a successful hunt we always prepared the liver with eggs in campsite.
This is looking back out of the valley towards the ranch some 20 miles away with the Talkeetna mountains in the background. On clear days we often could see Denali, the tallest mountain in North America! I didn't make much money out here but how can you put a price on something like this? I will return again.
|Looking the other direction from the mountainside above Camp Glacier was Powell Glacier coming directly out of the coastal icefields. Another smaller glacier branches off to the right side.|
|I took this picture directly at the base of the glacier shown above. This is the outside of the ice cave coming out of the glacier and from whence the river flows. About once a week while in Camp Glacier I had to hike here to chop off chunks of ice for our coolers and haul it back in a backpack. No zippy marts around here!|
|On one such trip I just couldn't resist hiking a short distance into this huge ice cathedral to explore a bit. I could see where huge car-sized chunks of ice had fallen from the ceiling and this probably wasn't the safest place to be alone, but I lived through another bout of curiosity and have some magnificent memories.|
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