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Thursday - 6:00 AM: Ben BACKED the truck and trailer (and Sherrila had to BACK the van) down a ramp into the bowels of the ferry, M/V Aurora, for the trip to Whittier. The ferry paused near the front of the famous Columbia Glacier with its multi-shades of blue ice and we delighted in watching sea otters, a fluke-waving whale, bald eagles, sea lions and hundreds of Kittiwakes (a variety of gulls which nested on the cliff face near the glacier). At 1 PM we drove off the ship, damaging the trailer levelers at the back of the Jellybean because of the sharp angle at the bottom of the ramp. Sherrila had no trouble with the van.
After negotiating the 4-mile-long Portage Tunnel when it was our turn (see notes with photos), we drove to the Portage Valley Cabins & RV Park, located in a beautiful wooded setting. Originally homesteaded in the 80's (on the last day this was legally possible to do so) by a couple who had 5 children but no electricity or water(!), it is now run by a single lady with occasional visits from her grown-up progeny. We had electricity, a cook shed with a propane stove (which we didn't need), bottles of drinking water and our choice of two outhouses.
After a trip to the Visitor Center at Portage Glacier Park and a sight seeing cruise near the imposing glacier, Ben and Margaret went for a walk to explore the area around the RV park. While they were examining some large moose tracks, they sighted a big, brown, furry-looking lump about 20 yards away. It was either a sleeping (or dead) moose, a large bear, or a very furry rock. Not having the courage to get closer, they took a picture and quietly retreated. Later they reported the discovery to the proprietress who promised to have some workers check on it the next day.
We had steak and broccoli for dinner and, thanks to our mosquito repellant, a good night's sleep.