Misty Fjords, Ketchikan, Alaska
When I spotted this postcard in a shop in Ketchikan with a photograph of Misty Fjord National Monument in Alaska by Michael M. Anderson it immediately reminded me of places in Norway. The card is another “Alaska Joe” original distributed by Greatland Classic Sales Col, Inc. and has the number 82-13BG on the reverse. The blurb on the card states: “Misty Fjord National Monument is home to incredible beauty with its granite cliffs extending to the sky and its gorgeous blue lakes.”
Located in a portion of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska’s Panhandle, about 40 miles or 64 km east of Ketchikan, the first European to visit was George Vancouver in 1793. It is a remote area accessed by cruise ships or aircraft. There are overnight charter services for people wanting to spend more exploring by kayak. Our cruise ship did not visit Misty Fjords so we did not see this in person.
John Muir compared its geology and glacial morphology to Yosemite Valley. The light colored granite sculpted by glaciers is about 50 to 70 million years old. Even though they are not manmade many of the glacial valleys are called canals filled with sea water. The near-vertical walls rise 2,000 to 3,000 ft or 600 to 900 m above the sea level and drop into the sea another 1,000 ft or 300 m below. There are several small glaciers in the high plateaus and valleys.
President Jimmy Carter proclaimed it a national monument in 1978.
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