The ice cave
I stood on the deck of the Wilderness Discoverer and watched fellow guests on the Alaska cruise return from their hike to the Baird glacier. I went on a similar hike earlier that day and I was completely blown away by the surreal landscapes. As they boarded the ship, I approached them and queried excitedly, “Did the guide show you the ice cave?”. They looked at me with a puzzled expression. “What ice cave?”, one of them asked. Now it was my turn to look puzzled. I told them about my hike to the glacier and where we stopped to look at a narrow crack in the glacier. The guide explained to us that this was the entrance to a unique ice cave that once formed part of the glacier. As the glacier changed its course through thousands of years, the river that flows under the glacier carved out a massive ice cave. I knew then that I definitely wanted to see the cave. That narrow opening in the ice was not going to deter me.
A few of us volunteered to follow our guide into the cave. It was a bit of a squeeze but after several yards, the crack opened into a wider tunnel. With the help of our torches, we could see that the walls were blackish grey with hints of blue. I was glad we attached metal spikes under the soles of our shoes as the floor was solid ice. After several minutes, I noticed an ethereal blue glow at the end of the tunnel not too far away. It was a wondrous sight that made us stop in our tracks for several moments. We continued our trek to the end of the tunnel in total awe. As we neared the end, the glow became more intense and we switched off our torch-lights. The scene at the end of the tunnel was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Before us was a huge blue cave, complete with icy stalactites and stalagmites. An absolutely magical sight!
As I told my story, the guests looked at me in complete bewilderment. I could sense their growing envy, and frustration for not being given this option by their guide. I continued with my story: “Do you remember the first Superman movie? The guide said that the scenes in which Superman was born were filmed right in this cave”. One of the guests started howling with laughter and that set me off too – I couldn’t hold it together anymore.
It took a few moments before everyone realised I’d just told them a tall tale. They burst out laughing and one of them promised to get even one day.
I love making up stories – I probably inherited that trait from my Dad.
Have you ever fooled your travel mates with a fabricated travel tale? Or have you ever been fooled? Please share them in the comments section below.
Look out for Part II of “Tall Tales from Alaska” next week.