National Geographic : 1973 Apr
Land of living glaciers, Alaska offered Muir a natural laboratory where he might prove the theories he had formulated in the Sierra- that great valleys like Yosemite owed their origin to glaciers rather than to cataclysms. He conducted the first explorations of Glacier Bay in 1879; the Indians who manned his canoes knew him as the "Ice Chief." Reminder of the Ice Age (below), a glowing iceberg drifts away from one of the many tidal glaciers pouring directly into the bay. At nearby Gustavus (left) wild flowers and a settler's cottage share a meadow that gains its richness from glacial silt. Muir, fusing the scientist's eye with the poet's vision, marveled that "out of all the cold darkness and glacial crushing and grinding comes this warm, abounding beauty... "Glacier Bay.... a picture of icy wildness unspeakably pure and sublime."