To say we were excited to visit our partners at Alaska Glacier Products (which bottles Clear Alaskan Glacier water) is an understatement. We had initially planned to visit Alaska last spring, but postponed due to pandemic precautions, making our recent trip Soho Waterworks’s first official source visit. It could not have been more spectacular.
GETTING LAY OF THE LAND
After a long flight, we arrived just in time for a sunset so pretty, we kept pulling over our rental car to take photos. The next morning, we arrived at Alaska Glacier Products to finally meet the incredible partners that we’ve been Zooming with for the past year. We were able to meet the staff, tour the bottling facility, and did a market tour to see how the water is distributed and sold locally. It was so special to see Clear Alaskan Glacial on shelves just a few miles from where it’s bottled.
One of the key destinations of our trip was Eklutna Lake: the 10,000-year-old lake formed by Eklutna Glacier, the source for Clear Alaskan Glacier water. Though we had a bit of a misadventure en route — our car broke down on the icy road just as we were about to ascend the mountain — we eventually made it to this incredibly beautiful place. Beyond the water that’s bottled for Clear Alaskan Glacial, the lake is the primary water source for most of the people who live in and around Anchorage.
Due to the geographical location of the Eklutna Glacier — a 20+ mile hike in from the lake — we opted to visit Matanuska Glacier, which is open with limited public access. Sadly, we stopped so many times to capture photos on the way there, we arrived just after it was closed…but because Alaskans are so nice, a member of the visitors center staff wound up letting us in for a quick peek. It was spectacular. To be there after closing when no one else was there, it looked and felt as if time had stopped 600 million years ago and we were the only ones on Earth.
DENALI NATIONAL PARK
On our last full day, we had the privilege to tour Denali National Park and Preserve from the smallest plane we’d ever been in. To be honest, it felt a tiny bit scary to board a vessel so small that it carries a weight manifest, but we’re so glad we did! The weather was absolutely perfect as we approached Mount McKinley. Our pilot said that in the 30 years he’d been giving tours by plane, this was one of the clearest days he’d ever seen. To be able to see the landscape from that perspective was such an important reminder of how small we are compared to the resources on this planet, and how much they demand our respect and protection.
Just like our arrival, our departure was marked with another stunning sunset. Everything in between was just icing. From touring Denali Park by air to finally having the chance to meet our partners at Alaska Glacier Products, it was quite the trip. We feel incredibly grateful to work in the water industry and have the means to visit our sources first-hand. It’s such an important step, and now that we’re on the other side of the pandemic, it feels wonderful to make source visits like this happen.