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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Broken Places

 
Don't despair over the broken places...
for the more broke we are,
the more His Light shines through.

Monday, September 21, 2015

To Alaska with Love...

It's been quiet on the blog these past weeks... I know.

The Farmer and I have slipped the sweltering heat of this Texas summer and found refreshment deep in the Majestic arms of Alaska!

Another Bucket List Vacation... To see Alaska and all her Beauty.  And might I just say that she did not disappoint!!

It has been a trip of pure joy.  We arrived back rested, refreshed and armed with thousands of pictures :-)  I promise to share only my favorites!

 (Warning: Picture-heavy post ahead!)

 
We traipsed from one end of Alaska to the other with our fabulous traveling partners and sweet friends, Tina and Stacy...
 
 
And oh, the things we saw!
 
 
 
We hiked mountains...
 
 
 
... and explored Glaciers!
 
 
 
 
 
We found the perfect get-away spot in our
Glacier View Log Cabin with views to swoon over...
 
 
 
 
In the land of the midnight sun, these windows provided
an endless display of God's spectacular perfection...
 
And when we weren't inside looking out,
we were outside, well, just looking...everywhere...
Alaska does "outside" very well!
 
Dog-sled practice...
 
 
Momma moose and her adorably gangly calf...
 
 
 
Charming harbors set against the most picturesque of backdrops...
 
 
 
We ambled from the mountains to the oceans,
and left our "mark" for those following behind...
 
 
 
The hikes were Hallelujah-Gorgeous...
 
 
 
Unspoiled beauty at every turn...
 
 
 
 
 
And Salmon in every stream and creek!
 
 
 
Of course, we hit the touristy places...
No one passes up the Red Dog Saloon!
 
 
And we had our "Bucket of Butt" in Homer...
The best Halibut we've ever had!
 
 
And Reindeer Dogs from a corner vendor :-)
 
 
 
After the chock-filled days of exploration and admiration,
Each night brought it's own special show...
 
 
 
And then, as if all that Alaska beauty wasn't heaven-enough,
we boarded our tiny little Adventure Ship for a week
of pure sailing bliss!
 
 
 

 
The Wilderness Discoverer sailed the Inside Passage
from Juneau to Ketchikan and took us to places
that we had only dreamed about...
 
Pristine, Raw and Powerful.
Our week of sailing with her crew was Magical!
 
 

 
We skiffed up to North Sawyer Glacier and felt the spray of ice
as thundering chunks of the glacial wall calved into the bay...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We were over-whelmed with awe as an early
morning pod of humpback whales fed just off our ship's bow...
 
 
 
And then "waved" farewell with a graceful arch of tail...
 
 
 
 
 
 
We were treated to 3 nights of the
unbelievably mystical Northern Lights.
Pictures simply don't do justice to the ethereal mystery
of these auroras...
 
 
The days brought kayaking adventures aplenty!
 
 
The easy-dock station on the back of the ship
made getting in and out a breeze...
always good in waters chilled frigid with glacial ice!
 
 
 
I kind of fell in love with the icebergs...
 
 
We found all manner of Berg-shapes
(think cloud shapes, but colder and more slippery!)
 
 
Awed and Amazed...
God's a Sculpting Genius!
 
Then we laid anchor in Ideal Cove,
and I kind of fell in love with tranquil Alaskan coves...
 
 
 
 
 
We paddled... and gawked...
and pinched ourselves for the sheer beauty of it all...
Who gets to do this???
We closed our eyes and simply breathed in the aroma of Majesty...
 
 
And we opened our eyes to a curious little Harbor Seal
stealing in for a closer look at our odd floating contraption :-)
 
 
But, oh, my, goodness, the moments are sealed in our hearts...
 
 
Later in the week, we found ourselves in Bailey Bay
with more splendor at every turn...
 
 
 
And look who followed us!
 
 
We beached our kayaks for some hiking and a picnic lunch :-)
 
 
And more pictures, of course!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Captain's navigation prowess was put to the test at Icy Falls...
 
 
We got close...
 
 
Really close!
 
 
That rain gear came in pretty handy...
especially the day we Bush-wacked our way up Mills Creek
in Wrangell Pass!
 
 
The skiff dropped us off at the edge of the Alaskan rain-forest and our guide took us on an amazingly beautiful and hilarious Bush-wack off the beaten path...
 
 
 
We kissed tiger slugs for good luck
(I'm somewhat skeptical about this Alaskan tradition...
but the Farmer was game!)
 
 
And we hugged trees in the rain, well, just because...
 
 
Then we climbed over trees and under trees...
 
 
And ended up at a crazy-gurgling creek bed, full of salmon...
 
 
...and wait, could it be?
our friendly little Harbor Seal and a buddy...
 
 
Our skiff picked us up
and danced with the waterfall...
 
 
And then we headed for Anan Creek Bear Observatory.
Might I just say here, that we were in love with our crew :-)
We have fondly called this vacation our
Summer Camp for Adults run by Kids (the very best kind!)
 
The adventures were nothing short of phenomenal...
which brings us back to the Bear excursion!
 
The ship dropped us off on the rocky shore of Anan Creek
with our guides, their rifles and big cans of bear mace...
 
 
... because this wasn't a zoo...
and there were wild bear in them there woods...
 
Are we crazy?!
 
Yes...
 
 
We hiked 1/2 mile in to the Observation Deck on a
narrow trail and boardwalk... with gorgeous views of the salt slurry, where
the fresh water stream bubbled down in to the salt water ocean...
 
 
And then, all of a sudden...
there were BEARS!!!
 
 
...with, like, nothing between us and them,
except a flimsy little railing around the deck...
 
But then we were too excited to be afraid  :-)
 
 
 
 
Truly a spectacular day in the wilds of Alaska...
and thankfully the bears were more interested in the sumptuous Salmon
than they were in us... it was all good! 
  
We fell into bed exhausted and content every single night...
 
 
So grateful for these moments.
 
I am ever aware of how fleeting our time is...
the lessons of legacy-living from mom continue to guide our steps.
 
...to share the magic of these days with the ones we love
is so much more blessing than we can begin to hold.
 
God poured Grace into our open hearts
and the Joy simply overflowed. 
 
Thank you Alaska...
You were an Exquisite Gift!