What Mayme Taught Me About Beauty

O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us! ~Robert Burnes, ‘To a Louse’ We spent the rainy afternoon driving to Cooper Landing, the tiny town where I spent the summer of my 16th year. I remember the summer well—how I needed a job to help pay for my Christian high school. How my mom’s best friend’s sister Mayme mentioned that a local restaurant and inn had an opening. And how Mayme needed someone to help out…

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Six Unforgettable Lessons I Learned From Sea Otters

After a picnic lunch at Miller’s Landing we headed towards the Seward Harbor. Along the way we went past the local Department of Motor Vehicles where I got my first driver’s license the summer I turned 16. Pedro needed to answer emails, so he dropped me off near the harbor and went to find a parking place. By this time the piles of grey clouds had dropped lower, and I had little hope of getting excellent photos of birds. Instead,…

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What’s YOUR Reaction to Disaster?

Looking for Birds We didn’t expect the next leg of our adventure to teach us a lesson about handling disaster. Our trip led us to the port town of Seward, AK. I took my first driving test in Seward back in 1982, and came away a happy 16-year-old with a driver’s license. After breakfast we drove into Seward for our early morning kayak adventure from Miller’s Landing to Tonsina Beach. Once again, thanks to, we found an adventure we…

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The Difference Between Cruises Might Make You Uncomfortable

Wildlife Cruises Aren’t the Same a Luxury Cruises We arrived at the dock twenty minutes early for our cruise out to Blackstone Glacier. A few shards of sunlight had poked through the clouds, and I hoped to have beautiful light for taking photos. “Think that’s our ride?” Pedro asked, pointing to an immense ship. “Naw,” I told him, “That’s a cruise ship. That’s probably our ride.” I pointed to a ship the size of the cruise ship’s lifeboats. “Or that…

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Learn About Transformation From a Tunnel

A Close Encounter with a Tunnel After our adventure up Nabesna Road, we decided to visit the Kenai Peninsula until Sarah had her next day off. We decided we should probably wash the road grime off the truck and trailer before heading out. Because of the late start, we only made it to a pullout about an hour’s drive past Anchorage. One of the fifty fun firsts on my list (and a dream of Pedro’s) included seeing a glacier calve.…

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Adventures in Expectations Along the Nebesna Road

Expectations on Nebesna Road We started out the next day for an adventure up the Nebesna Road—the Northern entrance to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. We stopped at the visitor’s center and discovered that we probably wouldn’t be able to drive to the end of the road. Part of the road had washed out due to the heavy rains and glacier-melt runoff. We also discovered that mountain biking hasn’t really caught on in the area. When we asked the ranger about…

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How a Life Plan Helped Me Prepare for Vacation

How to Prepare for Vacation After our adventure to Kennecott, Pedro and I decided to putt around and catch up on work. Even vacation days require time and space to work. The weather cooperated with its low-hanging clouds and intermittent rainstorms. Ordinarily, I would have gotten a little miffed that we were ‘wasting’ a vacation day to ‘do nothing’ that had to do with vacation. To me, vacations mean each day planned out in advance so that none of the…

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How a Homophone Can Change Your Life

Homophone: a word that sounds the same as another word but has a different definition and spelling. Our hosts at Red Eagle Lodge suggested that we might want to visit Kennecott and McCarthy during our visit to Alaska. Not wanting to waste a single moment of opportunity, Sarah, Pedro, and I got up early the next morning and headed out to the abandoned copper mine town. Richard warned us that the trip could take between three and four hours due…

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Finding Red Eagle Lodge Should Have Been Easy

When Your GPS Lets You Down When I entered in the address for Red Eagle Lodge at the border crossing into Alaska, my excitement surged. I sat up with prairie-dog alertness, noting every landmark, road sign and tree. Finally! We had entered the home stretch! Sarah started texting, wondering when we would arrive, and offering advice about the best place to fuel up. After driving over interminable frost heaves at a snail’s pace, my phone announced, “You have arrived at…

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The Surprising Lesson I Learned Along the Alaska Highway

We left Champagne, Yukon Territory by eight thirty and hoped to make it to Chistochina, Alaska by suppertime. But, as we had learned, traveling the Alaska Highway often yields the unexpected. Before we left we heard road rumors such as, “The Alaska Highway is gravel, isn’t it?” and “The potholes will swallow your car!” We considered ourselves lucky to have only encountered one major construction site on the road thus far. All of that changed three hours out of Champagne.…

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