Self-care and Nurture

To Eat Near the Foot of Denali

Shuttle vs. Tour We set up camp and turned in early after our visit to the sled dogs of Denali National Park. After all, we had to pack lunches to eat on the shuttle bus, break camp, and leave for the park by 5:30 the next morning. I hoped that the weather would cooperate, although others had warned me that one does not always see Denali. When we boarded the bus, our driver told us that any time we thought…

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The Surprising Beauty Tip I Learned from Sled Dogs

Sled Dogs of Denali The next morning we made it to Denali National Park in time for Pedro to have good cell service. Unfortunately, vacation is also a relative term when one works as a school principal! Sarah and I went off exploring while Pedro conducted a phone interview via a conference call. We purchased tickets for a bus ride to Eielson Visitor’s Center for early the next morning. The park restricts vehicle traffic into the interior to park-operated tour…

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The Treats of Traveling the Denali Highway

An Opportunity to Travel the Denali Highway So far in our journey, we hadn’t had time to visit Denali National Park. Since Sarah didn’t have a vehicle, part of our adventure included taking her to see the sights as well. This plan looked great in Arizona whilst perusing maps at the breakfast table. In reality, it proved much more difficult than we had expected. For one thing, I had forgotten the immense size of Alaska. I also tend to gloss…

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Is Having Tea a Lost Art in the United States?

A Tea Party with the British on the Fourth of July After our trip to Valdez and close encounter with a glacier, we decided to hang around Red Eagle Lodge for two days and join the Independence Day celebration and cookout that Richard and Judy host for all of the guests. Sunday brought gentle rain showers and two bicyclists from England who dropped by for a hot cup of coffee. The bicyclists, Sarah and Dave, enjoyed the coffee and hospitality…

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The Second Visit to Alaska Opens My Eyes for the First Time

Seeing Alaska for the First Time I didn’t realize that our trip to Alaska would open my eyes to all that I missed during my first visit to that beautiful state. When I traveled to Alaska the first time, I came away remembering two mountains. I vaguely recall a mountain towering behind the Alyeska Glacier. Mayme explained that the mountain held the only ski resort in Alaska. For some reason, this fact amused me. Marathon Mountain in Seward, Alaska holds…

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What Happens When You DON’T Buy The Lens

Close Encounters of the God Kind I faced a dilemma at the beginning of our Alaska adventure—the budget kind of dilemma that often plagues me. We had enough money to make the trip if we kept our expenses in Alaska down. But I really, really wanted a better telephoto lens for my camera. The 100-400mm lens that I already have didn’t seem adequate for capturing the wildlife we would certainly see along the way. I reasoned that since we would…

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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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