Shaken by Tim Tebow Delivers

Shaken, Not Just for Sports Fans A.C. Green penned the last sports celebrity book I read. I confess that I signed up to be in Tim Tebow’s book release team because of my students. Especially the boys who only want to read books about famous ball players (football, basketball, or baseball—doesn’t matter). Sure, I had heard about Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos—but mostly through my raving-Broncos-fan students back when Tebow played for Denver. The lure of a free book…

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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 Groupon.com, 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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