The Greening of Alaska

I have never known a place to come alive like this place.  Our monthly drives down the Turnagain arm toward Girdwood (for skiing adventures!) this winter took on breathtaking views of a frozen tide, waterfalls of ice, and snow piled high.  Now the fountains are gushing forth, all the mammoth icebergs are gone, and the grass is greening.

We recently enjoyed a trip down to Seward. Snow still clung to the mountians as we could see where many avalanches had descended.  We stopped at a lake.  Stephen threw a rock in and it sank down about 12 inches to a layer of ice.  It was beautiful, the mountains all around.

Once in Seward we hiked a snowpacked trail, we were told it broke out onto the beach.  We started cautiously remembering a snowy past hike that ended in a very cold way.  As we hiked Stephen said “do you hear that!”  Yes I heard it, the sound of running water, but we could not see any running water.  The water had formed a river under the snow path. so we were hiking over the running river on a bridge of snow!

As we continued a girl came running from behind us, running on the snow with her trusty dog at her side.  She wore a bright green T-shirt and nickers, with barefoot shoes, she must be a native.  Finally we came to a bridge which opened up to a glorious view of the mountains and the near beach.  We continued through a very old forest and stumbled onto the beach.  The beach was made of very small slivers of rock, scattered with shells, and the tide was coming in.  Stephen debated a swim, but only made it as far as his knees in the icy Pacific waters. The sun was going down.The look back toward Seward with the sun descending behind the mountains, would make you think that you were in a dream: truely unworldly.  Our cold feet and rumbling stomachs reminded us of the time, for the sun is deceiving at this time of year and we headed back to base-camp.  All this to say: the time was most enjoyable and scenic.

Advertisements

record breaking year!

Well we arrive on our sixth month anniversary in -3 days! And Alaska got the most recorded snow on record! And today it is a sunny and balmy 45 out! We enjoyed a hike the other day, and share some photos. We were looking down a bald eagle, but were unable to get the photo in time! Also a photo from this season’s last ski session. Good thing for Stephen!

 

Rendezvous with the bicycle

Sunlight & Sunbright

On Monday we went for our first bike ride together, as a married couple, in Alaska! We wore our ski-goggles with our helmets and prepped for the wind. It was in the upper 30’s at 6pm with day light visibility going strong. We biked through some wooded areas where the road had melted enough. We saw a frozen lake with sea-planes still waiting for the final thaw. We did have to ride through some water puddles, but it was great to be on the road together with trees whizzing by.

The Ever Changing environment.

With every sunrise there is a palpable excitement about God’s creation and the wonderful sun light he has created. The clouds are constantly changing and there is a sense of movement and constant change in these parts. And you can “hear spring” as someone dear poetically put it. That is in addition to the melting snow, and glistening puddles.  We experienced something new to us here as well on Tuesday: It rained! And no less, in the tropical snow forest!  Short sleeve weather is here!

“Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.”

“All that we see rejoice in the sunshine,

All that we hear makes merry in the Spring:

God grant us such a mind to be glad after our kind,

And to sing

His praises evermore for everything.

Much that we see must vanish with the sunshine,

Sweet Spring must fail, and fail the choir of Spring:

But Wisdom shall burn on when the lesser lights

Are gone,

And shall sing

God’s praises evermore for everything.”

What is the beginning? Love. What the course? Love still.

What the goal? The goal is Love on the happy hill.

Is there nothing then but Love, search we sky or earth?

There is nothing out of Love hath perpetual worth:

All things flag but only Love, all things fail or flee;

There is nothing left but Love worthy you and me.”

Christina Rossetti-   The Complete Poems –p 462.

Saturday ski lessons for Stephen- at dusk

We went for a ski session on Saturday afternoon. It was an opportunity for Stephen to learn the ropes and follow Ruth Ann down the hill! And into the sunset!