Saturday, September 29, 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Portage Glacier

The scenery along the road south to the coast was beautiful. The day was overcast with drizzling rain and this was one of only a few shots when the sun would peek out for a few moments. The sky was breathtaking, seeming to stretch into infinity. What a Creator God is!

Before we got to the harbor town of Seward, we took a left turn off the highway to take a little boat ride. Just over and around this mountain is a body of water which I have forgotten the name of. We joined about three bus loads of tourists who were a bit gray-headed like me and added a bit of two-girl liveliness to the boat tour of Portage Glacier.

One of the beautiful sights we saw on the way to Portage Glacier.

I was so awestruck that I could hardly enjoy looking for taking picture after picture.

Abby and the Captain

The Captain of the Ptarmigan watches everyone safely disembark.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Good Quote

Thomas A. Edison
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

Monday, September 24, 2007

Iditarod Headquarters

One afternoon right after nap time, we visited the Iditarod Headquarters in Wasilla.

There was lots of interesting memorabilia and a wonderful gift shop. I learned a lot about the race and it's history and once again I would have liked to have had more time to spend there. If only I could retire and travel and see all the places I have only read about. It would be nice to visit Wasilla during the start of the race and get in on all of the excitement.

Abby, Lilly and I took a dog sled ride, minus the snow. All I can say is, it was very fast! Those dogs were raring to go and took off like the devil was on their heels. Dusty but fun.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Hatcher's Pass

This is Kristy and I at the Little Susitna River which is on the way to Hatcher's Pass.

It was one of my favorite sites of the trip. I love the sound of water rolling over the rocks and seeing the cool, clear stream flowing between the mountains.

Here we are at the Independence Mine at Hatcher's Pass. Nannaw is still wrapped up trying to stay warm. What a contrast: Mike in a tee shirt & Nannaw in a winter coat!

Independence Mine was very interesting. It showed what life was like during the Gold Rush. We left much too quickly for me. I could have spent hours exploring all the old buildings.

Ruins of the rails from the old mine.

Just sitting on a rock making a photo op for Mammaw.

Supper at Hatcher's Pass Lodge. I had a salmon burger.

Followed by Razzleberry Pie. Wish I had some now.

Then the long way home on the most bone rattling ride I ever took. Twenty-five miles in just 2.5 hours! This road is closed once the snows start. It was one of the most scenic roads I have traveled despite its condition. Lots of picture taking on the ride down to Willow.

By the time we got back to civilization, I felt like this sign was true.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Alaska Weather During My Trip

Several people have asked about the weather in Alaska while I was there. To me it was a little like November and December here. The temperature during the day was in the upper 50's to low 60's. Then at night it dipped into the mid to upper 40's. Most days when the sun was shining I was comfortable in short sleeves as long as I stayed in the sunshine. If I got into the shade I needed a long sleeve shirt. First thing in the mornings it was usually a bit cool in the house until I got up and going. Then I was okay. It was overcast and drizzled rain a good bit of the time I was there which made it a little cooler. Most days I wore a tee shirt and kept a denim shirt handy to throw on.

The leaves on the trees were starting to turn yellow. We were told that they do not turn red, just yellow, before the leaves fall. The picture above was taken on September 3. By the time I left on the 14th there were many more yellow leaves and some snow was showing up on some of the upper mountains. It was a very beautiful place and I saw God's handiwork all around me. Sometimes I am like a child seeing something for the first time when I visit a new place. Alaska is awe-inspiring and I have no words to describe the greatness of God's creation and creatures.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

First Outing in Alaska

The first outing in Alaska was to the Alaska State Fair in Palmer which is about ten miles from home base. One thing that really caught my attention was how clean the fairgrounds were (and also the roadsides). There was absolutely no litter on the ground. Wish we would learn the same respect here at home.

At the fair we heard some native music,

saw a giant cabbage,

visited unique gift shops,

rode flying elephants,

and wished for more supple moves.

Sometimes we were camera shy

and sometimes we were cold!

But we all enjoyed the outing.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

God and the Scientist

Loved this email I got today:

God is sitting in Heaven when a scientist says to Him, 'Lord, we don't need you anymore. Science has finally figured out a way to create life out of nothing. In other words, we can now do what you did in the 'beginning'

'Oh, is that so? Tell me...' replies God.

'Well', says the scientist, 'we can take dirt and form it into the likeness of you and breathe life into it, thus creating man.'

'Well, that's interesting. Show Me.'

So the scientist bends down to the earth and starts to mold the soil.

'Oh no, no, no...' interrupts God, (I love this part) 'Get your own dirt.'

Architecture & Landscaping

During my life I have had several different jobs which has been much more suited to my personality than working at one career all my life. One of those jobs has been selling real estate. So naturally, Alaska real estate very quickly caught my attention. There are no brick houses in Alaska, at least none that I saw. Wood seems to be the main building material and the yards are mostly rocky and scrubby. The duplex above is where Mike, Kristy, Abby and Lilly live. Quite lovely, although very different than our grassy yards here. They don't own a lawn mower but had a snow blower given to them during my visit.

This is the Christian radio station where they volunteer some time each week. As you can see, when it rains a good bit there are puddles of water on the grassless lawn. Now please don't think I am criticizing the terrain. It is awesome! The mountains had me humming "purple mountains majesty". The terrain is truly majestic and very rugged looking which I loved.

Another example of the architecture is Miller's Market in Houston where the radio station is located. It is a combination grocery, gift shop, expresso stop, ice cream shop, cafe, post office, etc. Most of the businesses are located on the "main road". The residential section is not laid out in town blocks but is very spread out, sort of like our rural subdivisions with house scattered along the way.

Of course, my pictures would not be complete without one of the Wasilla Police Department. Quite modern looking and spacious compared to our department here in Monticello. Time went by faster than I anticipated and I never took the time to visit and check out the inside and see how our equipment compares. Maybe next trip.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Good Times in Alaska

We received a warm welcome our first day in Alaska. I got settled at the duplex with the girls and the rest of the crew moved into a wonderful cabin about two miles away. We took advantage of the beautiful weather outside on the tire swing and started what would become two weeks of almost constant photo opportunities.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Home From Alaska Trip

I'm back from the cold land! Today, I slept after the overnight flight Friday night, worked on pictures and went to church tonight so I wouldn't get dropped from the roll (ha ha). My body is still on Alaska time so I may be up a while. The trip was wonderful: Alaska is a beautiful state, it was good to see where my family lives, and best of all spending time with my children and grandchildren did my heart good. I made so many pictures, there will be blog material for quite some time. Thank goodness for digital cameras! Wish my camera was a better one but it did okay for a Sears special. The picture to the left is at Portage Glacier. Later I will post a little bit about each place we visited.