I never thought I would see Alaska. I've travelled a lot - all around the world. But in Alaska, I witnessed the most awe-inspiring views of my life. My attempts to describe the scenery are inferior compared to the magnitude of the beauty in this place. Being in Alaska makes me hungry for nature, for authentic life experience. Alaska is easy to appreciate - it's just so raw and untouched by humanity. But beauty comes in so many forms- sometimes in the ugly, rundown, busy, crowded, messy things, too. To recognize beauty in the obvious and also in the not-so-obvious is to learn appreciation, objectivity, and understanding.
Day Four: 6 am wake-up call again and we're in Juneau! We sail through the Tracy Arm Fjord with glacier, iceberg, "dirty berg" close-ups, and stunning mountains. The icebergs gleam emerald bright, the water saturated with the the icebergs' life giving minerals. We breath deep and strong because who knows the next time we might breath in such clean, crisp air. Waiters delivered Irish coffee, and we spent the wee morning hours drinking and sitting in a steaming hot tub overlooking the glaciers. We hike several miles to a waterfall and glacier, just to touch the water with our bare hands - because don't you know? They say just a few drops from a waterfall heals all ailments. Next? Red Dog Saloon, dirty jokes, duck fart shots (several rounds, in fact), and a subsequent stumbling around town laughing and looking at local Alaskan art. That is my dream day. And it really happened.
Day Five: We arrive in Skagway, home of an abandoned gold mining town. Up and up and up we drive where the tip of the clouds meet the height of the mountains, just to peer over the heavens onto the brilliant land of Alaska. We traverse over to Canada through the forests and mountains of red, gold, solid rock, and every shade of green you can imagine. The hills didn't ask for attention, but nothing can describe how triumphant, how bold, and how strong this part of the country is. Crossing over into Canada, fate brought us to the most beautiful lake where the weather was so clear, the mountains reflected as vivid as if there were two sets in the water. What I noticed? Raw, untouched, untamed, imaginative, but real, free, wild, sacred.