Inspiration's Journey Home Page

Malia's Journal Updates

Alaska - Part 5

June 25-
July 4, 2003

Journal Updates


Columbia, SC
Blue Ridge Parkway
Computer Crash!

2005 - 2006
Happy New Year
Hawk's Message
I'm Published!
Sharing Spring
Ways of Writing
Edmonds, WA
Degenerate Neck
Desert Depression
Post Quartzsite
Grandma Malia

2003 - 2004
Alaska Planning
Alaska 1
Alaska 2
Alaska 3
Alaska 4
Alaska 5
Alaska 6
Alaska 7
BC & Alberta
To Lower 48
2004 Recap
Giving Thanks

2001 - 2002
Inspiration's Off!
To Charleston
N. Carolina
To Orlando
Florida Tour
Back in Austin
Albuq. to WA


On the Way (Canada)

Alaska at Last!

Tok to Valdez

  Mineral Creek
  Lu-Lu Belle Cruise

Russian River

  Misc. Pics

Whittier Road

Portage Glacier

Backyard Bear!

  Kenai Cruise

  Flightsee Denali

Denali Nat'l Park

Kluane Lake

Cassiar Hwy. Bear
  Highway Scenes

  Waterfall Road

Jasper Nat'l Park
  Maligne Lake

Icefields Parkway
  Athabasca Falls
  Athabasca Glacier
  Overnight at Glacier
  Lake Louis Road
  Lake Louise

Banff, Alberta

Johnston Canyon

Misc. Pics

Fireweed Pics

Skagway (side trip)
  White Pass RR
  Return Trip

Alaska Journaling

My Article About
This Alaska Trip

These are misc. journal entries written while in Alaska (besides the ones included with the picture pages)

June 25, 2003 - Back in Anchorage

Today I made the effort to visit a few law firms to pass out my introductory letter and resume in an attempt to get work for the next couple of weeks. Since Diane is still not back in the office, I went to another firm who has an office in Portland: Perkins Coie. After I introduced myself, the receptionist there, Barbara, took a look at my card and read the first few sentences of my introductory letter and was immediately intrigued. As we discussed it, and how I work to support myself as I go, I said it was my dream to travel and this was the only way I could figure out how to do it. We laughed as we almost said at the same time: "all it took was a giant leap of faith." She confided that her dream was to further her divinity education and we agreed that it is so easy to get caught up in fear and put limitations on ourselves that we neglect our dreams out of a need to feel safe and secure, like the two things just must be mutually exclusive somehow.

Anyway, it was worth the whole effort of getting up early, getting dressed up and hitting the streets to solicit work I really didn't want to do, just so I could meet that woman. When she said I had been an inspiration to her and that she considered my message as one from God that she should pursue her own dream, I couldn't help but hug her, as we both got a little teary-eyed. It was quite a moving moment actually and a pretty cool thing to happen on my first full day in Anchorage.

However, although everyone was very friendly, the one office manager I spoke to said that during the summertime in Alaska, it is typical for court and office time to be severely curtailed in favor of the lawyers and attorneys being out fishing together, so it's not the time they usually hire temps. I told her my hope had been that the secretarial staff would be vacationing, and she again surprised me by saying that most staff take vacations during the wintertime, when they go "Outside" to get away from the cold here. So boy was I ever glad that I really didn't NEED to work like I had originally thought when making the decision to come to Alaska for the summer. Before I visited the second law firm, I had already decided that I REALLY didn't want to work anyway if given a true choice and I would just be doing it out of fear, cheating myself out of time better spent exploring Alaska. Good thing, huh? And there truly are plenty of things within a day's drive of Anchorage to keep me occupied until mom gets here on the 19th.

The day got better when Don called, as I always feel better when I hear his voice tell me that of course everything is alright and that I'm doing exactly what I should be doing and feeling all the things I should be feeling, all at the right time. There's something so comforting hearing that from him, because even when I don't trust myself, I trust him implicitly.

My very intuitive friend, Steph, wrote in response to my last update:

"You probably don't want to hear this, but you know me, I will say it anyway. I think you are really missing the companionship you shared with Don. He was always there to share your excitement and such beautiful places. You had him by your side for many miles, and always felt safe. I know you are safe there, lock your doors, pull your shades, have a few drinks, and enjoy! And ...remember, you are actually doing what most people only dream about."

She is so right on the money it is scary! I'm sure a lot of the emotional upheavals I feel stem at least in part from the ever-so-present sense of loss when he is not with me to share the beauty I am seeing and which I know he would love so much. But I do take comfort in the knowledge that I still do feel absolutely that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing and if I could only stop judging my reactions and emotions, I'd probably be a whole lot more comfortable and relaxed.

Sweet Judith answered my whiney "Whhhhhyyyyy" questions with:

"Why? Why and Why? You feel some of those feelings at times because my dear are have undertaken an exciting and difficult at times task..but not without the humaness attached...stop being so hard on yourself and lighten glad...cry..laugh..feel insecure..(just don't dwell in it)...its all a part of who you are...which is pretty wonderful I might add...thinking of you and sending energy as I write..."

Now with such friends as these, you really would think I'd quit bitching so much, wouldn't you?? I am thankful, Spirit, truly I am…. it's just that no one, including me, would know it sometimes, that's all.

June 26, 2003

Today I went to check out some yoga and t'ai chi classes and will start a gentle yoga class on Monday. I also went to check out the nicest RV park in town because the thought of spending 3 weeks in this park is pretty dismal. There is only one feature that is pretty nice at the moment. The cottonwood trees are seeding and the while fluffy seedpods float in the air so thick it looks like snow, a pretty cool sight I'd never seen before. I wrote before about my previous stay at Ship Creek Landing, and Chuck described the conditions much better than I did. Hard to believe, but the conditions here have actually deteriorated in the past 3 weeks as the park has become more crowded. The spaces are so close that the motor home parked next to me makes it hard to fully open my outside storage bins.

At Anchorage RV Park, the spaces are much farther apart, nicely wooded and landscaped, with a back yard a quiet forest where moose roam - it also lacks the feature of the railroad tracks. Their daily rates are a lot higher, but the sites include telephone service and it would be nice to have constant internet connection again for a while. It also turned out that since they have a weekly rate where Ship Creek doesn't, it worked out to only a few dollars a day more for the length of my stay. So it wasn't hard to convince myself to treat me to a nice home until mom gets here and we take off south to the peninsula again.

So I will move there on Saturday and then head off to the Saturday market held downtown. I always love browsing through the local vendors' booths and picking up fresh veggies to fix for dinner.

June 29, 2003 - Anchorage RV Park

Boy, it feels like George and Louise Jefferson when they sang "Moving On Up…" I feel just like I've moved from the ghetto to uptown - that's the difference between where I was and where I am now. Anchorage RV Park is about 10 miles from downtown Anchorage, but millions of miles away in terms of how nice it is, especially compared with Ship Creek Landings. Yesterday morning when I was leaving there, three police cars came in and arrested the man in a trailer parked about 4 spaces down from me. My neighbor who had been parked right next to me had already left so I had more space, but I was so glad to get out of there.

On Tuesday I'll move to a better site next to the forest as opposed to being next to the office where I am now and will stay there until after my mom's arrival. And it was so funny that when I got here, the couple in the parking lot who had also just arrived turned out to be the same couple who had been parked right next to me at Ship Creek. We hadn't met then, but we recognized each other's rigs and both said at the same time: "weren't we just neighbors at Ship Creek?" They're full-timers also and we ended up visiting for hours later that evening and we had a blast getting to know each other. We talked about our web pages as he told me his son had helped develop the Dreamweaver software that we both use. Later I thought it was funny when the thought crossed my mind that I probably wouldn't mind their being parked so close to me now that I knew them better and liked them so much. All in all, though, I appreciate having more room and a so much better neighborhood.

The couple who are my neighbors now have lived in Alaska for many years, but now are here only in the summers in their beautiful motor home --every winter they are in Arizona. They've both been really nice and helpful with suggestions about things to see, etc. Leigh came by this afternoon with an article about things to know when you're hiking in bear country. She said she saw me riding my bike around the campground today and thought I should know these things because she had seen bears in this very spot before. I told her that this issue had become a sore spot for me because I feel like I'm the only RVer in Alaska who hasn't seen a bear on the road. I keep hearing all these stories like people who saw a mother bear crossing the road right in front of them with her two cubs. When a truck was approaching from the other lane and the cubs still weren't across, the mother raised up on 2 legs facing the truck and stayed that way until they were on the other side, then she ran off behind them. What an amazing sight that must have been! I've driven all these side roads that look like perfect bear territory and I haven't even seen another scraggly moose!

The Saturday Market was superb. It was a warm sunny day and the vendors were out in full force with all kinds of neat stuff. Also, Elmendorf Air Force Base was holding their air show, which was visible from the marketplace. The Blue Angels performed and their maneuvers with the backdrop of the gorgeous mountains were spectacular.

I was happily surprised tonight by a visit from Carol and Ron, my friends from Russian River Campground. She had received my message that I was on my way to Anchorage, but didn't know which park I had settled in. They tried this one first and came across my RV almost right away, having turned down my street first. I just love "coincidences" like that. Anyway, their home is in Eagle River, only 10 miles further north of here, and I had just driven there today because the mountains were so clear that they called me. I never found the river itself, but the drive was beautiful and I had thought of Carol, so it was especially nice to see her face tonight. They're going back to Russian River to continue their hosting duties on Tuesday and I'm glad I'll be able to stay there again when I go back through there with my mom in July. Right now they're at capacity every night with the fishing frenzy going on, but that will be over by then.

It was also salve for my soul to talk to Keala tonight - she is so happy to be home in Hawaii again and although sometimes we both scare ourselves with how much alike we are, we get a kick out of it also and it's always good to connect with that part of myself.

July 3, 2003 - Eagle River Nature Center

Leigh told me about a guided nature walk offered by one of the nearby nature centers. It's a very pleasant and easy 1mile walk through large trees with a great guide who showed us evidence of the animals who inhabit the area having passed. One lady said she hoped we didn't see any bears and I assured her I seem to have developed into a natural bear repellant, so she was safe with me. I continue to be the only RVer who hasn't seen bears on the road and I am still not amused.

I truly enjoyed the walk, though. We were able to see a beaver lodge and the dam they created. The visitor's center is very well done and I enjoyed a short movie about the industrious beavers in the area. I really like this place and intend to return there for one of the longer walks.

July 4, 2003 - Trip to Whittier

This day was the kind that makes me so happy to be in Alaska and reminds me why I came here in the first place. I had decided to take the trip to Portage Glacier, a short distance south off of the Seward Highway. It was such an amazingly crystal clear day - the kind of day where you just can't help being happy if you're outside. During one of my camera stops, I met Brenda, a woman from Detroit who had driven here alone in her van. Her mother joined her here and they're having a blast exploring the beautiful places so abundant nearby and all along the road. It made me jealous and all the more looking forward to my mother joining me to share the oohing and aahing and crying in wonder of it all. It's also nice, though, to have plenty enough time before she gets here to do some of the hiking she is not capable of doing. I've also been able to identify things I know she can do and would enjoy, and that list just keeps getting longer.

At another stop, I overheard people talking about the tunnel to Whittier and how it's a little strange - a one lane tunnel that allows people to travel to Whittier on the half hour, and from Whittier on the hour. I decided I had plenty of time and the timing was right for entering Whittier, so I headed that way.

The tunnel is very narrow and two miles long, so it is certainly not for the claustrophobic. It has railroad tracks down the middle as it's shared by the train, also, which until recently was the only way you could get to Whittier by land. The town itself is mainly just a stop for cruises and charters, but I did find a nice trail up to a pretty waterfall and got some great pictures of the glaciers that decorated the landscape. The side road drive was quite beautiful especially with no clouds to blur the line between rock and sky. The white capped mountains against the bright blue background were exquisite and the scenery postcard perfect.

So it turned out that the first thing I started out to do was almost the last thing I did after a long enjoyable day of diversions. I enjoyed the presentations and exhibits at the visitor's center at Portage Glacier, but since it receded almost 20 years before they thought it would, you can no longer see the glacier from the center. It's still calving, though, and there was a big blue iceberg right offshore next to the center. Nearby Byron Glacier has a 2 mile trail that leads to it that is very narrow and rocky in places, but the trip and the destination more than make up for the difficulty in getting there. This was one trail where I was glad to be bear repellant, though, because in places the tall bushes barely give you room to get through them and it looks like a bear could just jump right out from anywhere to get across to the stream. I was glad when I heard others on the trail making noise. It was an inspiring hike, and at the end I was treated with a surprise - a snow tunnel traveled through by the stream singing as it came down the mountain - what a day!

Brenda had told me that one of the little towns along the way, Girdwood, was holding their annual Forest Festival and that it's a cute little hippy enclave with the requisite beautiful scenery on the way. Here I finally experienced the flashback I've been promised since the 60's. As I was parking, I heard the tunes of the Grateful Dead and it was a little bizarre to see people in their early 20's and 30's looking just like I did in my teens and early 20's. It was great fun and great food accompanied by great music, and it was free - what a deal!!!

On the way back to the old campground, I laughed out loud at the cottonwood balls that looked like snow flying into my windshield and at the fact that I needed sunglasses at 10:30 at night because the sun was still bright and setting in my face.
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