Inspiration's Journey Home Page

Malia's Journal Updates

Alaska - Part 6

July 8 -
29, 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)

July 8, 2003 - Backyard Bear!

My prayers were finally answered today! As I was leaving for a hike on Flattop Mountain, my neighbor, Mike, asked if I had seen the bear in my backyard that morning. He said a black bear had gotten into the trash can containing bird seed that the RV next to him had on their front porch. As I was about to faint with disappointment that I had missed seeing him, Mike pointed him out to me. There was this beautiful black creature feasting on the seed about 60 feet from our back door!

I was really glad today that the sun doesn't set until morning, because I got such a late start on my hike due to watching the backyard bear for over an hour. It was another perfectly gorgeous day and I was told that Flattop Mountain offered panoramic views looking down on Anchorage. When it's clear it's a perfect vantage point to see Mt. McKinley. However, even though there wasn't a cloud in the sky, there was enough of a haze to obscure the distant views today. It was still a great day to walk and I really enjoyed yet another and different view of Alaska.

I got disoriented as I drove down the mountain and wound up by mistake back on the Seward Highway. I decided to drive back to Girdwood as I hadn't actually seen the town itself when I attended the Forest Festival on the 4th. I took a side road from there named Crow Creek Road, a narrow, winding gravel road that was an enjoyable and slow drive. I met a father and son from Dallas and we shared travel tips. By the time I got home, it was 10:30 and Mike told me he had seen the bear several times throughout the day. At about midnight, I heard Mike outside and when I poked my head out the window, he told me the bear was at the trash can right down the road from us. It was funny to see him lumbering down the street and take off into the woods again when he saw us.

July 12, 2003 - Bear Paw Festival

I started out to Palmer today and do some small hikes along the way, but got waylaid again by a local community fair. Eagle River was celebrating its Bear Paw Festival and I can just never pass up that kind of thing.

I truly enjoyed the fair, but I got the biggest kick out of a woman I met there. As I was talking to one of the vendors, I told him I was born in New Orleans. He pointed out a woman behind the counter and said she was also from there. As I got to talking with her, we discovered she went to school with my cousin, Pam, and knew her brothers and my aunt. We had clicked immediately, but then we started laughing because we said no wonder - we were practically family! She is actually leaving for a visit to New Orleans next week and I let my cousin know so they might contact each other there. Talk about a small world - running into another Cajun cousin all the way up here in Alaska!

I just love to meet people with whom I seem to have an instant connection like that. Actually, she is the second New Orleans native I've met and befriended immediately. At church last Sunday I met a woman named Marquita who grew up not far from me. We hugged like old buddies and no doubt will keep in touch as we discovered so much in common besides our spirits seeming to know each other.

The entire time I was at the fair I heard people complaining about how hot it was and how they were afraid of passing out from heat stroke. The temp was in the 80's, and I told them that was a cold snap in Texas at this time of year.

Anyway, after eating and seeing everything I wanted to at the fair, I took off down the Old Glenn Highway. It's a slower, more narrow road than the one I've been driving in that direction and it was just a gorgeous day! The flowers are so brilliantly colored and the greenery on the mountains look like they've exploded, they're so lush and thick. Maybe it's the long daylight, or just the fact that they have such a short time to show off and by golly, they're gonna do it right! It is an amazing sight as it looks like the colors have been "kicked up a notch" or applied heavier and brighter than I've ever seen before. And again I feel so blessed to have gotten to see this different and totally unusual state.

July 16, 2002 - Catching up with "old" friends

I was thrilled to get a visit from Chuck & Kalyn on their return visit to Anchorage. It was fun to catch up on the things we've seen and exchange notes on what to do and what can easily be missed.

They are one of the nicest couples I've met on the road, but Chuck is certainly the most hilarious! He wrote a poem about a speeding ticket he received in Whitehorse to the tempo of "The Cremation of Sam McGee." It was so funny I had tears rolling down my face and I'm so glad I'm on their mailing list so I can keep up with them.

So many people I've met have been so helpful and full of tips and opinions - some of which I'll take and some I won't. One man told me not to dare take the Cassiar Highway back south because they just came up it and watched a couple who pulled in next to them at the campground throw away 10 garbage bags of things that were broken from traveling the rough road. He did say that they were pulling a trailer, so they just couldn't tell how bad it was until they stopped because inside the truck it felt fine. In a motor home I can hear all the rattling and bouncing, so that really slows me down when the road gets rough.

July 17, 2002

I talked with Woody & Genie today and they're already back in Washington. I sure am sorry I won't be seeing them in Alaska anymore and Genie says she already misses it. As usual, though, I am so thankful for the tips they shared about what they'd seen. Their opinion is not to miss the Cassiar and I will definitely take that advice.

I'm so anxious for my mom to get here so we can hit the road to Seward. I've definitely enjoyed the daytrips and hikes I've taken out of Anchorage, and I think the break did me a lot of good, but I am so ready to pack up my house and take off again.

July 20, 2003 - My Mom in Alaska!

It was so great to pick up mom yesterday at the airport. I'm already worried for her sanity, though, as she can't get over the beauty and magnitude of the mountains seen just on the way from the airport. I told her those are really the speed bumps of the mountain world here, so she better get a grip because she hasn't seen big mountains yet. It's really going to be fun to have her to share the incredible views with me over the thousands of miles we'll drive as we head south.

July 24, 2003 - Anchorage to Seward

We left Anchorage on Tuesday amid partly cloudy skies. There were so many stops along the way that I wanted mom to see that by the time we were almost to our first real destination, Seward, the clouds were much heavier and not what I wanted to see when entering that picturesque town. So I decided to stop at a scenic spot at the side of the road and spend the night. I hoped that by the next day we'd have sunnier skies for our arrival into Seward. I'd never been there before but knew how much beauty is hidden by the clouds on such a day. For most of the way, at least, the front row of mountains were still visible enough for us to marvel at the size of the mountains as we told ourselves it would be clearer tomorrow.

We arrived at the city campground and could tell its location right on the water would be incredible if we could just see more of it. We took a couple of drives down some of the side roads, and at the moment we're trying to keep our spirits up as we get fleeting glimpses of the jagged snow capped mountain peaks. Rationally I understand there's no way we could spend a summer in Alaska or anywhere else and not have rainy days, but this being the 3rd day now with no break in the clouds is a little disappointing. We're going to drive out to Exit Glacier tomorrow, which is nearby and easily accessible by a short walk. After that, we'll decide if we want to give Seward more time to clear or if we'll just head on to Homer. The forecast is for partly cloudy skies, which would at least be an improvement over the mostly overcast skies we've had lately.

July 26, 2003 - Hello again Homer

Our last night in Seward was the nicest so far. We moved from the city campground to a scenic pulloff at the side of a stream on the road to Exit Glacier. Even though it was still mostly cloudy, there was enough of a view visible of the surrounding mountains to marvel at, and the sound of the rushing glacial stream was soothing and nice to sleep to. The next morning we visited the glacier and took lots of pictures, none of which managed to capture the very specific and special blue of the age-old ice as it tumbles down the mountain, splitting into jagged crevices and interesting towering shapes. There are several places marked along the trail that shows where the glacier was at certain timeframes and clearly shows how much it has receded, especially in modern times. It was a glorious thing to see and we really enjoyed it. Mom is still in the "I can't believe I'm really in Alaska" stage and it's fun to see her pinch herself to make sure she's not dreaming anymore. She says of all the places she's ever seen in her life, this is certainly the most beautiful. Her favorite, like mine, is the larger-than-life mountains - just the sheer size and scope of such beauty can be overwhelming and incredibly powerful. All this, being framed by the most vividly colored flowers imaginable growing in profusion at the side of the road, makes your neck ache from looking back and forth trying not to miss anything.

When we arrived at the Welcome-to-Homer rest stop, mom understood why I thought it worthwhile to return here if for no other reason than for that one view. When we arrived at the waterfront campground that I stayed at before, there was no room at the spit, it being Saturday and not the best time to find a spot on the Homer Spit in the middle of tourist season. So I came back to Anchor Point and we'll spend a couple of nights here and move oceanfront on Monday.

July 29, 2003 - A final farewell to Homer

I really enjoyed my last night on the Homer Spit as it was a very low tide and I was able to walk out a pretty good ways exploring the tidepools left behind. It was a special experience standing so far out on ground that just that morning was underwater. With the dimming sunlight playing on the mountains and the gentle waves lapping at shore, I bid farewell to Homer for the last time and was so grateful I got to experience it and share its beauty with my mom.

It was also great that she got to meet some of the friends I've made in Alaska. I was happy to see Sheryl again and it was so sweet of her and B.J. when they brought her some fresh Alaskan King Crab after she asked where was the best place to get some.

I was also so glad that Kalyn and Chuck were back there also during the time we were there and mom enjoyed meeting her new kids after they announced they adopted her as their new mom.

I have truly met some amazing people along the way and that has been one of the greatest blessings I've experienced during this journey.
Inspiration's Journey Home
Next Journal entry: Leaving Alaska
Copyright by Malia Lane - all rights reserved