My guess is that Alaska gets more gasped OH-MY-GODs than any other state. It is just breathtaking. Unbelievably beautiful. And still.
In the week I was there I crammed as much as I could into the days. I went with my friend Maria, but she went for business and had to work most of the time, so it was just me on my own for the most part. Which was fine by me. I explored and discovered in silence, and I think that may be a good way to see Alaska...
In my time there I...
- went horseback riding through the wilderness (my horse refused to simply walk... he would only stop and eat and then run to catch up to my guide. So my butt was really sore by the end.)
- saw a glacier up close and learned the different between a glacier and an iceberg. The color of the water from the melting glaciers is this wonderful shade of gray-green and I wanted so badly to paint my entire life that color after the trip.
- spotted meece ("meece" is the plural of moose, I believe, hee), a sea otter, kittiwakes, and 6 bald eagles (no whales. boo)
- went for a hike into the mountains, so far in that I could not see anything man-made no matter where I turned. (It was then that I got a little freaked out that I would be eaten by a bear and never heard from again. My cell phone didn't work and Maria had no idea where I was of course, so this was a real possibility...)
- drove through a mountain (scary)
- did a three hour sea-kayak trip in the rain (brr!) and was fascinated by these small diving birds (can't remember the name) who ran on top of the water. My arms wore out completely on this trip and I thought I wouldn't make it back. (Maria went with me on this one and she paddled the whole trip with no problem. I think my arms are wusses.)
- rode a lift to the top of a mountain for drinks and a snack. The view nearly killed me it was so great. I almost couldn't take it.
- experienced very large and swarming mosquitos (yikes!)
- laughed so hard I thought I was going to throw my back out. (Maria is hysterical.)
- got really inspired (this trip fit in so nicely with my show theme of people connecting with nature...)
- sat next to a nice older man on the plane who quoted poetry (his own) from memory and told me stories about meeting Shel Silverstein in person
Overall the trip was really quiet and reflective, and a nice step away to refill and breathe for a minute... with all that around you, you can't help but feel it feeding your soul.
* * * While waiting for the glacier tour boat to dock, I got out my journal and wrote what I think is the best way to travel:
7-9-07 The best way to travel (at least as I understand it right now) is to pack lightly, wander, stop when you see something interesting, ask for suggestions, take advice, dress in layers, stop when you are hungry or tired, smile at people, and go home exhausted. (I think this is a good way to live life too...)