Alaska, the Story of Your Life and a Halibut Sandwich

06.05.2014

11:00pm

Wow… What a day! I have been all over the world… from Brazil to Africa… and what I saw today could literally take my breath away. It was truly the MOST BEAUTIFUL thing that I have ever seen. Sure… I took pictures, but they can not come close to describing what I witnessed. It was amazing.

Alaska Wide

Alyeska Resort

 

Today, we took a road trip. We traveled about an hour and a half to a city called Girdwood. There is a ski resort there with a tram that you can take to the top of the mountain. You rise over 2,000 feet and share in some of the most scenic views that you can imagine. Snow nestled in pockets at the top of the mountain as the sun radiated from above. In many ways… it could be described as the perfect day.

Alyeska Tram

In Tram

At the top of the mountain we took some photos and then dove into an epic snowball fight. Fingers numb, we threw one after another at each other. We talked about the wildlife and what it must have been like to live on the top of the mountain in the “round house” that was now a gift shop.

The mountain provided some great entertainment…

Alyeska Dylan Carry Xander Boys and Me Alyeska

A guy jumped off the top of the mountain with a parachute on his back. We were able to watch him descend as he would do complete 360 degree flips in the air (pretty stinking amazing)! Then, a tram full of half dressed snowboarders hopped off with cameras in tow. (We found out that they were filming for MTV). Then… there were the bald eagles.

I have to be honest… I’ve never seen a bald eagle in the wild. It is stinking amazing! You see this mammoth brown bird flying through the sky and you wonder where his head is… and then you see that it is white and hard to see against the sky. It is a bald eagle and you have to pinch yourself and realize that they are just like a vulture in Arizona… a common site.

We walked all around the park after we descended the mountain… took some killer photos of the kids… drank a latte… played fooseball with Zion… took a great photo waiting for the bus… and then took off. From there, we headed out to a “surprise” for Xander. The Girdwood Community Center Park!

Alyeska Family

Fun times at the park. Xander loved it (and it’s pretty stinking amazing for a town of a couple thousand). A full skate park, basketball courts and a castle playground that attracted a ton of kids. Dylan and Zion made friends quick with a kid named Sage who showed them how he could do a “kick flip”.  (Zion is officially wanting a “long board” now.)

Girdwood Park Wide

Xander Girdwood Park

After allowing the kids to release some energy we began our drive back. We stopped at a pipe that was coming out of a rock which is known to have the best water known to man. We stopped and partook and it was delicious. Freezing cold and fresh as a mountain stream (oh wait… it probably was a mountain stream). We were told about it by the stewardess from our plane ride to Alaska.

Fresh Spring

Fresh Spring 2

** Funny story ** On our flight from Oregon to Alaska there was a stewardess. Zion drew a picture of her on the plane and showed it to her. She made a big deal about it and showed the other flight attendants. It was super cute. When we got out of our car in the parking lot to get the tram, that stewardess was waiting for the same bus that we were. She remembered us right away and we had a great chat. She told us about the spring and Zion may have blushed a little too!

Stopped in Anchorage for a bite to eat at a little place “Arctic Roadrunner” and had the best Halibut Burger that I have ever had! (OK… so it’s also the only one I’ve ever had, but I will be going there for another one before I leave!) Then, back to the homestead.

At the house we had a great conversation with our hosts. I was able to talk with Hayden and his brother Chase and all the others who call this Chugiak abode home. Now, it’s midnight and as bright as noon outside. I type these final words with a gratefulness in my heart and a settling in my soul.

Life is a lot like that tram ride today. People that somehow pepper the stage of your life sometimes make an encore appearance. Sometimes, they are there for a reason and we are there to try to figure out why. For us, it led to a cold water experience and a story to tell. For others, it may be something else… but there’s always a reason.

Sometimes you have to go on a ride to see something for the first time. If I wasn’t on the top of the mountain, I never would have seen the adrenaline junkies getting their fix. Their rush brought joy , to me. It was a moment… and experience… a memory.

This whole ride is just that… a memory… a story. But, the beautiful thing is that it is a story that I get to  share with others. Sure, I’m living it and it is my memory. But as I open up and let others in my life to experience what I am… it becomes part of their story too. In many ways, this can only make my story so much richer and worth reading. Not only in the moment, but in the future looking back.

So, now I’m going to grab my newly purchased “sleep mask” and drift off into oblivion. May your lights shine bright and your stories get richer each and every day. With every person and every experience, another twist appears in your story. And… the best stories are those that have the most twists!

GP

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