Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Last Day in Cold Paradise

Mike and I are at the hotel and will be leaving for the airport at 5AM. This has been a most amazing journey.
*Mike visited with 22 pastors, 3 or 4 Directors of Missions for Associations, and state executive for Alaska. This accounted for about 1/4th of all pastors in Alaska.

*We traveled about 70% of the Alaska Highway system. We traveled to the end of the highway in Fairbanks in the North, to Seward, the end of the highway which is southeast I think they call it.

*The sky was clear on our way from Fairbanks and we were able to see Mt. McKinley, which at over 20,000 ft. is the highest in North America. On our way back to Anchorage today, the sky was clear and we stopped on top of a mtn. and were able to see it over 350 miles away. It is massive. We also got to see three volcanoes and a glacier

*Mike spoke in the largest Southern Baptist Church in Alaska and probably the smallest. Both groups of people were openly friendly and transparent in their love of God.

* I ate salmon,and halibut, but no moose or bear. I did not get to see a live bear or moose. Everyone has been very surprised that we did not see them.

*The lowest temp in the 12 days was 25 yesterday morning and the highest was 51 the first day here. The sunrise when we arrived was 7:24. Today it was 8:09. I don't know the sunset, but it is pretty dark by 6PM.

Alaska is a landscape photographer's paradise, unfortunately, I am not a great photographer.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

How majestic is this beautiful mountain

Notice the igloo. It was closed, but it out about 150 miles from Anchorage and about 125 from Fairbanks. in the middle of nowhere. It is only open from May-Sept. during the tourist season. It is made of concrete, not ice though. This majestic mtn. is Mt. McKinley. It is over 20,000 ft. above sea level, more than 7--- ft. higher than Pike's Peak. It looks like it is made of ice and actually it creates its own weather pattern, so it is covered in ice all the time. From this point, it is nearly 100 miles from where we are to the mtn. This is the Anchorage side. From the Fairbanks side, there is very little ice because of its weather pattern. I have a pix of it from that side I think, but it was not clear enough to put on blog. We turned around when we crossed this river and at the top was not the highest peak but one of the highest. It is a beautiful pix. AMAZING

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Here comes Santa Claus, North Pole

We arrived at the North Pole about 11AM and went straight to Santa's house. It was beautiful of course. Inside, we found all that says "Santa lives here" There was all kinds of good stuff. Trinkets, ornaments, and of course the milk and cookie counter. We opted instead for peanut butter--chocolate mochas. They were delicious and are made only at Santa's at the North Pole.
We asked to visit with Santa but were told he is on vacation until November 1 when he will return and he and his elves will work hard to finish all the toys for boys and girls. His workshop out back was filled but we were not allowed to see what was there because those toys have not been asked for yet. So be sure when you see Santa at the mall to tell him exactly what you want so he will put your name on it. I did leave him a message so that he would know that my favorite children have been very good all year.

After we finished our mochas we went outside to the barnyard to see Santa's reindeer. They are so special they are enclosed in their yard by a fence then 3ft further out there is another fence so that people would not feed them. They have sensitive tummys you know
They eat only food that will make them healthy and strong so they can complete their journey on Christmas Eve.

Outside Santa's house there is a huge Santa(about 30ft.) so that all the people who come to the North Pole can quickly find Santa's house.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wasilla and travel to Fairbanks, Temp low 34, high 41

Mike and Iwent this morning to Wasilla, home of Sarah Palin. It is a small town of about 9,000. The people there as well as the people everywhere we have been are so friendly and courteous. They are amazing. I will be back there next Monday so will post pix then. I hope to see her home.
We met 2 pastors for breakfast at 8:30 at IHOP. At 10:30 we left those 2 and went down the street to Angelinos and met 2 pastors and an evangelists and their wives for lunch. At 1:00 PM we left to travel 309 miles to Fairbanks. The weather was bad, lots of misty rain, and clouds so we were not able to get good pix that will show up here. We traveled up hill literally for 309 miles. When we left Wasilla we looked off in the distance at the mtn. range which has Mt McKinley, which is the highest mtn. in North America (over 20,000 ft. I think). We drove all the way to the summit and were still climbing. We traveled above the tree line and were looking at the mtns. beside us instead of above us..It was the most amazing thing to basically drive above the treeline.
We arrived in Fairbanks about 7PM local time. WE are so close to the Arctic Circle now that the magnetic field does not allow a compass to work. They have the use satellites.

This is an amazing place. I am so blessed to be able to travel thru it. I would love to come back and bring you all with me

Anchorage and Chugiak, Alaska, Temp Low 34, High 46 both days

The building is the church in Chugiak where Mike preached on Sunday. They have about 900 in church each week. Their Sun. AM service is much like our youth Sun. PM service. The average age is about 32-35. They have 150 in Preschool if that tells you the age of their church.

The Triangle window is at the church aud. and the scenery is beautiful. The mtn. with snow on it was beautiful.

The bear hides are on the wall of the pastor's home. He killed both bears and hung the pelts. Each one is approximately 6 ft. tall if that tells you anything about the size of their living room.

The house is the pastor's. He built it himself. It is made of Alaskan lumber, cut by native Alaskans. It has a 4 car garage, main floor has living,kitchen dining area, office, and TV room. The balcony you see is a patio about 20 ft. deep and extends all across the house. The house faces the Cook inlet, which is like a bay of the ocean.

The mtn. is snow covered, seen from the highway as we traveled. The snow fell on the mtn. last week and the locals are distressed. Snow on top means there will be snow in the valley (anchorage) really soon. (Maybe before we come home. They are not looking forward to winter this early.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Welcome to Alaska, Day 1

C-2: I love you my main man
K-2: I love you 583,697
C-3 I love you the most,most,most
K-3 I'm gonna get ya then I'm gonna Kiss ya. I love you,love you,love you

Day 1: We arrived at 1:50. 40 minutes early. They said we had a tail wind. As we flew thru the clouds during the descent, I thot it was foggy but what I was seeing were the snow covered mountains. The 19 yr old soldier sitting next to me was even more excited to see it than I was.
It was amazing. As we flew over the coastline, the waves from the ocean were coming up over the beach--but instead of leaving sand, it was ice. Beautiful.

The weather is cold, well not really, but it isn't Oklahoma that is for sure. It was 50 when we arrived and misty, making if feel cooler. By 5:30 it was almost dark.

The most traumatic event of the day:
Brenda: when I got locked in the toilet in the "small,tiny" jet on the way to Salt Lake. Fortunately Mike was standing right outside the door when I panicked and
started banging on the door.
Mike: When the flight attendant dropped a 2'ltr bottle of water and spilled it all over
his pants

The most exciting: I don't have a most exciting today, cause it was all so very exciting. However, I haven't scouted out Sarah Pallin yet. I will be in her home town one day this week. Do you think I might see her at Wal-Mart (not)

The trees here are gorgeous. Now I don't know my trees, but there are two kinds that are beautiful One looks like blue spruce. The other looks like the Colorado Aspens in their fall colors. Gorgeous.

They love their bears here especially the brown. There are two in the lobby. By the way, they are stuffed. I feel very safe and secure with them there One is standing and is about 10 ft. tall. His head touches the ceiling.

I am going to try to send some pix. Don't panic if they are not there. The only thing worse than my photography is my technological skills. But I will try.

On Our Way

We left this morning for Alaska.  Keep checking back for stories and pictures of the things we did and saw.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.  Talk to you soon.