Slice of Life Day 22 of 31: Journeys (my March theme)
Juneau, Alaska is a state capital that cannot be reached except by boat or plane. No one gets there by car because no roads lead to Juneau. Another seldom-realized fact about Alaska is that the shortest distance between Alaska and Russia is only 2.5 miles – frightening in times like these.
I visited Juneau, Alaska in May 1998 while on an Inside Passage cruise with my family. Mendenhall Glacier was pristine and beautiful, and the salmon hatchery was educational. I learned to spot bald eagles when the tour guide told us to “look for golf balls in the trees,” and they would be the heads of eagles. It worked, every time!
But my favorite part of Juneau was a ride up the Mount Roberts Tramway, where two of our children enjoyed playing in a dusting of snow and watching wildlife at the top of the mountain overlooking the port of Juneau. We saw signs letting us know which wildlife species we were likely to see that day – among them, the red squirrel. We’d become proficient at spotting eagles, so we looked forward to seeing some other cold climate creatures – we just didn’t want to encounter any bears along the mountain trails, and thankfully we didn’t.
The perspective high above the port overlooking the city below was breathtaking, and I fully appreciated the majestic beauty of the “eagle’s eye view” in those moments. I also understood, standing on that mountain with my children playing in the magical snow and watching squirrels, why having my feet on the ground is equally as beautiful. The lyrics of Climb Every Mountain were belting out from my heart across the snow-capped Alaskan peaks as if I were standing in Austria singing with all of the passion and none of the voice talent of Mother Abbess……hence the video version below:
7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”