Best Days...Faith-Filled, Fearless and FUN!
One of the most memorable “bucket list” trips Bob and I have had the pleasure of taking was a cruise thru the Inside Passage of Alaska! The cruise itself was wonderful, after all most cruise lines provide everything for your creature comforts and Alaska’s scenery proved spectacular just from our stateroom’s balcony alone. However so, after exploring the many excursion opportunities available; we set our minds on adventure and adventures we had!
Sailing out from Vancouver, Canada the excitement built as the seas were calm and beautiful though little could we grasp that our first destination would set the tone for the entire trip! Once docked in Ketchikan we were guided to our shore excursion location…I’m excited just recalling this adventure! The excursion was titled, “Bears, Bears and Bears!” (Kind of gives you a hint!) In a matter of minutes Bob and I along with four of our traveling friends boarded an 8-seater Alaskan sea plane (yes, the kind that take off on water and zoom off) and headed for Neets Bay Hatchery where the title of the excursion didn’t disappoint! Holy cannoli did we ever see Black Bears! Bears catching salmon, bears swimming, bears wrestling, bears gorging themselves, and yes, we even saw a bear pooping in the woods!
After surviving that adventure, we set sail for Juneau where once again upon docking we headed out for another exciting day!
This excursion was titled, “Whales, Bears and Eagles”! (Sensing a theme here?!) The cruise guide dropped our group off at a marina where we would board a local fisherman’s boat ready to sail into Lynn Channel in search of a whale pod. By this time our sea legs were well established, we were donned in the proper gear and everyone on board had a pair of binoculars looking out to the horizon! Within minutes after setting out our captain received a radio call that a pod was spotted! Without delay we headed in the direction of the pod and unbelievably the Channel was filled with breaching whales! After snapping a zillion shots of whale tales and spouts the real excitement was about to happen! Later that day while hiking through a trail on a nearby island we had a near encounter with a Griz…yes, a GRIZZLY BEAR! By the way, there were also Bald Eagles everywhere…whatever Bald Eagles, we were almost eaten by a GRIZ!
However so, our Alaskan adventures weren’t over yet…Now with my check list going strong including surviving the sea plane, photographing Black Bears way too close, brushing off the icy cold dew of a whale pod spouting too near our boat and realizing we were within feet of a Grizzly Bear, the best was yet to come!
You see I was once afraid to fly. Not a phobic kind of fear but an unfounded fear caused by too much control and not enough faith. God would see to it that this next adventure would cure me…or kill me!
Have you ever boarded a three-seater Alaskan Bush Plane? I’ll leave it there for a moment! Well, I did…but not without Bob! If I was going, he was going with me! Ha! He and I stretched our comfort zones and signed up for a sight-seeing tour over Glacier National Park! Before placing one foot onto the plane’s steps, I asked the pilot, “Are you a believer?” His response, “Yes, Ma’am”! I followed with, “that’s all I need to hear!”
Can I tell you….it was the most exciting, wild, thrilling, fearless, fun, amazing, letting go of control experience-I’ve ever had! With my heart racing and sitting in the co-pilot’s seat we took off into the blue Alaskan sky flying over inlets then islands with the bay below glowing from the sun and the snow on the glaciers so pure and white that it took my breath away! With ease the pilot spoke into our headphones describing what we were seeing in all its glory…Glacier Bay including the famous Mendenhall Glacier, a dogsled camp far below and beauty as far as our eyes could see! The overall feeling was, “Thank You God for helping me let go of fear”! I would’ve otherwise never seen such beauty or felt so much freedom.
Is there something you’re holding on to-and you just can’t let go? Can I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and release all control? We only have so much time as one of my best friends on this planet often states and we must ask ourselves, what is holding me back from moving forward? Fear of…. you go ahead now and step onto the plane. He’ll be there waiting for you!
Dear Lord, I believe there is a reason “Do Not Fear” is repeated 365 times in The Bible. There is so much life to be had when we release ourselves from the grip of fear. Help us Lord to trust you completely…to let go of control, to sit in the co-pilot’s seat and let you show us how wonderful life IS when we allow you to be The Lord of our lives. Amen