The Last Frontier

We got back from a cruise to Alaska on Saturday. Gramma and Grampa are celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year, and wanted to take us all on a cruise. It was the first cruise for most of us, and the first time in Alaska for a lot of us.

Some of the highlights:
– Mommy and I went on a coastal hike when we were in Skagway (though the hike was in the beautiful town of Haines). The hike was fairly easy, but we took it at a somewhat fast pace, and stopped every so often to look at flowers and trees, and our guide explained a lot about the rainforest. Eventually we came to a rocky beach, rested there for a few minutes, and then hiked on to another beach, where we sat and had lunch, then hiked back.


{In Skagway. it was bizarre – if you looked down the main road there, you’d see a cruise ship rising out of nowhere}
– Glacier Bay – the cruise ship spent a day going very slowly through Glacier Bay National Park. We stopped in front of one glacier for a while and saw a bunch of calving (also known as white thunder).

I spent most of the day as far front and high as passengers were allowed and took lots of pictures, enjoyed the scenery and wildlife, and got very cold. As we were leaving Glacier Bay there were a bunch of whales and I saw one jump! 🙂

And many times I was struck by how HUGE the world is and how much there is to explore… and thinking a lot about a quote from Hornblower, when someone asks Hornblower what he’s thinking about and he says: “The distances we travel, and how far we have to go as men.” And thinking a lot about “the great expanse,” as Eric Ludy talks about – as we step in we see how far we have to go and how little we’ve come.

{There’s a whale tale in the lower right-hand ninth of the picture}
– One afternoon there was a virtual tour of the bridge and some history on navigation – daddy, mommy, Nate, and I went to that, and I learned a lot.
– A fun morning was the lumberjack show in Ketchikan. LumberNate (Flannel) especially enjoyed that. 🙂

– Twice I went running on the promenade deck. Most days there were dance classes (zumba, ballroom, and line dancing) that we went to for exercise, but I did run some. And although it was cold and windy, I loved running on deck. 🙂
– Food… of course. We ate so much, and so much good food. And lots of fish. I love fish.
– On gramma and grampa’s anniversary we reserved a part of one of the lounges and ordered a cake. Daddy spoke for a while about marriage in general, and gramma and grampa’s marriage, and the fruit that has come out of that, even from grampa’s stroke.
– In Juneau we took a float plane trip over a bunch of glaciers.

– A lot of the entertainment wasn’t very appropriate, but a few days there was a juggler.

He was incredible, and we were so grateful with how clean he was. We’d talked to him some the day before we saw him perform and found out he homeschooled, too… and then especially after his performance we were wondering if he was a Christian and were talking to him afterwards and he asked US if we were Christians, then said – “Homeschooling, wearing skirts… I can read the signs.” 😛 Some of the stunts he did were almost scary because of how hard they were – standing on the top rung of a ladder that didn’t have supports and juggling 5 rings while having a balance thing with a ball on it on your forehead?
It was really neat.

In short: the food, the wildlife, the scenery, and the family time. 🙂
I loved being at sea, and thankfully didn’t get sea sick like I thought I might – though Hannah and I started laughing in the car on the way back from the cruise terminal because we both got car sick about 15 minutes into the car ride home. Ha.

{Night falls in Victoria}

{For Anna: this made me think of Beauty and the Beast}
But after a week of ‘the high life’ I want more than ever to work hard and live simply. Being out in the open and in nature made me so happy and often its beauty caused me to worship Him… but at the same time all of the crudeness in the entertainment and how so many people live for the facade of pleasure found on cruises – was almost sickening.
Still, it was a good family vacation and there was something for everyone to do, even though it was hard to do something ALL together (though most days all of the aunts, gramma, and the older girls would do zumba, and we’d eat together). And it was really neat to get up to Alaska and be at sea… and even to be colder than I’ve ever been – but to come back inside to hot bowls of fish chowder.

{Hot, delicious chowder on a cold morning after whale watching}

Yo ho! (because that’s what lumberjacks say!)

– Kyleigh

P.S. – here’s a link to the full album. There’s 248 pictures, and I’d taken over 1,000. I’ve come to the conclusion, though, that for every 10 pictures I take there’s only 1 or 2 good ones.


4 thoughts on “The Last Frontier

  1. James Dunn says:

    “Homeschooling, wearing skirts… I can read the signs.” It would be nice if such things were more common among Christians instead of just floating with a godless culture.
    Sounds like you had a good adventure up there. Alaska is on my list of places to go some day.
    Thanks for sharing!


    • Anon says:

      Must have missed the part in the bible where are skirts only or schooling is home schooling only. Christians from all around the world wear things unique to their culture and most countries home schooling is not popular, does not make them any less christian. Legalism of dress, education and many things is what divides christians. Try to a publican instead of a pharisee.


      • kyleian says:

        Let me clarify my statement (and I think I can speak for both me and James on this)… Wearing a skirt and homeschooling won’t make you a Christian. I hope I never come across as saying that anything other than Christ bearing the wrath of God in our stead saves us. It’s not of us. But that’s not to say that there isn’t a way for Christians to live that exalts and adorns the gospel (see Titus 2). The question isn’t “is it sin to wear pants,” but “Is what I’m going to wear make my brother stumble?” (I wear skirts most of the time because 1, I’m more comfortable, 2, they make me feel elegant, and 3, it’s really hard to find modest pants. I looked for a long time this summer before I found any. Of course, skirts can be just as immodest. It’s not skirts vs pants, but an issue of loving my brothers in Christ. I don’t do it to be different from the world, I do it because the way most of America dresses is harmful to both men and women). Second, homeschooling – again, it doesn’t save you. And it’s not a clear-cut command “YOU MUST HOMESCHOOL,” just like wearing skirts. BUT there ARE commands to train up your children in the fear and instruction of the Lord, and to teach them when you rise up, when you lie down, and when you walk by the way. I see homeschooling as the most efficient way of doing that, and it also (I believe) better equips believers to be able to contend for the faith.
        I hope that clarifies some. I don’t believe either saves you, but they are both ways of living in a way that glorifies Him and adorns the gospel and makes it beautiful and appealing to a dying world.


  2. Ang =}] says:

    Great to hear about your summer. There are so many things I didn’t realized I knew about you. I love you dear, keep up the beautiful writing and words of encouragement.
    en Christ


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