Thursday, December 1, 2016

Fairbanks and Home {Lone Star to Last Frontier, 2015}

For the backstory, please see the post, "Courage, Dear Heart!" This post includes many photos (sorry, not sorry), so e-mail readers may prefer to view the Web version of Fairbanks and Home.

Our last day in the last frontier was largely spent in a bus, enjoying the beautiful fall color on the drive north from Denali National Park to Fairbanks.





We drove past a government satellite array important during the Cold War for keeping tabs on our northern Pacific neighbors.


We stopped in Nenana and heard the story of Balto, the most famous of a team of sled dogs who managed to navigate through white-out blizzard conditions to deliver precious cargo of diphtheria medication from Anchorage to Nome. The human drivers couldn't find their way, and no planes could fly, but the dogs saved numerous lives and stopped a potential epidemic.


Nenana hillside cemetery

The odd structure below is transferred to the river surface after it freezes over for the winter. People all around the world compete to guess when the ice will thaw enough for it to fall through. (We didn't attempt that.)


These are reindeer kept by a university agriculture program. If the same animals were wild, not domesticated, they would be called caribou. We're not sure if they're Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, or who. I didn't see any red noses among them, though. ('Tis the season!)





When we arrived in Fairbanks, we explored by foot and ate lunch at a local shop. Along the river we found a pretty plaza with a sculpture commemorating the first people of Alaska and their traditions.




Repacking, weighing our suitcases, resting, and showering consumed the rest of the day. We ate a lovely, hearty dinner before our midnight trip to the airport for the long trip home. We were disappointed that the skies were still too overcast to see the Northern Lights, but the Lord gave us a sweet parting gift after our layover in Seattle.



This is Mount Rainier in early morning, as seen from my window seat. My mathematically minded dad observed that from this same flight altitude, we would still have been looking up at Denali.

We returned home that evening to near-100F heat. Due to fatigue and the lateness of the hour, we postponed our reunion with Ebony until the next morning. This journey was the longest he and I have ever been separated since we brought him home. He was beside himself to see us again. (The camera was having trouble focusing with such quick action, but this video makes me happy, so I'm including it anyway.)





In conclusion, dear Crumbles, these are my memorial stones of a great adventure I couldn't have enjoyed without the Lord's power and grace. Is there some hard thing, some God-sized task which you know the Lord is nudging you toward today? If so, I pray that having read the story of His victory for me would give you courage to move forward in faith, giving glory to Him. What He has promised, He is able also to perform (Romans 4:20-21). Where He calls, He enables. Impossibilities are His specialty.


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