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Next Stop Skagway

Skagway was my favorite stop. Scenically glorious, that is if you love the water and the mountains! You do not even need to get off the ship. You look forward to the boat yard and the old town of Skagway while further in the distance is a valley of mountain peaks. You look behind you and see 2 absolutely mesmerizing snow caped mountain peaks. Now I say mesmerizing because I saw these peeks 4 times in all weather conditions, but still somehow it was like a painting that never changed! To the left more mountains, and to the right we were cliff side. They only way to look left was straight up or straight down, and straight down you saw the train that took you into the Yukon Territory. I was signed up to take this train tour but then I had this incident that sent me home. Even without that, it was still the most beautiful port. It was also the hardest to just pick a handful of pictures to post.

My first visit was very exciting, I was going horseback riding. On the way to the ranch we were driving around this empty inlet where they explained that the tide came in and out 4 times a day. This was no normal occurrence for someone visiting because the water exchange was huge. They have 25 foot tides up here and that is so crazy. Random fact; I have not been a horse person but I seem to have found myself around them on many occasions, yet at the age of 34 I have never even been on one till today! It was so much fun, and the horses were so well trained, taken care of, and not over ridden. I got the lazy horse, of course I need some sort of challenge when I am doing something new! The scenery while riding the horse could not have been more amazing, and as we were heading back to the ranch I saw my first Alaskan bear as well. Maybe it was my height on the horse but that bear was adorable.

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(Top right is just to show you the low tide line.)

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(Then you have high tide in that same valley)

Next I just went walking through town. It was all original buildings so it was really cool to see even if they were littered with jewelry and souvenir shops! Now fast forward to the next time and I decided to go hiking on my own. This was hands down my favorite day! I grabbed my backpack, water, newly purchased hiking shoes and just went for it. As you will see in the pictures I was extremely grateful for those hiking shoes; the terrain was about as rugged as it gets. Climbing continuously over rocks and roots, there was switchbacks on the trail but the grade percentage up had to be higher than normal too. Then coming down your feet are smashed into the front of your shoes the whole time. It was all worth it! As you go up you see the ship and the town get smaller, and the natural scenery just get more spectacular. You could see mountain peaks not seen from below, mountain lakes that are always full of the clearest fresh water and stunning waterfalls the entire way up. Here is where I would like to say what everyone already knows; pictures never do there justice but I can provide you with a little sample of what I got to see today. I hiked a total of 8 miles round trip and starting at sea level I climbed an elevation of 3,100 ft.

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(these are pictures of the trail)

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The sunset and sunrise are a bit different up here in Alaska from what I am used to. Sunrise is at about 4:30am and sunset is after 11:00pm. Complete darkness does not come till well after 12 midnight. Below I took this picture at about 11:20pm.

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Up next I will be taking you to Glacier Bay National Park. This was a park we went thru on our cruise ship. The ship I was on was designed especially for adventures like this!

Find Your Happy Place

I always have things lined up that I want to write about and then days or even the day before my Wednesday post I have another idea! We all have lists of cool things we want to buy or do, right? We wait and wait and put it off and maybe never get to it. In my path of many risks and changes I have decided that I need to stop talking about these things and buy or do them. Plus sometimes you just need to treat yourself.

In any case I have already bought and done  a number of things just in the past years time alone. This past Friday I bought myself a kayak. I always wanted my own! I came across some money and decided to take Nike’s advise and “Just Do It”. I bought The car mounting straps, the life vest, the paddle and the kayak all in one shot on Friday. I was going to take it out up by the Chain of Lakes area in the northern part of Illinois on Sunday but I could not stand it I had to put her in the water. Saturday afternoon that is exactly what I did! I went on the Fox River which is very close to where I live.

I got everything set up and scooted off the loading area and into the water. I paddled out into the middle of the water and that is when it hit me………It is so peaceful out here, It is so quiet, I feel really good out by myself in the middle of the river in my new kayak!(I still feel like I should name her) I just started paddling up stream and was thinking about the whole “Happy Place” concept. I think I found it! I Have found my “Happy Place”. I felt very centered out on the river in my kayak. Did not have to do anything did not have to be anywhere did not have to answer to anyone. Needless to say I went to the Chain of Lakes area the next day, scratched her up got her dirty and broke her in! Now, I have been in kayaks before in the open ocean, on rivers, in the rapids but there is a different value to getting in one of your own, it is total peace.

I urge all of you to try everything in life and find your happy places. If you find something you really like doing there really is no reason at all to stop doing it….EVER! This is just one of many places where I am most happy! I am not going to  name all of my happy places but I want to name probably the top 3, but not in any order: Kayaking, Sitting at the top of the mountains, and Chicago Fire soccer games. I know this is more of a personal story than ideas of positivism in my post this week. I think that with all of these Ideas of positivism and practicing what I preach that my life has taken on many positive adventures which I think carry as much value as the ideas of positivism themselves. We all have a choice to be positive or negative, always choose positive and see how your life evolves for the better.

Soon to come, as requested by a wonderful follower of my blog, a “You Want Me” video! you-want-me-explained

 

Have a great week and weekend everyone. I know what Ill be doing this weekend! 😛

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Famous Quote Friday

There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.
Nelson Mandela

 

The great things you want in life are not always going to be easy. You should expect to walk through many obstacles and hard times to get to your destinations. The key is to not give up. Your desires are out there waiting for you. Just when you reach the mountain top sometimes off in the distance you see another one, a higher mountain top. Sometimes your journey starts over sometimes it grows even bigger. Stay true to your desires and you shall walk higher than ever.

Dr. Eric Perry, PhD

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