Friday, August 6, 2010

epic journey...day 5 (continued)

After the park, we loaded up and headed to Palmer to go to the Williams Reindeer Farm.  You can find their website here... http://www.reindeerfarm.com/ .  The weather was holding for us even if it wasn't sunny and clear, it wasn't pouring rain, either.  This is a good thing. 
The reindeer farm was so fun!  Team Texas seemed to really enjoy their time there...and I enjoyed seeing them enjoy the reindeer and other animals for the first time.  Took me back to my first trip there...great memories!  Everyone from the team came, too, so they all have the experience to recall together.  Considering they come from what would be considered a mega church to most, it's the little things that sometimes bring people closer together.  
Handfeeding the reindeer is fun as I remember it...some come running as soon as they see you on their turf.  They are so cute, but they are not very good at judging how far their antlers are from you.  They turn their heads and, if your reflexes aren't fast enough, you'll find yourself whacked in the arm or head.  Loved seeing the team getting into it and tramping around in the mud together, feeding the reindeer.  
Of course, the food eventually ran out and we moved on to see Eddy the Elk.  While we were feeding the elk, one of the team members had trouble with her blood sugar...it dropped dangerously low and she needed something to eat immediately.  This was such a God moment for me because before we left for the park, I grabbed a lone banana that was lying beside my bag in the kitchen.  I will eat a banana occasionally, but I've never looked at one and thought to grab it to have just in case...until today.  God had a plan for that banana and it had nothing to do with me.  It was enough to get her feeling a little better and a farm staff was able to get her some crackers and a soda to drink as well.  God showed me through this that He speaks to us and asks us to do things that don't always seem normal.  I'm thankful I obeyed that small still voice and picked up the banana.
Next we went over to see Denali, the Moose, my favorite.  Thanks to my team leader (and now my friend) from two years ago, I saw and helped feed Denali when he was just a baby.  About the size of a goat then and now bigger than a horse, he's grown alot in two years, but is just as adorable.  Such sweet memories relived and new ones made at the reindeer farm...
We then drove into Palmer and ate our sandwiches at some picnic tables we found downtown.  Some took off to browse a few shops still open...and grab something hot to drink.  Others of us ate and then enjoyed some homemade ice cream sold in a shop across the street from where we were...even I had some, but I ate mine while standing inside.  It was too much to eat it outside in the cool temps.  
After our stop in Palmer, on to Wasilla we went.  Dr. Bowman's group Googled Sarah Palin and found directions to a lake where it was said she lived.  The lake was absolutely gorgeous, especially with a beautiful cloudy sky above.  So, it was great to be there to enjoy the beauty of the water and sky, whether or not it was really Sarah's home and float plane we saw across the lake.
On the way back to Eagle River we stopped and hiked to Thunderbird Falls.  Thankfully, the weather continued to be nice for us as we hiked the already muddy path.  The water fall was a great view, but even more fun and beautiful was the hike we took off the main path to the creek below which led to the foot of a waterfall.  Now that was awesome!  I love my team and the memories we made walking and talking to the falls is a treasure! 
Leaving the falls for our last stop, it brought tears to my eyes when Larry invited me to join them at dinner the next night at Wildberry's.  The van exploded into voices all declaring that I must join them for dinner, so I graciously accepted.   So much fun and I really felt a part of their group...like we've known each other for years and not days. God is good!
One last stop was Mirror Lake.  Heard wonderful things about it, but never have made it there before due to weather or time constraints.  It was amazing!  The water perfectly still was indeed a mirror for the land and sky around it.  It was getting dark, but the beauty of it all was still very impressive.  The ending to a pretty perfect day in Alaska...or almost the end.  Once back at the church, some of us decided for a "midnight run" to McDonalds.  Crazy as it seemed, it sounded really good...and, it was. :P           

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