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epic 8

Saturday, July 24th
Sightseeing day = weather not fit for man nor beast.  Sad, but true.  During the entire trip never saw a wild animal, but who could blame them for not wandering around in the wind and rain?  I think we were able to make our first two stops, Bird Point and the bakery, without it raining, but pretty much after that we were wet.  Third summer and the worst weather experienced yet on sightseeing day...I'll have to try again next year, right? :)
We went right to get on the Ptarmigan for our glacier boat tour after the bakery stop.  It was pouring rain at this time.  It was difficult to keep the lens of a camera free of raindrops.  Never mind that I had my umbrella actually along this year and even with me, but I had left it on the van.  I'm pretty sure it would have been turned inside out by the wind on top of the boat, so it's probably best I didn't even try.  Thankfully, by the grace of God, the glacier was still visible with hovering clouds just above it, so the teams could enjoy the beauty of the glacier.  I had come inside to dry off a bit when word went out that there was a considerable chunk that calved into the lake.  So glad that my team was able to see this happen...I saw such a sight last year on the tour and it was loud and pretty cool to watch.  There were more iceburgs in the lake this year than the two previous summers.  Wonder if the amount of rain this summer made glacier calving increase.
After the Portage Glacier cruise, we lost half the team.  They went back due to the weather and were dropped off at their respective hotels since their GraceWorks journey had ended, but they weren't leaving until a later date.  The remaining team members and I, along with Kim, went and hiked to Byron Glacier.  Those of us who went, made the hike in as fun as we could.  Surprisingly, I stayed relatively dry and warm...thanks to having my umbrella and actually using it this time.  It made taking pictures easier since I didn't have to stop and dry off the lens so often.  The glacier although visible was not shining radiantly blue this year.  It was a great time with the team, though.  We didn't do any glacier sliding this year but it was definately slick enough to slide just trying to walk.  The snow pack was alot different this year and really rough.  We were glad to have stayed and hiked it, but the remaining team members had no desire to stay any longer in the Portage area, so we skipped the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and headed back to Anchorage.
The beauty of the glaicers still held in all the rain and wind...and the inner beauty of the team I had come to serve held as well in spite of a not so grand weather day.  We dropped the team off at Calvary and from there they would be taken to their respective hotels for the night as well.  Lots of hugs and goodbyes were exchanged while I waited for Traci to come and pick me up as well.  It had been an amazing week.  I was sad to see them go.  I was tired.  I was thankful for God's goodness to us as a team.  
The most important thing of the week was that needs were met and hearts/lives were forever changed due to the work of God through us in Eagle River.   Everything else was icing on the cake.           


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