Mountain Therapy

The mountains are calling, and I must go”. John Muir and I share the same hearing range . . . mountain range.

Stretching to the sky, a mere couple miles away across Fish Lake as the raven flies, Castle Mountain called today.

For this flightless ole duffer it’s a 10 mile trek featuring a washed out mining road rift with ATV devouring gullies; crossing a five-star mosquito resort infested swamp;  and scrambling along an ever upward trail to finally emerge above tree line . . . worth every aching grunt, challenging step, pair of wet socks, and itchy mosquito bite.

It’s the ultimate Covid-19 social distancing therapy, and no need to mask-up. There were only three people on the mountain . . . Me, Myself and I. And, as  with all my mountaintop adventures, Dad was there too . . . always is.

It’s where we talk, and I listen.

It’s where love lives, and judgement dies.

It’s where future optimism buries past pessimism.

It’s where hope prevails, and worries fade.

It’s where calm replaces chaos, and protest morphs into peace.

It’s where alpine blooms and bird songs lift my spirits.

It’s where mountain breezes dry my tears.

And, it’s where He shows me glimpses of eternity, gently assuring me . . . the best is yet to come.

Here’s a few of those glimpses.

“Give all your cares and worries to God, for He cares about you.” – Peter5:7

I M Blessed! . . . May U B 2                                     +
Keep Looking Up

Castle Mountain
Talkeetna Range
Distant Glacier
Mountain Jenga
Home Sweet Home

“Cute” vs. “Old”

Ever hear a senior citizen described as “Cute”? Not since they were in diapers, and Depends don’t qualify.  “Cute” is reserved for the young . . . “Old” is old.

Here’s some ‘Cuties’ and their Moms . . . except for the red little squirrel perched on my “Old” hand.

Trumpeter Swan and Signets
Trumpeter Swan Signet
Cow Moose and Calf
Moose Calf
Red Squirrel

4 Cops/4 Words


Covid-19 isn’t nearly as discouraging to me as is the recent racial turmoil our country is experiencing  . . . I’m reluctant to turn on the news anymore.

Our country has never been, will never be perfect, and there will always be an evolving need for improvement in most every area. However, it’s current state is not the “In God We Trust” one our forefathers, as imperfect as they were, envisioned, or I hoped to pass onto to my children.

The good news . . . each day we’re given presents the opportunity and renewed hope for a better day. In that venue I hesitantly share these thoughts regarding a woefully politicized event. This is where my heart is, and if these offend anyone I apologize, praying we can amicably agree to disagree, resting in the humanly unfathomable assurance that ultimately, “…all things work together for good to them that love God…” – Romans:8:28

Four Policemen/Four Words

What four Minneapolis policemen did to George Floyd in arresting him was horribly wrong, inexcusable, and criminal far beyond any crime Mr. Floyd may have committed. Are there racist police? . . .regretfully . . . “Yes”. However, they are not the norm among the countless men and women in blue who bravely put themselves at risk  each and every day protecting and serving us. These criminal four have been arrested for their horrific crime, will stand trial, and be incarcerated for what they did.

Life has taught me there are usually two sides to a story that personal prejudices often obscure. Controversial black woman Candace Owen’s viewpoint gives pause for thought . . . to elevate a man with an extensive criminal record as a shining example of what others should aspire to is not only a detriment to Black Lives Matter, but to men and women of all colors who rightly insist for needed racial equality.

All men were created equal by our Creator, Who alone is truly ‘colorblind’. Sadly, it’s those with monochromatic black or white ‘color-vision’ who continue to foster division, blinded to the nonviolent, healing unity embracing diversity promotes. Would that all mankind, regardless of color or race could . . .  with honest, genuine authenticity . . . come to respect and treat each other with their Creator’s ‘colorblind’ vision.

Years ago, I read a book that significantly impacted this privileged white man. James McBride is a creative, talented writer, and son of a black father and white mother. His book brought my ‘color-vision’ into clear focus.

Verbally bullied by his peers for his ‘half-breed’ color, James came home in tears after school one day.  Going to his mother he asked, “Mom, what color am I?” The poignant wisdom of her response became the title of his book . . . “Son, in God’s eyes you are The Color of Water”.

Those four heartbreaking words represent racial diversity’s Gold Standard, and my standard regarding those of all colors with whom I’m privileged to share this tragically, racially divided country and world . . .  My prayer is someday it will become this troubled world’s universal, monochromatic healing color.
Keep Looking Up

A Single Mother’s Love

Watching Mama and her younguns’ wander through the backyard my thoughts drifted (a perpetual state of mind) back to my childhood. My five younger siblings and I were blessed with a mother whose nurturing, unconditional love set the Gold Standard for 93 years before she left for Home.

So how did a cow moose and her kids trigger such fond childhood memories? Two factors account for this:

  1. I’m kinda’ weird . . . I heard that Amen! 🙂
  2. Aside from the first few years of my childhood, my mother, just like Mrs. Bullwinkle here, raised us as a single mother.

Both Moms faced their own respective survival-of-the-fittest challenges in raising their kids on their own. During their one short year together, Mama B will keep watch for aggressive grizzlies and stalking wolves as she teaches her toddlers how to forage and survive life in the Alaskan wilderness.  My Mom lovingly endured many years of aggressive creditors and the subtle, stalking ridicule of some of society’s more ‘righteous’ as she faithfully raised each of us through this troubled world’s hurdles to adulthood (I’m still working on that 🙂

Seventy-five years from two and two years from eighty, I’ve long since left the Spring of my childhood and entered life’s Winter season. While I’m forever thankful for those along the journey who’ve helped me arrive here, there are two who, without their forever forgiveness, patience and love, I would no longer be here fogging a mirror . . .

Thanks God. . .  Thanks Mom . . . looking forward to seeing you both again someday.

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swan Nesting Pair

Trumpeter Swans are the largest existing species of waterfowl. With a wingspan that can exceed 10 feet and a weight than can top 25 pounds, they’re also the heaviest North America bird.

As impressive as they are territorial, these magnificent birds nearly followed the passenger pigeon’s route to extinction. By 1933 fewer than 70 were known to exist in the wild before several thousand were discovered around Alaska’s Copper River. Careful reintroductions by wildlife agencies and the Trumpeter Swan Society gradually restored the North American wild population to over 46,000 birds by 2010.

Each Spring we anticipate the return of a regal pair of Trumpeter Swans to our Alaskan lake. Together, this lifelong pair constructs a massive nest to incubate their eggs, from which downy signets will hatch in about 5 weeks.

Two years ago this regal duo successfully raised six signets. Sadly, last year none endured the Last Frontier’s survival-of-the-fittest harsh regime.

After spending the short Alaskan summer raising their new family, they will  ‘snowbird’ to the southern United States for the winter.

Creation’s Calm

The patient devotion of mother swan sitting on her clutch of eggs . . . the foreboding thunder of a gathering mountain storm . . . Creation’s contrasts enveloped me in a tranquil peace today wandering through this majestic corner of the Greatland.

The little cares that worried me, I lost them yesterday, out in the fields with God.

Trumpeter Swan
Castle Mt. Chickaloon, Alaska

Keep Looking Up