Friday, June 7, 2019

A Mirror of the Sea

Quinn has been very busy at his new job as a guide for tourists on the Mendenhall Glacier - but don't feel too sorry for him. After all, he gets to ride a helicopter to work every day! But because of his busy schedule we haven't been able to go on any hikes while the weather has been nice. So of course it was pouring down rain on his first day off in a while.

As we are somewhat used to being disappointed with the Juneau rainforest weather, we decided to go on a hike anyway (and invited our friend Aaron along too)!

There is a saying here in Juneau, "It's always nicer out the road." I can remember my mother telling me this fervently as I climbed into a bus to take me out to Echo Ranch Bible Camp (which is all the way out the road) while the raindrops fell around us. As far as I can tell, this saying is usually correct! It certainly was in our case that day. The whole drive out it was pouring, and as we got farther and farther away from town the rain lessened, till we arrived at the Point Bridget trailhead and found it hardly sprinkling at all - we even took off our coats part way through the hike!
Now I may have said "hike", but it's really more of a walk (by Alaskan standards anyway). The Point Bridget trail is about three miles long and flat the whole way, with lovely mountain views and ending at the ocean. We had hoped to see some of the horses from Echo Ranch - which sits just across the river - but there was a kid's camp going on so I'm sure the horses were busy (we even heard the lunch bell go off - a very loud siren that echoes off the mountains and brings back fond memories for all of us). Often times the horses roam free around the large meadows, or they're busy giving rides to campers through the woods.

I was just a tad bit nervous we would run into a bear on our hike. One time we stayed out at a cabin in the meadow with our friends. Our friends Jacob and Leah weren't going to stay the night with us, but on their hike back they ran into a bear and stayed the night anyway, rather than risk hiking back in the dark when a bear was close by. Thankfully we didn't meet a bear, though there was something no larger than Greta scuttling around in the bushes at one point...

The flowers were so pretty on our way out to the beach - I had to stop myself from picking any, knowing they would wilt. I promised myself I would pick a bouquet on our hike back to the trail head.

The woods gave way to meadow, then the beach!
The three of us sat on an old log and ate some lunch. Quinn went down to the water's edge and threw some very large sticks for Lupin and Greta - which they enjoyed profusely - their barks echoing off the mountains (no bears would stick around after hearing that!). Aaron even spotted a whale way out past the rocky shore. 
We had a marvelous time exploring the beach at low tide. There were tide pools even deep enough for Greta to swim in, and all manner of tiny sea creatures to discover within their depths. 

Here is Quinn trying to take a selfie with me on the large rock that was pictured above. He laughed after he saw it and said "ALL nose!" Unfortunately Aaron did not make it into the photo, but I don't think he's too disappointed about that, ha!

Farther up the beach we found a large tree that had washed up on the shore. Greta enjoyed the little windows the roots made, and I couldn't pick which photo to show you so here's a whole lot!

She seldom smiles for the camera (I don't think she wants to be famous, ha!), so I was so excited to get these silly photos of her! 

I was thrilled to see the wild sweet peas blooming along the sea shore - their purple and blue flowers are one of my most favorites! I had told myself I would pick a bouquet on the way I started one right then and there! Perhaps I could simply add on to it as we made our way back along the trail.

Here's my bouquet of sweet peas and wild geraniums! After I made it I decided it would be best to leave it as is, since the stems of the sweet pea are so short and they wouldn't get any water in a vase of tall lupin. But don't you dare think that I stopped there!

We started hiking back and Quinn and Aaron were so kind as I stopped every five feet to pick another flower. Quinn even offered to hold my first bouquet as my hands were starting to get full. What's more, he even posed for a photo!
 In case you haven't noticed Dear Reader, I had my hair cut very short recently! I have never in my life had it this short, but I really love it. Quinn takes great delight in it too, as now his hair is longer than mine! 

A Poem from my Poetry Notebook:

       -A Mirror of the Sea-

A mirror of the sea shone bright
With colors livelier by far
For pinks and purples meet the sight
And yellows shining like a star.

Ripples too can there be found
But not of water, foam, or spray.
The wind he travels fast, unbound,
To blow the petals far away.

To wander through this ocean wide
Would be an afternoon well spent,
For with the bees and butterflies
One will truly be content. 

I gathered lupin, shooting stars, buttercups, irises, and wild geraniums for this bouquet. The chocolate lilies pictured above were so pretty, but they stink horribly, and so I decided against it. Again, Quinn and Aaron were so kind in waiting for me as I ran around in the wet grass picking flower after flower. I could have stayed there all day!

The bouquet got so large I could barely fit my hand around it! But what a glorious array of colors! I was a bit nervous it wouldn't survive the hike back and the long drive home - but it did! And it now sits proudly on my kitchen counter, ready to be admired every day!
I don't think I could ever get tired of looking at that picture - and I know for sure it will be even more loved and cherished when winter is in full swing!

Picking wild flowers must be my favorite thing, and I don't think I mind that one bit.


  1. Oh how I covet your beautiful dress, Emily!! Quinn is those candid pictures. The area of that hike looks so secluded and peaceful. I want to live there :).
    I loooooove the poem, Emily. The beauty of nature wouldn't be complete without poetry to depict it!

  2. Quinn - LOL! I love seeing these photos, Emily. Greta is such a cutie. The perfect doggie for you. I always enjoy your poetry. You have so many talents, and I am glad you are sharing them with us. Good to see you blogging again. I know it takes a lot of time, but I really do enjoy reading your posts and seeing your photos. Hope you are enjoying your summer in Alaska. We are HOT here and I don't like it one bit. One summer, I am coming to see you!