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Glacier Hiking

HI Folks,

I’ve been very busy in the past few weeks working with new and existing outfitters to provide different, exciting activities for upcoming trips that I hope you’ll join us for next year.
One of the adventures we’ve added is the opportunity to actually hike on a glacier. There are literally tens of thousand of glaciers explored and unexplored in Alaska and we’re fortunate to have several here in the Valdez areas that are accessible by land or water.

One of these is the beautiful Worthington Glacier located 30 miles from Valdez in the Thompson Pass area. A relatively young glacier, Worthington is like most other glaciers currently in retreat, moving steadily back more than a mile from it’s maximum distance while continuing to build up depth as huge snowfalls come to the Chugach Mountains each year

The glacier is situated so that a moderate hike will get you to the face, where you can observe beautiful blue ice, numerous water falls that come from mountain snow melt as well as the streams that surge thru and under the glacier.
With a little more effort we take a steeper rock trail up the east side until we are in position to put on our helmets and crampons and step on to the ice.

We slowly begin our hike up as we get used to the crampons and begin noticing the beautiful formations and crevasse’s that make up the glaciers surface. Ever careful of where we’re stepping we ascend to where the people below on the observation platform or hiking to the face look like ants

On the Glacier

We enjoy stunning views as guides explain how glaciers are formed, the complex nature of a glacier and the ebbs and flows that occur over the millennium with sun, rain, wind and snow. They are truly amazing, living entities that can tell a story even to the untrained eye.

As my clients and I were making our way back down the glacier one of them spotted something is a small stream of water. It turned out to be a Go Pro camera the type that’s worn on the body to record all the action.

That night we took out the card and put it in the computer to see what it contained. It showed folks whitewater rafting and then shots of the glacier. They were apparently putting the camera under water into a crevasse to see what was there when it came loose and sunk to the bottom. The camera records they’re efforts to retrieve it but they fail as, finally, does the battery.

The really interesting thing is that the date shows that all this took place four years ago in 2009. The glacier activity was such that over that period of time the ice around the crevasse was changed in such a way that the camera was brought to the surface, and washed down to where my client picked it up.

This was a totally unexpected event and we were really excited about the find. It also gave us a deeper insight as to the behavior of the glacier over even a short time frame. I’m looking forward to hiking there again in the next few days to see what has changed since just week ago.

Hope all of you are well and enjoying your summer. I look forward to the opportunity to have you join us in the future.

Namaste,

JIM

Hi Folks,

I arrived in Valdez on Saturday the 8th after an 8-day trip thru Canada and the Yukon Territories, as usual a long trip with great scenery and wildlife.I really begin to reconnect with spirit as soon as I’m out of the large cities, it doesn’t matter what country I’m in they all have lots of busy, fractured energy.

Since I’ve been back I’ve been reconnecting with friends and my outfitters getting ready to host our clients on their fabulous Alaska adventure.

As you know from my last blog regarding nature and wildlife survival, I was looking forward to seeing how the mama grizzly with the four cubs that we saw last year survived the winter’s cold and deep snows. As I mentioned it’s pretty rare to see four cubs and one was very small compared with the other three. It was however the most active of the group but that doesn’t always mean survival.

                                                      

My friend and I were heading up the road to the WorthingtonGlaciertoday and our route follows the Lowe River. We were about two miles from my cabin when we spotted them: Mama Grizzly and yes all FOUR cubs. What a sight they were as she led them down the fast flowing river stopping at small islands to let them catch up with her. Always aware of where they were and what was around them.

And, as he was last year, the little runt was way behind the others. His curiosity for every little thing kept him very busy. He would stop and all at once look up to see mom and siblings way ahead and then scamper to catch up. Kinda reminded me of me in grammar school, check marks on my report card for “doesn’t pay attention in class, doesn’t do his homework on time” etc. Guess we’re both a little ADD.

In any event it added much joy to another picture perfect day in this great place. We’re enjoying exceptional sunshine and warm temps for the area and looking forward to lots more activities and seeing mama and cubs feeding here in town when the Pink Salmon start to return.

Wish you could all be here to see these wonderful sights. Until next time, be well!

Namaste,

JIM

Mama grizzly

Mama Grizzly

Life in the Wild

I was sitting in Graham’s 318, one of my favorite coffee shops last week and noticed a robin’s nest in a fir tree outside the window. A female robin was very busy flying back and forth feeding four hungry babies. It was a joy to watch her and her young ones but I couldn’t help but notice that with 4 chicks, that was a very crowded nest.

A few days later I returned and asked Esther, one of the barista’s, how the young ones were doing. She said that one of them had fallen or been pushed out of the nest. When I asked her if she tried to get it back into the nest she replied that she believed in not interfering with nature. I was impressed that she made the right decision even though the young bird would perish.

For most of us, the inclination is to rescue wildlife that is injured or abandoned and get it back to its mama or take it where humans can care for it. In many instances I agree with that as I, like most of us, don’t want to see animals hurt or in trouble.

As a traveler and tour guide in Alaska however I get to witness animals of all species in their wild habitat. In the wilderness, as in populated areas nature is always ready to follow it’s normal path. The difference of course is in the wild, life and death so often go unnoticed that we tend to forget that it follows it’s own rules.

Last year there was a female grizzly bear near the town of Valdez where I base my trips. This beautiful lady had 4 cubs…. a very rare occurrence. While they all appeared healthy and active we noticed that one was much smaller than the others…the runt of the litter.

Given the harsh winters and other factors, there’s a good chance that this little guy did not survive and may not be around when I get back there in a few weeks. No one suggested that the cub be trapped so it could be safely raised in its first year and guaranteed its survival. It will survive or not as nature provides.

On another occasion we were kayaking and camping at Shoup Glacier. There was a large sea lion that had beached itself and was in the process of dying. It made loud bellowing noises on and off all through the night and we could here it all from our cabin.

At one point we thought that it might be being under the attack of Wolverines and we were tempted to check and help if necessary but we knew it was not what we needed to do. The next morning we saw the animal still alive, but in the water around her were 20 or so other sea lions that had come to keep a vigil in her time of need, an amazing example of the community that wild animals develop.

As humans interacting with nature we can never be quite sure if what we’re doing is helping or harming. We can feel good about what we’re doing in rescuing and protecting but that’s our stuff and not natures.

Among the many things I’ve learned is that in nature there are absolutely no mistakes. Everything that takes place in the natural habitat is exactly the way it’s supposed to be.

Hi Folks,

Wow, can’t believe its spring once again…how the Universe speeds us thru time today. Throughout my life, especially when I was younger Spring meant shedding the winter clothes, melting piles of remaining snow turned ugly with cinders and debris, longer, warmer days and of course the oncoming summer with all it’s fun and

Alaska in the spring is alive!

Alaska in the spring is alive!

sun and vacations and maybe romances. As I’ve matured both physically and spiritually I’ve come to feel the passing of seasons very differently. They not only mark the physical passage of time in my life but have me connected in different ways to the magic of the Universe and Mother Earth. Spring is a very powerful Season, at least for me. It’s a time when a slumbering energy is waking up and bringing renewal to all the inhabitants of our Earth. Flowers bloom, trees leaf out, rain comes, sunshine increases. All without any help from us…amazing.

I know for me that as the days start to lengthen even imperceptibly in late December and early January that there is a spiritual as well as physical shift in my energy and my consciousness. I believe we all feel these shifts but sometimes don’t truly understand the power in them that connects us with each other and with every single thing on this earth and in this universe.

As a spiritual being having a human experience I truly embrace all that this season of renewal brings to our world and me. I am blessed to connect even more deeply when I leave the prickly energy of the metro areas and go to Alaska where there is little manmade static and this connectedness is so profound.
With the fast pace of our lives today it is so easy for these magical times in our lives to slip by unnoticed. We are so busy “connecting” with each other on Facebook, Internet, tweets, TV and movies that we utterly fail to recognize and embrace the real power…. Spirit, Nature or whatever you choose to call it.

My hope for all of you as another season blossoms in our lives is that you make an effort to spend more time connecting with nature and the power of your spirit. Leave behind, when you venture into this great space, your I Phones, headsets, computers and all the busy thoughts. Allow yourself to be renewed and refreshed in those times Give yourself the gift of the peace that comes knowing that you are a powerful spiritual being and it all comes from inside us when we connect with our source.

Namaste,

JIM

Alaska Journey 2012

Hi All,

It’s been so long since I posted and I’m glad to be back. I will be posting on a regular basis and hope you’ll follow along. Since starting the Alaska Adventures segment of More to Your Life it had been my desire to immerse myself more deeply into the Alaskan culture hence my decision beginning in 2012 to spend the summer months up north. I moved out of my apartment, put most of my belongings in storage, loaded the rest of my gear, kayak and bicycle in my Subaru and headed out on May 13th.

It was quite an advneture driving the 3400 miles, seeing the vast changes in landscape, weather, traffice and the personalities of the people in the various areas in which I traveled. The large cities and countryside in the lower 48 and into and thru Canada were very similar in traffic, agriculture, industry and  the energy of the people. It was fascinating to watch and feel the changes as I moved north and west into British Columbia and the Yukon territories.The landscape went from flat and agricultural to moutainous, rugged, absolutley breathtaking beautiful terrain. The population lessend, traffic got thinner and less frantic and the people more grounded and peacful, that slower movement that makes the wilderness and semi wilderness so remakably special.

I got to see the beautiful Canadian Rockies, a wide range of wildlife including black bears, Bison and extremly large species of moose, especailly in the Yukon Territitories. It was a special treat to hike trails along the famous Yukon River just outside of Whitehorse and get a small taste of the historical develpoment of that area following the dicovery of gold back in the late 1800’s.

The trip took me about 12 days with some stops along the way. I stayed in some very unique places such as the Toad River Inn and met some fantasticly interesting people. It never ceases to amaze me that no matter the geograhical separation of folks how simlilar we all are at our cores. While we are driven by different needs and desires , living our lives at differnt levles we all are connected thru  Spirit and Universal Energy.

For those that live in the cities with the concrete and steel, the nonstop lifestyle, stresses of the workplace it is so important to get into nature and experience that connection, that oneness with Spirit. It so puts everything in perspective when we’re able to see and feel the significence of our being so insignificent. It is wonderful to see and feel that which we can’t connect with  in the cities and suburbs; the world in perfect balance.

I’m looking forward to continuing my summer adventure in the coming weeks and to your comments. We are already booking our Alaska Adventure trips for 2013 and will be posting itineraries soon. New activities for 2013 include whitewate raft trip thru Keystone Canyoi and hiking on the Worthington Glacier. Our standard offerings of kayaking, camping and fishing will all be availble as well. I’ll let you know when the new picutures from 2102 have been posted.

Until next time,

Namaste

JIM

Seasons

Nov. 17th 2010

“The seasons pass but they never change” Julie Miller

Greetings everyone,

I hope this finds you all well. I find it hard to believe that it’s already late fall and that the holiday season is here. I’ve always welcomed each season and cycle of Nature as they have entered my life.

I love spring with its promise of renewal and the excitement of the beautiful blooming of life. There is always that expectation of new opportunities, new relationships, summer romance and the seeming rebirth of the energy and goodness of the Universe.

Summer comes in with its long warm sunny days, gentle showers and we revel in the outdoors and reconnecting with nature. We shed our warm clothes for the freedom of shorts and sandals, swimming suits, water sports and barbeques. We long for it to remain as the season moves inexorably in its natural order.

Then one day the days are shorter the nights longer and the temperatures cooler. I find excitement in this time as well as in the spring and summer but it’s not the same. It is a quieter more peaceful type of energy. For me it’s a time of reflection. A time to look inward and feel the comfort of a warm house and chili instead of air conditioning and salad. A time to read, relax and recharge and get ready for the winter months that will follow with that reassuring certainty that is the order of the Universe

As we move towards winter I begin to look forward to the first snow falls and the power of the first heavy winter storm that reminds me how small we all are in the scheme of life.

As the opening line of the blog says the seasons pass but they never change. In this fast paced uncertain world, that can leave us feeling so vulnerable, somehow that is extremely reassuring. It should serve as a reminder that each of us in on a special journey with our own personal divine purpose to be fulfilled, or not.

The seasons teach us, gently, to flow as they do, from one time to another, being awakened and reawakened, nurturing, accepting and reflecting. Truly most of what we want in life is already here…be present and grateful for we have been granted the gifts of the Seasons.

Hi friends, if you’re reading this you’ll notice that our web site has been completely redone, trust you’re enjoying all that we’ve designed to add to the excitement of your journey with MORE.

I met my friend Kim at Starbucks on Memorial Day. She and her children were getting drinks as they prepared to watch the parade that would soon pass on the street outside.  I, forgetting there was a parade, stopped by to get ice water for my bike ride.

Being the chatty Cathy I am we enjoyed a short conversation. We shared a few laughs and the outcome was Kim giving me her email address so we could chat at a later time. We reconnected several weeks later and as we became acquainted I learned of Kim’s expertise in marketing and her contacts in web design and other services.

After a lot of talking and getting together Kim and her crew were retained by me to update and create a new image for More to Your Life. Hiring her for this  may not seem like much of an occasion to some  but the interesting thing is,  the first person I used to design my site I also met in Starbucks and was chatting with  her for a long time also before we entered into an agreement to work together.

Coincidence? I think not. I have been looking back at all the people I have met in this coffee shop since I moved my office upstairs from it in 1995. I originally did not go to Starbucks because I really didn’t like the coffee. Truth be told except for the instant Via they sell it’s still not my favorite brew.

Since venturing into this special place I have made friends that have influenced and altered my life and have even had the blessing to be a positive impact on others. I’ve met folks that are having amazingly wonderful events taking place in their lives and others with serious health or financial challenges, relationship issues and so on.

I am no longer amazed at the connections I make with others as I continue my daily visits to this place. I am so aware today of the Spiritual energy that is present in all our lives that allows us to have these beautiful, marvelous experiences that I anticipate something new on each visit and I’m rarely disappointed.

What is amazing to me is how many of us pass these encounters off as chance, coincidence, fate etc. or worse don’t pay any attention to them at all, never realizing the powerful interaction that maybe about to or has just taken place. We meet, there is some exchange and we’re off to the next thing that needs to get done, place we need to go to etc,

Opportunities are missed every single moment of every single day in this way. We ask the Universe or our God for help, for new jobs for new friends for a lover and then walk right past the possible answer being put in front of us. We’re so busy being busy that we have no AWARENESS of what’s taking place around us and most certainly for us.

So my friends as you move through your busy life may I encourage you to be present in it: Be aware of the countless opportunities that are placed before you each day that are designed just for you, to enhance and enrich your life, and  for you to touch others in positive and meaningful ways.

Embrace these encounters for the gifts they are to everyone.

Namaste,

JIM