And why are they not frozen? Because their hearts are warmed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Welcome to our blog! We hope you enjoy our travels and dialogues as we journey to Anchorage Alaska for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Last weekend we had a great visit from my older brother, Ralph and his wife, Dixie.  While they were here we showed them around Anchorage a little, introducing them at the Mission Office, traipsing through some of the tourist shops and taking them by the most important place in town, the temple.

We also went on a couple of special outings -- On Friday we went on a wildlife cruise out of Seward on Resurrection Bay.   First, the cruise took us to Fox Island for a baked Salmon/Prime Rib buffet lunch.

Docked at Fox Island - the boat on which we traveled, the Nunatak.
Ralph and Dixie aboard the boat.  The bishop never gets to take a day off.

Bear Glacier, located on the north side of Resurrection Bay.  Those are large icebergs on the left that have calved off the glacier.

The highlight of the cruise was this humpback whale.  We saw several, it's just that this one was feeding all around our boat and wasn't in any hurry to leave.  We learned to watch the seagulls to find where he was going to surface.  The whale "herds" the fish toward the surface where he/she scoops up a mouthful.  Just before the whale blows and grabs his mouthful, they swoop down in a big feeding frenzy.  In this picture he is coming directly toward the boat.

This is the more common view.  He is arching his back as he sinks back down below the surface.  Hence the name, "Humpback Whale."  Tiny little dorsal fin, for such a large creature. 

And here's a view you don't normally see, those are the whale's nostrils through which he spouts, or blows a fountain of moisture as he breaks the surface.  His head is to the left in this picture.

In addition to whales, we also saw a number of birds, some of which were new to us, including three different kinds of Cormorants like this one. 

A Horned Puffin.  Sister Taylor has seen them before, but I hadn't.

And Tufted Puffins, another new one for me.  Those white feathers on their heads are quite long and floppy.
Common Murres (along with seagulls, of course)

In addition to whales and birds, we also saw sea lions.

And this big daddy sea lion.

At one point where we were quite close to shore, we saw this mountain goat.

On Saturday, we took Ralph and Dixie to the Reindeer Farm and Hatcher Pass.  We've posted quite a few pictures of both in the past so here are a few snapshots of the Taylors.  But, in case we haven't told you before, the "reindeer" farm also has elk and a bison named Dolly.

Dolly, raised with a moose, doesn't know she is a bison.  She also really likes people and loves to play.
Unfortunately, she is huge and her play could seriously injure you.

No, not reindeer, moose antlers.

Hatcher Pass and the Independence Gold Mine.

At the entrance to the mine.  Even though it was kind of a cool, blustery day (that is snow piled right there at the entrance) the temperature still dropped 20-30 degrees by the time you reached that yellow diamond just inside.

We've shown you most of the scenery already, so I didn't include many photos of the countryside.  We did, however, really enjoy Ralph and Dixie's time with us.   In addition to showing them some of Alaska, we spent quite a bit of time comparing our missions and the general senior missionary experience.  It was great!

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