Before I dive into my Alaskan explorations, let me first apologise for the confusion surrounding a post I accidentally published this afternoon. The post on travelling to Jamaica was in the early stage of development and nowhere near ready for publishing. For those of you who asked about it, yes, I will still publish it later on. And thank you for all the likes and comments on a post that wasn’t even done, haha—including this Twitter convo regarding it!
That said, let me now continue with my Alaskan adventures following our ocean kayaking at Kayaker’s Beach.
By the time Tristan and I had racked the kayak and started our trek back through the woods, hunger was starting to creep in. Still, we wanted to make two stops before heading back to town. The first was an arboretum we had passed (flowers in Alaska???) and the second was a shrine for a Catholic saint.
As many of you know, I am terrible at growing flowers. I can kill even an air plant. My talents at taking care of living things are best reserved for animals. Plants do not fare well with me. However, Tristan knew his mother would love to see pictures of the flowers, and I knew my readers whose green thumbs put my brown ones to shame would enjoy them, too. Here is some of what we saw at the arboretum.
Naturally, these represent the very best of the flowers we came across, but there were many that weren’t holding up so well. Tristan and I suspect that aside from Alaska’s climate, the arboretum’s proximity to the ocean may play some part in the death of some of the flowers.
Once we had our fill of flowers, we signed the guest book, left a small donation and then went back out to the Jeep. There was a trail close to the parking lot, but we were way too hungry and tired to add that to our already packed itinerary. I bet it was beautiful up there though!
Saint Therese Shrine
Neither Tristan nor myself is religious. However, we did both attend Catholic school, and for this and other reasons, visiting a Catholic shrine made the list. There was an aesthetic pull, as well, as Tristan had been told the chapel itself was beautiful. And so, we started the short trail to the chapel. As with most things in Alaska, the ocean was never too far away.
As we approached the chapel, we came across these cards explaing who Therese was and why she was canonised as a saint.
The chapel was not far away from these. Whatever our religious views, there was no denying its beauty. Some people ventured inside, but we did not. I’m not a fan of churches and Tristan at the time didn’t realise entry was permitted.
Artwork and Abortions
Beyond the church were paths leading to religious artwork.
Along the way we passed a shrine to the “Victims of Abortion”. There were so many other (and better!) ways that could have been phrased. As it is, it sounds self-righteous. Why not a shrine to those lives lost to abortions—or something like that?
As a result, my first thought upon seeing it was, “Where is the neighbouring shrine to the victims of pedophilia at the hands of priests?”
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
The Best of Nature
Beyond the self-righteous shrine was at least some beauty: the ocean. It reminded me of a church in my childhood in Hanover, Jamaica. It was by the sea, and often I would escape the boredom of the sermon to walk to the beach and watch the waves crash against the shore.
On the way back from the ocean view, I came across a rather interesting tree. Trees often give great lessons in perseverance, when you see them growing on rock and loose soil. This one fascinated me because you could see where it had been chopped down once, before growing along the ground and then extending upwards again. It was massive!
As my grandmother is Catholic, I decided that her gift was best bought here. We went looking for the gift shop and were surprised to find no one inside. The church essentially trusted you to take the item and pay the correct price. Wouldn’t it be amazing if all humankind could truly be trusted in such a way? What a better life we all would live!
Naturally, this portion of our trip doesn’t rank very high in points for adventure, but it was beautiful, nonetheless. I hope you enjoyed this as much as we did.
PS:—Am I the only one annoyed or offended by the abortion shrine? In 2018, is it really still necessary to shame people for their personal decisions? I have never met a mother who terminated her pregnancy without grief. It was a decision that was difficult and made with the best interest of both herself and the baby in mind. I resent the sentiment that these women should be shamed. I really do.
Cost breakdown for this trip:
- Round trip from Atlanta to Alaska: $711.61
- Round trip from Las Vegas to Alaska: $579.80 (Tristan paid for his flight)
- Airbnb Booking: $317.99
- Turo Car Rental: ~$347.35 (Tristan paid for the car rental)
Thus, the entire trip cost me $1,029.60 and cost Tristan $927.15. Together, we shared a total cost of $1,956.75. This was our most expensive trip to date and worth every penny!