Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rain. An answer to prayer

Much needed rain fell last night and is continuing today. Wild  fires west of us sent heavy smoke that has now lessened. However, rain puts a squelch on outdoor fun.

I'm including a couple of Denali photos that I didn't include last time.
We saw several single and small herds of caribou on the tundra. Their antlers are in velvet.

The Dal Sheep stay high on the cliffs, but we were able to get telephoto pictures.

The National Park Service supports an Artist in Residence program. Artists submit applications for the chance of living and working in one or another of the National Parks for a year. The above painting is as close as I've been to a Dal Sheep.
We have a "too close for comfort" relationship with our resident moose. Sassie didn't bark and alert me to this yearling who was grazing right behind the RV.
A couple of days later while she and I were walking, we spotted a mama moose and a newborn calf on the gravel road.
Returning to the RV, I tied her outside for a few minutes. She did not bark to warn me that another mama moose and calf were right on the other side of the RV. I grabbed her tie out and pulled her to me and pushed her inside. The mama moose was growling and snorting. We stayed inside until she trotted away. No pictures!  (I have no idea why this underlined in red)

The playing field of dandy lions has been a feeding ground for migrating tiger swallowtail butterflies. They were not happy when I mowed the field. One of my many maintenance jobs.

One evening I was visiting with the Martins in their RV when Sassie began to bark.  At least our moose alarm was working again.This yearling was standing at the front fender of the green Kia. He ambled toward Sassie and me (standing on the RV steps). He was so close that I was afraid that he'd kick Sassie (I couldn't reach her), or kick the Kia, so I yelled at him and he trotted off. 

While visiting our only grocery story we met these Alaskan kids who were participating in National Lemonade Day. Notice the little guy in the stroller is barefooted.

Due to the high Delta Winds the roof of the sports building and the new chapel needed repair. The VBS team had reroofed part of the sports building, but left the chapel to us. the chapel was a new addition last summer. This permitted the old chapel to be turned into cabins.

During my spare time I crocheted an edge to this fleece to make a blanket for cousin Diane. Please continue to pray for her. She has now begun chemo for cancer.
Also pray for the counselors and campers as summer camp progresses in the rain.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Vacation Bible School

Thursday, May 29, the VBS volunteer team from the Outer Banks of North Carolina arrived by plane in Fairbanks. They arrived in camp at 11:30 PM but since the sun didn't officially set until then and rose again about 4 AM, they got little sleep. Friday we drove two hours to Tok, so they could visit the mission and help out there. We returned tired, late Saturday. Sunday after church we prepared for Vacation Bible School the following morning.
The children assembled for Worship Rally each morning to hear a Bible story, sing and watch an inspirational DVD with the theme of Discover, Decide, Defend. Discover the truth about Jesus, Decide to give your life to follow Him, Defend your Faith.

Crafts and snacks are an important part of any children's Bible program.

Even more important in VBS is Bible Study.

My part this year was in preparation and serving snacks. Perhaps not as creative as crafts or as important as Bible study and missions, VBS would not appeal to kids without snacks. My poor aching feet!

Check out the feet of one of our North Carolina volunteers. One afternoon after VBS we took the team into the Isabelle Pass to play in the snow and ice. This young man is proving how macho he is by standing on the snow covered ice.

Other afternoons after VBS and lunch, we volunteers worked on caulking the logs of the sanctuary. Two years ago we sanded and varnished the logs. The chinking needed to be replace. By completing the chinking (caulking) it will reduce the heating bill by half. So glad to be able to help since the morning temperature is still in the low 30s.
Friday after VBS and a hot dog/hamburger picnic we packed up a van and my RV to travel to Fairbanks where we stayed overnight at Faith Baptist Church.  Saturday morning we were up at 4:00 AM and on the road by 5:15 to travel to Denali National Park. We boarded a converted school bus for a 67 mile trip into the park.

We prayed for Paul, our driver, as he negotiated the one lane, gravel road with ascents in fourth gear (gears grinding) and hoping we wouldn't face an approaching bus. That is the edge of the roadway beneath his elbow and a 1,000 foot drop.
We are now members of the "30" Club. Mount McKinley (better known today as Mt. Denali) is only visible 30% of the time due to it's own weather patterns of snow filled clouds. We were able to see this majestic mountain through out our trip.The mountain is 20,300 + feet tall. The dome is actually higher than the peak. Awe inspiring even from miles away. 

In addition to moose, several caribou, and Dal Sheep perched precariously on the cliffs, we saw a grizzly sow with a new cub, and another sow with two yearling cubs. I'm running out of time to post so will send more pictures next time.
Returning to camp after dropping the North Carolina team at the airport in Fairbanks, Lynne captured this sunset at midnight. The cloud bank is caused by smoke from numerous wildfires.
Sunset today is at 12:02 AM and sunrise will be at 3:23 AM. Less than 3 1/2 hours of night, but even then it is not dark, just dusk.
Until I post again, pray for rain to help put out the wildfires. The smoke has been quite heavy.