Revelations from Alaska: An Educator’s Moment of Clarity

Dr. Duke Bradley in AlaskaFor as long as I can remember, I have wanted to visit the Pacific Northwest – to explore a part of the country once described as, “…a place for those who want nothing more than a few relaxing moments in beautiful, unpeopled surroundings.”  Until now, my domestic travels have spanned nearly every other region of the country, but the great Pacific Northwest has somehow always remained elusive.  So, when the opportunity presented itself to fulfill a lifelong dream of traveling there, I did not hesitate.

During my time away I explored central Washington and the Alaskan port cities of Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan with a bonus stay-over in Victoria, British Columbia. They were all fascinating places.  I drank from fresh water creeks and panned for gold like the pioneers of the American gold rush.  I harvested quartz from Alaskan mountainsides and ate wild berries.  I acquiesced to the pleas of dockside salesmen who peddled wildlife tours, promising a glimpse of sea otters and bald eagles basking in their natural habitat.  I stared silently at thousand year-old glaciers and boated on brackish waters collected by the fjords that those glaciers generously left behind. Needless to say, I had the time of my life.

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