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This morning’s view is a study in gray with steel blue waves slicing into the light smoke of the horizon.  Closer to the ship, gray puffs of rain-making clouds close in on us.  I pray these lighten by noon, before we reach Hubbard Glacier.

Though the ocean is smooth, I feel a slight sway ever so often.  If I were to relax into it, I could fall back asleep.  But I’d rather not.  Morning is my best time to think and to wonder in the quiet – to write and to pray.

Though I had no intention to, I picked up a couple of books at the Denali Park bookstore.  Books are my particular weakness; yet they also serve as sacred souvenirs of travel.  One I’ve been enjoying this morning comes from an 1879 travel journal penned by John Muir,  where he writes about his first experiences of Alaska.  I enjoy pondering the thoughts of this man, described as part-naturalist and part-poet, who served as the Sierra Club’s first president.

Here’s a passage I particularly like for this first morning at sea:

“The scenery of the ocean, however sublime in vast expanse, seems far less beautiful to us dry-shod animals than that of the land seen only in comparatively small patches; but when we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.”

— John Muir, Travels in Alaska