Tustimena Magic - My Family Travels

Mile after mile we boated over the cloudy glacier waters of Tustamena Lake, Alaska which was filled with the plane wreckage of unfortunate military souls. Then BAM! I was blinded by the glistening reflection of a ranger’s log cabin. As soon as our boat hit the shore I booked it for the cabin and yelled for my brother to come. I was not happy when my dad forced me to rejoin the family. Fortunately for me, my dad insisted we be prepared for bad weather so we brought MREs (Military Ready-to-Eat) for dinner and sleeping bags to stay warm. 

With all this gear all settled into the 100 year old cabin and we started boiling lake water for our chicken noodle or Mac and Cheese dinner.   The unexpected surprise was the Skittles candy, Chips Ahoy cookies, and Tabasco sauce held within the packages. My brother didn’t learn how hot Tabasco sauce is until he dumped the entire bottle in his mouth. Instantly his face turned into flames with a multitude of shocking expressions. Looking at the almost boiled water he grabbed it and dumped it into his mouth.
This mysterious cabin was still calling to me and my brother so we had to go explore it. Flinging open the door and without hesitation my brother automatically asked, “where is the microwave?” We busted up with laughter. To this day we still tease him about that comment.
With a grin on my dad’s face he announced that we were going to spend the night in hopes of running into a Grizzly Bear. I felt chills go up and down my spine. I begged my dad to cover the shadeless windows with black plastic bags. That night I slept in the middle of the floor glued between my dad and mom. In the middle of the night I heard scratching noises and the rustling of branches. I freaked out and woke up the entire family. My brother acted all macho with his inspired plan to lay nails at the doorway, throw Tabasco sauce in the bears’ mouth, and send him off to the sounding of the fog horn from our boat. In the morning I awoke to the peaceful trickling of the nearby stream. That was until I got a closer look at the shredded salmon skeletons flung to the side of its’ grassy banks.
The memory of this family trip is more powerful than the claws of a grizzly bear. Who would have thought that this 150 year old cabin on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska would be waiting for my family to stay the night, to create magical bonding moments together, and to explore the wonders of nature? This experience confirmed to me that I love to travel! I love adventure! So, when I can’t travel to exotic destinations like Alaska I can look for the untamed wilderness in my everyday life that’s waiting for me to discover and to enjoy. All I need to do is have both eyes open and be alert to the possibilities.

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