Posted by: Average Joe | August 12, 2011

Alaska’s August Panoramas

Placid waters peppered with chunks of ice from calving glaciers make for stunning vistas.

They say everything’s bigger in Texas. Rather than accuse the fine people of the Lone Star state of lying, perhaps they suffer from never-made-the-trip-to-Alaska-syndrome. It’s a common malady that gets straightened out in a hurry. Where do you want to start? Mountains? Glaciers? Forests? Whales? Grizzlies? Everything’s bigger in Alaska, including the cruise ships that glide elegantly through Alaska’s acclaimed Inside Passage. As a caution, the cruise guest might even emerge bigger if not careful, due to the constant, delectable, sometimes ambrosial food offerings available on the ship.

RTB embarked from Vancouver aboard the ms Zuiderdam with some 130 guests for a recent conference that, along with the excellent apologetics talks and camaraderie of seven days with an enthusiastic group, featured one spectacular scene after another. My wife, Käthe, and I both snapped pictures of the same things, over and over. One can’t help it in Alaska. Ask Hugh Ross––he took 2,000 pictures on this trip.

Alaska captivates the mind like few places on Earth. The shapes and sizes of mountains, clouds, and glaciers never cease to fascinate, and the many shore excursions are first-rate. Maybe that’s why so many people go there, and cruising the Inside Passage remains a favorite vacation destination. It’s magical, surreal, otherworldly. And large.

Professional photographers can capture the beauty much better than these photos here, but my eyes feasted while they had the chance. Käthe and I felt like we were in a grand cathedral. Nature seemed to call for a mandatory quiet each day as we cruised through the bays, with the only noise coming from voices on the ship. When a glacier

Alaska’s Glacier Bay is at once a place of wonder, serenity, and striking color.


calved (making a thundering noise that echoed through the bay) it was akin to a call to worship. Occasionally a seagull would offer its praise and the high pitch would reverberate off the steep,

surround-sound mountains. In the stillness of the morning (or any part of the day) I naturally felt a pull “God-ward.” Why? Am I (and others) wired that way? I was raised

Roman Catholic (though rebellious) until the teen years. Is the atheist not wired that way? In recent years it seems that one could find studies to support both hypotheses (that humans are both hard-wired and not hard-wired for religion). Does the atheist see that Alaskan beauty and appreciate it as such but not feel any “silly” religious tugs?

What do you think?


  1. enjoyed your blog! Wow, looks and sounds like an amazing trip! Its difficult to answer your question. Whether one is atheist or of strong faith, why wouldn’t he feels that tug toward God in a place that is full of wonder? it would be interesting to ask an atheist this question. How would they interpret that feeling of being so small in a universe of immense beauty and terror?

  2. As a Christian (and former Catholic as well), I cannot appreciate a view other than one of considering God’s omnipresence/omnipotence when viewing something as majestic as Alaskan wilderness. I remain cognizant of God in little things as well. How does an atheist feel when he has a near collision on the freeway, or when he receives the call that his child has been taken to an emergency room? Life without God to restore and reassure us as He does
    through His promises would be desolate indeed.

  3. I agree and would like to make the cruise my equivalent to an annual pilgrimage to Meca. I am from Texas and came back invigorated and refreshed. Just one trip wets my appetite for more. Trying to wrap my mind around God’s creative power and love stirs me to worship. There is nothing like the scenery of the inside passage inspire veneration of God through His creation.

  4. […] mentioned how much he enjoyed Alaska’s grandeur in his blog post. What, for you, was the most memorable part of this […]

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