Alaska – Day 2 (July 7, 2012)
A leisurely day. Pike’s Lodge, where we stayed the first 2 nights, is on the Chena river. We took a short walk in the morning, then a 3-1/2 hour riverboat cruise on the beautiful, serene-looking-but-fast-moving Chena. (As we flew in yesterday, I had seen several muddy rivers. I wish now that I’d taken a few photos, as these were actually glacially-fed rivers.) We stopped along the way and watched a presentation featuring some indigenous Athabaskan indians, as they explained some of the traditions involved in their people’s subsistance lifestyle.
At the end of the Chena, its clear waters merge with the glacial Tanana river. Glacial water is muddy and murky with silty minerals, the particles of which are like powder. Salmon can swim through it, as it passes through their gills without issue, but they cannot spawn in it, as the silt would bury the eggs. At the point where the waters meet, the contrast is truly amazing, as you can literally see Chena resist and repel Tanana’s influx.
(Since I’m writing this on my phone, I’ll have to add photos when I get home.)
As I witnessed this phenomenon, the parallel to christian life was striking. The purity that we strive for must constantly be defended against the unending flow of worldly influence that tries to push its way into our lives. Where they intersect there will be constant strife beneath the surface, even though there may be scarcely a ripple on the surface.