Alaska Farewell!

May the long time sun shine upon you

All love surround you,

And the pure light within you

Guide your way home.

–Singh Kaur


This is the tenth and last video travel journal I made during our August/September trip to Alaska. It is an emotional farewell to our great friends and selfless hosts Charlie Johnston and Elaine Rhode.



Farewell to Alaska and our indefatigable hosts, Charlie and Elaine, shown here at Beluga Point on Turnagain Arm of Cook’s Inlet.

Hatcher Pass

Autumn in the Alaska Range

Drive north when the braided glacial rivers
have begun to assume their winter green.
When crossing Broad Pass, you might see
the shimmer of caribou moving on a distant ridge


or find a dark abacus of berries in the frost
on the boggy trail to Summit Lake. Beyond this,
the endless mountains curving like a scimitar.
And in the querulous mind, the yearning heart,
a sudden immeasurable calm.

Tom Sexton



“A Poem in its Place” is the ninth video travel journal I made during our recent trip to Alaska. This one is special because we stumbled across a poem in the field, as it were, and our host Charlie Johnston read it out-loud. Turns out it was installed as part of a Poetry in Place Project sponsored annually by the State of Alaska. It was Tom Sexton’s “Independence Mine.” It was the first time I’d read his poetry, but I bought two of his books on the way back in to Anchorage.

Sea Fever

Sea Fever

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.


I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.


I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.”


― John Masefield, Sea Fever: Selected Poems


“Seaward From Seward” is the sixth in a series of daily video travel journals I kept during our recent trip to Alaska. All the ocean footage in this video was taken from a moving boat, by way of explaining some of the wavy gravy shots.

This one is special because it includes a poem by Peter Jensen called “Octopus.”


“Wild Life!” is the seventh in the series and was most shot at the fascinating Alaska Conservation Center.

“Autumn Comes to Denali” was shot the day before we entered that great national park. Music by Laurence Cole and the Song Shapers.

One Bright Perfect Day


“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night.

It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.

It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”

–Crowfoot (Blackfoot)

August 29, 2014 Morning view from the Hideaway Cabin outside Homer, AK
A random turn off the winding road from Homer to Seward; an arbitrary turn following the “Cemetery” sign, and there we are again on the edge of the world in that tiny wedge between life and death.
This is the fifth in a series of daily travel journal videos I made during our trip to Alaska. This is quite simply the road between Homer and Seward on a bright and perfect day that ended in a rainbow.

A Soft Day

Roy: “Looks like it’s starting to rain”

Riza: “But..It’s not raining…”

Roy: “Yes it is. This is the rain.”
― Hiromu Arakawa, Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 04

NOTE: This is the fourth in a series of video travel journals I made on my recent trip to Alaska. They were made quickly at the end of the day or very early in the morning before the adventures of the next day had begun. August 28, 2014 was a soft day at the Hideaway cabin and beach outside Homer, AK.


Pearly Everlasting and vetch soften the edges of a beach boulder, Homer, AK
Pearly Everlasting and vetch soften the edges of a beach boulder, Homer, AK
Charlie pointed out this fossiliferous rock on the Homer beach


Two FireweedPeople cross arms and hold on against the season that will blow them apart.
Two Fireweed People cross arms and hold on against the season that will blow them apart.


Quartz streak, spider and tiny shells are made brighter by the soft rain.

Road to Homer

“I am glad I will not be young in a future without wilderness.” 
― Aldo LeopoldTernLake.jpeg
Tern Lake on the Road to Homer, AK

This is the second in a series of video travel journals I made during a recent trip to Alaska. The ambient sound is hostess Elaine Rhode playing the big singing bowl you see early on. I also included the various unique sounds of rivers and creeks.


The video is sometimes just me sticking the camera out the window as we zipped up Turnagain Arm of Cook’s Inlet passing jaw dropping scenery.


Spirit Runs Deep

NOTE: Mind on Fire has spent the summer in the doctor’s office getting transplanted to her own domain with her own domain name, which is Today begins a new year and a new incarnation as an independent video blog. I, for one, am celebrating!


“To the lover of wilderness,

Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.”

John Muir

Having spent three weeks in Hawaii last Christmas, Peter and I decided to explore its sister state of Alaska. Good friends Elaine Rhode and Charlie Johnston had offered us the red carpet treatment in Anchorage many times. Boy, I bet they were surprised when we showed up for two weeks!

Wild hosts: Peter Jensen (left) meets Charlie Johnston and Elaine Rhode on the beach at Homer, AK for a morning walk.

Actually, they were superb hosts. They made sure we optimized our two weeks as first-timers to their neck of the wood. We got the Grand Tour of art galleries and museums in Anchorage, as well as their guidance and company to Homer and Hatcher Pass. They pushed us gently toward what turned out to be unforgettable trips to both Seward and Denali National Park.

I captured so much media the first day, that I got this idea to make daily short “travel journal” videos, selecting three minutes worth every day and sound tracking it with either ambient sound,  Creative Commons music, or with the music of friends. I mean, I slapped it together, posted it online and moved on to the next day. They truly are as rough and impressionistic as a written travel journal.

So this video is Day One, Aug. 25, 2014, “Our Spirit Runs Deep,” and is our Charlie-guided tour of Anchorage.