The "Road" to Alaska

(Photo taken from a ferry by Charles Baxter)

I've been rather quiet on the blog since returning and wintering in Oregon for the past three months. Yet, it hasn't been totally uneventful. I've had three speaking engagements, made a trip to Indiana for a conference, and visited relatives in the Hoosier State that I hadn't seen in over two decades.

The nature and direction of Uttermost Road continues to evolve and meander in new directions. This week, the road led me north to Alaska. This time, however, I didn't ride my iron horse with longhouse in tow. The "uttermost skies" was my pathway to Wrangell . . . a small town located on an island bearing the same name in SE Alaska. The borough of Wrangell is located on the northwest tip of Wrangell Island, approximately 150 miles south of Juneau and 80 miles north of Ketchikan. It's near the mouth of the Stikine River, a historic trade route to the Canadian Interior.

Perhaps you're wondering, "Rick, why are you in Alaska and for how long?" If you know me at all, then you might conclude that I traveled to Alaska in pursuit of fishing experiences for various salmonids. That would normally be a logical conclusion. However, in this case, that would be incorrect. Though Wrangell is surrounded by waters teaming with salmonids and halibut, casting a line isn't the purpose of this trip.

While on the road last summer, I was exploring ways of spending the winter months in something other than my trailer in the sub-zero temperatures of Montana. In the process, I discovered a small church in Wrangell without a pastor. So, the purpose of this trip is to visit for about a month as an interim pastor and hopefully offer encouragement and ideas about how the congregation might move forward in ministry. At this point, my intention is not a long-term gig, so to speak, though I am willing to extend my stay, if need be and so led. The reservation road still beckons, so how the path from here leads back to the rez remains to be seen. On the other hand, driving blind, as it were, might always be the case along the Uttermost Road. I have yet to develop the ability to see around the next bend in the road. "Pneumanauts" (sailors of the Spirit) seek to be led and moved by spiritual currents; they're cared for and carried by the Wind. I'll be casting my cares into the Wind whether or not I ever cast a line into these inviting waters.

The beach along Zimovia Strait at low tide in front of "my house."

As the ministry of Uttermost Road branches out, please consider becoming a partner with me. Your prayers are most appreciated, and I accept any and all forms of spiritual lifting and support. I'm especially looking for a few individuals who sense a stirring to pray. I'd like to hear from you and ask you to consider being part of my "spiritual support team," a group I can contact directly with specific prayer requests.