Destination : Hatcher Pass

A few weeks ago we decided to drive to Hatcher Pass and see what the fuss was all about. We'd had it recommended to us a lot and knew we wanted to add it to our must-do's summer 2017 list. This must-do's summer 2017 list is important -- I'm no Game of Thrones fanatic (actually I've never even seen a single episode), but you know what they say. Winter is coming.

So off we went. I googled Hatcher Pass and found pictures of a lake there and I knew that was our destination goal. The drive is beautiful, winding through endless hills and mountains. We pulled off the road after driving for a bit and decided to do a little hike. I told everyone to hurry so we could find the lake - I'm real fun to hike with : do not enjoy the scenery, do not pass go, do not collect $200. Just hurry so we can find the lake! Ben (as always) told me to calm the heck down and enjoy where we were.

We had a really fun hike - Rayne especially loved it and felt super accomplished when she made it “to the top” (most of our hikes so far have been halfway point hikes because... hiking with toddlers). We raced down in teams, Rayne+Mom vs Brads+Dad. Rayne and I laughed and giggled the entire way down. Dad and Bradlee beat us to the car by just a few seconds, but we said it was okay because we took the more challenging way down and that was our win. 

We loaded back up in the car and continued on. As we drove by the most adorable little red tiny-house cottages, I was tempted to stop and photograph them but the lure of the lake convinced me we could stop at the tiny-house cottages on the way home. 

We drove our mini-van up a steep dirt road with some of the most breath-taking views I’ve ever seen. We approached a parking lot with a lot of people so we figured it must be worth a quick stop. It was - we sat on a hill overlooking ravines and mountains and we just stared. Actually Bradlee did pushups. There was something about being on top of a mountain that made her feel inclined to work out. 

It was so beautiful and peaceful. We rested and enjoyed the scenery. And then realized it was actually time to back home.  No lake. 

We made one last stop at the tiny-house cottages, ate an incredible dinner at Noisy Goose Cafe, and got the kids to bed by ten (we’re really embracing the Alaskan daylight hours). 

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I know what you're thinking. Another the journey is the destination story. But this isn’t your typical the journey is the destination plea. We all know that already. I’ve learned that lesson too many times to count (including this exact story, considering our Hatcher Pass day was one of my favorites so far in Alaska despite never finding the lake) - and trust me, it’s an important lesson. The journey is important. If we focus only on the destination then life will just pass us by.

I used to read every submission on and my all time favorite one is this ::

Dad: What does Totes Magoats mean?
Me: Totally
Dad: Totally what?
Me: It’s just an expression. Magoats rhymes with totes so people say it.
Dad: I think life is just passing me by


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But that’s not my point today. A couple weeks later, we went to Hatcher Pass again. This time we took Grammy and Pappy with us - to show off the amazing Alaskan beauty that we’ve so quickly fallen in love with. (We also took them whale watching and all we watched was Bradlee throw up a LOT).

While we drove we told them about the lake that we never found, but how much fun we had anyway. This time, though, we wanted to drive a little bit further because maybe we could find the lake... So we did the whole drive again - we showed them where Rayne hiked like a mad-woman. We all held on tight as we drove up the steep dirt road, and we pointed out the parking lot that we parked in last time to enjoy the scenery. At that point we all debated just parking there again since we knew it was so beautiful, but Ben wanted to keep on trekking.

We turned around the corner of the parking lot - literally, around the corner, we were still adjacent to the parking lot, and wouldn’t you know it, there was the lake. I can’t even make up how close we were to it last time. Like we didn’t even need to drive any further, all we had to do was LOOK OVER THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HILL that we were on. 

I told you this isn't your typical the journey is the destination story.

Sometimes the very hill you’re standing on actually is the destination, you're just looking in the wrong direction. 

Want to dive into this a little deeper and explore how God might be using this same idea in your own life? Click on the link below to go to the devotion where you can interact with this on a more personal level!


Jenna WinshipComment