Yukon, Here we Come!

Three different and amazing ecosystems

Our trek from Skagway, Alaska to Whitehorse, Yukon brought us through three different and amazing ecosystems, each unique in and of itself; and all of this, within an hour.

The first that we passed through was the Coastal Rainforest, typified by its huge, lush trees and wet but mild climate. (Of course you can interpret "mild" anyway you wish!)

We encountered the second climate when we entered the White Pass, made famous for its role in the Klondike Gold Rush. This is known as the Alpine Tundra and is renowned for its stunted conifers and distorted shrubs. At an elevation of 1082 meters (3550 feet), the White Pass experiences 8 months of winter with temperatures reaching -67 degrees Celsius (-90 degrees Fahrenheit). A great place to live, don't you think? The alpine firs are twisted because every winter the dense lower branches are buried under thick snow (721 cms (24 feet) of snow falls yearly), while the sparse upper branches are exposed to ice-cold winds. These distorted firs have a very pleasant smell and are known as "mopheads" (maybe they use these heads as mops or the name derived from the "moppets"? Or is it the "muppets"?). In all, the landscape is delightful to admire!

The third biome is the Boreal Forest (Tundra), characterized by numerous wetlands and multitudes of spruce and fir forests. This area, too, has severe winters, but the snow protects the tender vegetation and animals.

It is interesting to note that none of the vegetation from any one ecosystem would be able to survive in any of the other systems. Each plant, tree and moss has its own purpose in the biome it lives in. May we learn an important lesson from these plants. We need to all be happy wherever our Heavenly Father has placed us. Our real purpose is not where the grass may look greener (and believe me, any grass looks greener compared to one's own yard!), but where God has placed us.

"Yes, we should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what's given and delighting in the work. It's God's gift!" (Eccl 5:19 The Message)

"For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels - everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him." (Col 1:16 The Message)

Enjoy what God has given you. In Him you will find your real purpose.

Rob Chaffart

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