I have read that the great cathedrals and basilicas of Europe were designed, in part, to make humans feel small in the presence of the awesome power of God. And I’ll have to admit that even to a 21st century traveler, these structures still have that impact on me.
But the amazing wilderness of southeast Alaska makes the biggest structure than humans have built seem puny. And, frankly, there is little that a photo or a mere description can do to communicate this. Suffice it to say that for most of the seven days we cruised the waters of Alaska, I felt small – both in terms of my size and in terms of the brief time my life represents compared to the geologic time it took to craft and scour the mountains and fjords of Alaska. But the effect of this on me and other viewers is not to be overwhelmed but instead to be inspired.