Montana

Teton and Yellowstone

This is an exciting day! My sister gave birth to a little boy this afternoon. Congratulations to John and Katie and the three big sisters!  I have now been blessed with 21 nieces and nephews! 

So… I have fallen behind in blogging. We had a wonderfully busy weekend and then Monday I had a terrible headache all day, so I will try to get a little caught up now. And I am sorry this post is so long. Friday we were back in Teton to hike a trail that skirted beautiful Jenny Lake. Saturday, Nick and George had a wonderful adventure exploring a wind cave in Targhee National Forest (hopefully he’ll blog about that tomorrow). Sunday we spent the day in Yellowstone National Park. I should say we spent *most* of the day in Yellowstone, because we were actually in two national parks, 3 states (Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho), 3 national forests and a wilderness area before the day was done. It was quite a day!

Hiking around Jenny Lake on Friday

006009019022030035051

Sunday we drove through Teton, making a few stops, to get to Yellowstone.

112

119

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visiting the AMAZING Yellowstone National Park

122

A picnic lunch at Lewis Lake (Luckily, we did not encounter Yogi Bear!)

138

136

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We saw Old Faithful and other geysers erupt. Very cool!

162

166

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

156174

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lewis River and Nez Perce Creek

126

175

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wildlife! We saw a lot of really awesome things in Yellowstone, but the wildlife was definitely the highlight!  Most of the creatures we saw in the park were along the Nez Perce Creek (coyote, elk, and buffalo).

177

179181

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

182

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wish I would have gotten more pictures of Idaho, but we were all tired by the end of the day and a storm was approaching so we just wanted to get home.  In any case, the farm land was so lovely and I have never seen so many wildflowers. It was absolutely delightful! Here are a couple of pictures of the the Tetons from the Idaho side.

The Tetons have loomed up grandly against the sky. From this point it is perhaps the finest pictorial range in the United States or even North America. -Thomas Moran, while painting the Tetons from the Idaho side, 1879

183185

Categories: Idaho, Montana, National Forests, National Parks, wildlife, Wyoming | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It has rained and rained and rained since we arrived in Montana. It is our fault. We are traveling the country in a backward fashion… we should have started in the south and worked our way up north as the temperatures climbed throughout the summer. But, we had to get our daughter to Canada in mid-May, so we are trying to enjoy longer than anticipated spring weather. You’ve heard of the Endless Summer? Well, this feels like we’re chasing April showers for an Endless Spring!

Today it is, of course, raining. But, yesterday was beautiful! All of this rain has really made us appreciate the dry days! We enjoyed sunny skies and warm temperatures. The boys and I soaked up some sun playing cards out at the picnic table in the afternoon. My nose and cheeks are even a little pink today. Then, we took our dinner down to a little park beside the Flathead River.

20130529_180804 20130529_180917 20130529_181013 20130529_181049 20130529_181102

Categories: Montana | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Oh, Deer!

In Monday’s blog post I completely forgot to mention our close encounter with a mule deer on Sunday.  We had entered the park through the St. Mary’s entrance and driven up the Sun Road about 14 miles until it was closed off at the Jackson’s Glacier Overlook. From there, the road was open another three miles for hikers. We hiked up the road about a mile before returning to our truck. Just as we got to the parking lot a mule deer came leaping out of the woods. She stood there, just feet in front of Caleb and George, for quite some time, before heading off into the woods on the opposite side of the lot.

(I am sorry the picture quality is poor.)

deer1

Then as we were heading out of the park, we spotted a moose standing in the middle of the Sun Road. When we drove up closer, it moved just off to the side of the road. We were all very excited! I hadn’t seen a moose since I was in Alaska nearly 20 years ago and my kids had never seen one. I wish I had been able to snap a picture!

Categories: Montana, National Parks, wildlife | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

America the Beautiful

flag

Today is Memorial Day. It is a day to remember the men and women who gave their lives for this great country. It is a day to pray for the families and friends who are missing loved ones.  It is a day to pray for our military members serving in hostile areas.  It is a day to pray for peace.

To all who are serving and have served to protect our freedoms, thank you!  May God bless you and your families!

Yet America is a poem in our eyes; its ample geography dazzles the imagination, and it will not wait long for metres.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Since arriving in Montana, we have been spending our time in the West Glacier area. Yesterday we decided to drive over to East Glacier. On the way we made a stop at the Goat Lick Overlook. Sadly, there were no goats to be seen, so we continued on to the Two Medicine entrance to Glacier National Park. Heading east the mountains became more rugged. It was a beautiful drive.

DSC00650DSC00649

We walked to the Running Eagle Falls (Tricky Falls).  Notice the gentleman wearing a buffalo helmet… only in Montana? lol

DSC00694DSC00653DSC00672DSC00684

We stopped at Two Medicine Lake. It’s just beautiful!

DSC00697DSC00701DSC00702DSC00698

After spending some time in the Two Medicine area, we decided to drive up to St. Mary’s.  The drive up contained some of the most spectacular views we’ve seen since arriving in Montana. In addition to the gorgeous landscape, we saw free roaming horses while traversing the Blackfeet Nation.

DSC00647

DSC00642DSC00643

It is hard to find words to describe the beauty of St. Mary’s Lake. The setting was amazing and the color of blue was stunning.

DSC00713DSC00716DSC00717DSC00711

Categories: Montana, National Parks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Adventures

20130523_122410My daughter, Molly, will be heading up to Canada later today. She’ll be spending her summer in Alberta on a short-term mission trip.  She will be serving with long-term missionaries near a First Nations reserve. Though she doesn’t yet know exactly how she will be serving, she has been told that she will be working with church youth group, joining the full-time missionary on home visits, and she will be involved in a lady’s bible study.

It is our prayer that God will use her to serve others for His glory. We pray that she will bless the First Nations as well as the missionaries she will be serving under. We also pray that this will be a time of learning, growth, and direction for Molly.

Molly has a big heart. She loves God and she loves people. We are proud of her and excited about this adventure that God has planned for her. But, we will miss her terribly!  We will miss her smile and her sunshine. We’ll miss her laughter, silly jokes, and love of crazy dance moves.

Please keep Molly and my husband in your prayers as they travel today and tomorrow. Pray for Molly as she adjusts to life and culture in a new place. Please keep her in your prayers this summer as she serves the Lord and others. And pray that her light shines bright.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. -Matthew 5:16

Yesterday, Molly and I went on a lunch date together.  I was glad to get to spend a little time alone with my girl before she sets off on her trip. We are very close and this is going to be a big change for both of us. Though it will be hard, I know it will be good for her to learn and grow in the way kids only do once they are on their own a bit. No doubt, I will be growing too as I learn how to let go… that dreaded chapter in the book called Motherhood. I do know, though, that she will be, and always has been, in His hands. God is good and He has a plan. Amen!

Molly wanted to go on one more family hike at the park before she left. We headed back to Glacier National Park.  I hadn’t been thrilled with waking up to snow, but the dusting of white only enhanced the beauty of the mountains. We hiked up the Avalanche Lake Trail.  We immediately understood the popularity of this trail. The scenery was breathtaking! There were trees standing in and along side beautiful, clear, rushing water to one side of us. And splendidly tall, moss covered evergreen trees standing on a high incline on the opposite side. Then, half way to the lake, through a clearing in the trees appeared a snow covered mountain with a waterfall mid-way down it’s face. It was magnificent!

(Click on a picture to see it larger)

20130523_16430320130523_16433620130523_16491720130523_16560320130523_16565920130523_17134520130523_17221420130523_17434320130523_17581220130523_17453420130523_174549

20130523_164834

The trail was only slightly over 4 miles long, but it was at an incline with lots of steep ups and downs along the way. Nick carried me over the worst of these obstacles (I have severe patellar subluxation in both of my knees. After 3 surgeries, the problem has only been minimally corrected. In any case, I can’t run, jump, skip, or even afford to fall. Additionally, climbing up or down inclines is difficult, painful, and somewhat dangerous for me. All the hiking I do is very basic and done with the assistance of my amazing husband.). Okay, back to the story… About 2/3 of the way to Avalanche Lake, the path became quite steep. The girls and I decided to stay behind while the guys went on toward the top. In the end, Nick was the only one to make it all the way to the lake.

Avalanche Lake

Avalanche Lake

Avalanche Lake

Avalanche Lake

Categories: Montana, National Parks | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Snow Day… in May!

So, remember all of that rain that I’ve been trying not to complain about? Yeah, well, it froze. It’s May! Apparently, Montana did not get that memo.

The view from my front door.

The view from my front door.

Looking out my window.

Looking out my window.

Categories: Montana | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Oxbow Trail

Today was a gray, rainy day, but yesterday was lovely.  We went for an afternoon hike.  We hiked the Oxbow Trail and I managed to go a little over 4 miles.  I have been sick (with colds and UC) for most of 2013, so I am pretty out of shape. I have really enjoyed getting out and getting some much needed exercise.  Hopefully, the rain will move on so we can go back to Glacier tomorrow!

Yes, we are really here!

Yes, we are really here!

Another obligatory gateway picture.

Another obligatory gateway picture.

The Oxbow overlook

The Oxbow overlook

Nick and I

Nick and I

Categories: Montana, National Parks | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Hello, Sunshine!

It has been dreary and raining off and on since we arrived in Montana on Thurday.  Yesterday, finally, sunshine and blue skies found us.  We took advantage of the beautiful day and went hiking in the park after Nick got off from work.  We are expecting rain again today, but so far it is clear and sunny.

IMAG0252IMAG0239IMAG0246IMAG0242

On the subject of weather, my thoughts and prayers are with all of those who have been in the paths of the devastating storms sweeping across our country.  It is hard to comprehend so much loss and sadness. Life here is so precious and fragile. Time is fleeting.  I pray that we may live more and more aware that each day, each moment is a gift.

 As the fixed stars, by reason of our being places at such a distance from them, appear but as so many points; so when we, places in eternity, shall look back upon all time, it will all appear but as a moment.

-William Law, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life

Categories: Montana, National Parks | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Glacier National Park

20130518_121000

We spent a wonderful day at the gorgeous Glacier National Park.  Our first stop was at the visitor center to get the kids each a National Park passport (It will be a great keepsake and record of our travels). We then walked down to Lake McDonald.  It is hard to describe the beauty of this lake surrounded by snow covered mountains. It is an amazing sight.

20130518_120624

20130518_120756

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We then drove up the Sun Road.  We were only able to travel about 14 of the 52 miles, because much of the road was still closed off from snow and debris left from winter weather, but it was an impressively beautiful ride.

20130518_135614

20130518_135647

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That took us to the Trail of the Cedars.  It was a lovely stroll over wooden boardwalks through woods along the Avalanche Creek. It rained off and on throughout the day, so this shorter trail was perfect.

20130518_130557

20130518_132828

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also spent a little time down at McDonald Creek.  The clear rushing waters and colorful stones are just amazing.

20130518_125701

20130518_125634

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was raining quite consistently by the time we got back to Lake McDonald, so we had a picnic lunch in the truck. That wasn’t exactly the plan, but we parked looking out over the lake and made the best of it. We finished our day with large pieces of huckleberry pie from the Huckleberry Patch. Yum!

20130518_15444220130518_154435

Categories: Montana, National Parks | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Are We There Yet?

We drove past gorgeous Flathead Lake yesterday on our way to the campground. This terrible picture doesn't do justice to its beauty. Please excuse the bug filled windshield... it was a long drive! ;)

We drove past gorgeous Flathead Lake yesterday on our way to the campground. This terrible picture doesn’t do justice to its beauty. Please excuse the bug filled windshield… it was a long drive! 😉

YES!  We arrived at the RV Park outside Glacier National Park yesterday evening. We’ll be here for the next two weeks. We are looking forward to a little break from the road. We are also all looking forward to spending some time here.  It’s beautiful in this part of Montana! Tomorrow we will be spending the day at the park.

 

In boring news, today was grocery shopping and laundry day.  Housework still has to happen… even in an RV.  Fortunately, grocery shopping doesn’t take long, since you can’t fit more than a couple of days worth of food in my refrigerator.  Laundry is another story.  All of the RV parks where we have stayed have had very nice laundry facilities, but nothing is quite as nice as a washer and dryer in your own home. On the upside, I have lots of kids to help out with this chore!

Categories: Montana, National Parks | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.