Friday, July 30, 2010

Back in Iowa!

Just arrived into the Quad Cities and set up the RV in rain and humidity. Yup-this IS Iowa in the summer! We already miss the mountains!!!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hiking in snow on July 25th?

Yes, that is exactly what we did today-hiked in snow on July 25th in Glacier National Park and what a great day! This hike, to Hidden Lake, was 3 miles of rocks, snow, and switchbacks galore as went up and over a ridge to descend into the valley which nestled a "mirror glass" crystal lake. There are moments when it becomes necessary to challenge our bodies and push a bit closer to the limit. As I looked over the ridge down to the lake I knew this was such a moment for me. What a rush to reach the lake and then to ascend and return to the car after 6 miles of hiking, feeling elated and greatful that God continues to bless us with health.
There is no place like Glacier!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Butte to Hungry Horse, Montana

Be careful how you pronounce that city name-Butte! I am constantly correcting my dear husband who loves to joke about this city since it is the hometown of one of his best friends. We did enjoy visiting a mineral mine and eating one of Joe's pasties-a type of corn beef and hash "calzone" and riding our bike on a converted railroad bed.
Now on to Hungry Horse: gateway to Glacier National Park. Hungry Horse is but a "blimp on the screen" but has a lovely campground able to accommodate our moving house complete with shade trees and large pull through lots. It is our home base for this week of exploring the park. The first two days we hiked the Avalanche Lake Trail with magnificent views of creek, lake, and waterfalls, drove the Going-to-the-Sun road and hiked to St. Mary's and Victoria Falls as well as take a boat ride in order to hike to the Upper Two Medicine Lake.
Today our tandem was calling so we checked out a short bike trail in the park and ventured into the various campgrounds and other paved roads. Tomorrow we plan to go deeper into some "uncharted" sections of the park with our bike, probably having to maneuver on unpaved roads. On Friday I want to hike Logan's Pass, which still has a good dusting of snow and maybe Hunter will actually try some fishing in the park on Saturday before we break camp on Sunday and start the trek to Iowa.
Glacier National Park is one of God's prize art works!

P.S. Here's to anyone who might have ever lived in Montana:
"You know you are in Montana:
1 If you keep your snow tires on until June.
2.If you are passed when driving 75.
3.If the rodeo is the social event of the year.
4.If pasties are in restaurants and not girlie shows.
5.If the pickup trucks all have two guns and two big dogs.
6.If you'd like to live there.
Did you ever see a miner carry a purse? Well, this one does!! Isn't he cute?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

It all began on the Lazy L & B

It was the spring of 1970 and I was just completing my second year of college when I received a phone call from my aunt Leota asking me if I'd be interested in coming to work for her in the summer at a new dude ranch they had recently purchased outside of Dubois, Wyoming. My job description would involve cooking and general preparations for guests as well as helping with the horse operation and leading trail rides into the surrounding mountains and valleys. Although I had very little experience in any of these areas I quickly accepted the offer with visions of cowboys, saddles, and campfires under the stars. When finals were complete I jumped into a pickup with my aunt and off we rumbled over many a rough road before we arrived on the top of a ridge looking down onto the new ranch. My first glimpse took my breath away; not only for the beauty of red cliffs kissed by the afternoon sun, or the birch trees clustered along the winding Wind River Valley with rustic, log cabins nestled in their branches but also the view of a treacherous road we were about to travel in order to reach the valley floor. Oh, this summer is going to be a continual adventure I thought as I sat clinging with white knuckles to the rattling door handle as my aunt expertly manuvered the rock strewn narrow path.
First impressions are lasting and I'll never forget that site nor the days of serving "chow" to laughing boys during 6 weeks of boy's ranch, riding my horse, "Boy", up narrow ravines leading 20 or more kids and adults to the upper ranch, barrel riding in the corral, frying pancakes & bacon over an open fire and many other life-changing events on the ranch.
Here I am but a mere 40 years later sitting on a horse riding once again with my aunt, 86 years "young", through the same ravines, fording the same Wind River, climbing the same hills and my mind returns to those happy days just described. I had forgotten the sweet smell of a leather saddle and the rocking chair gait of the horse's rhythm I so loved. Oh to be 20 again. We can't go back yet God allows us to remember and enjoy and be so greatful for past experiences that shape our lives. It was on Leota's ranch I learned to cook, to ride a horse, to adore children, to work hard, and to love God's creation.
There is a memory verse found in 1 Samuel 12:24 that comes to mind today: "But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you." He has indeed done great things for me and one of those is to allow me to return to Wyoming and ride a horse through the Wind River Valley and reminisce with my Aunt Leota.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Build-A-Bear" Really??

Did you ever pass one of those stores in a mall called "Build-A-Bear" and think what a gimmick! Can that actually be fun for any kid, especially active little boys? Well, I am here to tell you that YES it is a fun time for little boys, especially at 2 1/2, and maybe even more fun for the parents. When the child is asked to kiss the little heart and press it inside their chosen stuffed animal your heart just melts as you watch their serious response. Watch the slide show below and you might just understand why Nani loved the event!