Friday, September 19, 2008

Glacier National Park part 2

Jackson GlacierWe spent Thursday 9/18/08 exploring Two Medicine. That is a very beautiful area with a lake and a lot of hiking trails. Friday 9/19/08 we went to the east part of Going To The Sun Road and drove 20 miles on it. There are tons of waterfalls, streams, glaciers, wildlife, etc to look at. I took over 120 pictures yesterday of nature alone. At Weeping Wall Derrick soaked the girls. It felt good in the heat though. They are doing road work and the road ends at Weeping Wall so we were able to walk right up to the wall. When the road is open you can not do that. The road is VERY narrow and there is a lot of traffic.
Derrick holding Riona up to Weeping WallMichaela after Derrick held her up to the Wall

We stopped off at the visitor center at Logan Pass and hiked about 20 minutes toward Hidden Lake Overlook. We had about 30 more minutes to go when we all 4 gave out. Derrick had to carry Riona and Michaela could not walk it anymore. It is all paved and has stairs but is VERY steep. We got a good look at some glaiers though.

Derrick and Riona looking at the trail to Hidden Lake OverlookSome of the glaciers near Hidden Lake OverlookThe lakes up here are a bright blue with bright green in them. The streams and Rivers are a bright blue/green. This is caused by rocks being dropped into the water from the glaciers. The glaciers crush and grind up the roacks making "glacier flour". The glacier flour is what makes the bright blues and greens.

St. Mary LakeThe pictures do not do the glaciers justice at all. They are amazing to see in person. They are saying that by 2030 the glaciers up here will be completely gone.

A close up of a glacier

Bear Bait

Every time we decide to hike down a trail Michaela lags behind. When we start out on the trails there is a sign that warns that we are entering black bear and grizzly wilderness. It also warns that visitors have been attacked and killed before for no apparent reason. It then tells you what to do when hiking with bears. I keep telling Michaela to walk in front of me so I can see her, but she insists on walking way behind me then gets distracted by things and lingers while checking them out. So we have nick named her Bear Bait.

So far we have not seen any bears while hiking ... but we have seen bear poop!! That is close enough for me!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Jr. Ranger Michaela

Michaela picked up the Jr. Ranger Book at the Apgar Visitor Center in Glacier National PArk last night and completed all her requirements to become a Jr. Ranger. She had to fill out 6 pages in the workbook (she did 8 pages!) and then interview a park ranger. This morning we turned in her workook and Ranger Denver Beddington swore her in as a Jr. Ranger and presented her with her badge. I am so proud of her. She did the 8 pages with very little help at all!!

With her certificate and badge

Glacier National Park part 1

We have a week before we are scheduled to be in the next town so we decided since we were so close that we would come up to Glacier National Park. We are staying 2 nights on the west side and then we will head to the east side and explore that area for 2 days.
Today wrapped up the west side for us. We saw some swesome waterfalls, a huge lake (Lake McDonald), what is left of the glaciers, did some hiking, and went for a few real nice rides.
*In a couple days I will add part 2 of this post with experiences from the East Side of Glacier.

Here are a few of the pictures we took today.

Riona and Michaela standing next to one of the famous tour buses

The closest we have gotten to a bear so far

Riona and Derrick hiking down to the river to see some waterfalls

Michaela and Riona taking a break at Lake McDonald

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Thompson Falls, Montana

We arrived in Thompson Falls, Mt yesterday afternoon. Derrick spoke at the Community Congregational Church here this morning. It went awesome. Afterward we had an awesome lunch at Minnie's Cafe with Dan.

A very nice couple from the church has let us park on their property while we are here, Don and Jane. They have a wonderful view of the river. Don just took us for a ride in his boat and while out on the water we saw a big Ospry, a Great Blue Herron, and a Bald Eagle. The one time I forget my camera!! Thank you Don for the wonderful boat ride.

There is a place here in Thompson Falls that they call Power Plant Island. The river goes around the island and they have built 2 dams (one on either side). We took a walk around that and it was very interesting with beautiful views.

Our time here has been great. The people are very friendly.
Riona and Michaela in front of the larger dam.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Kellogg, Idaho

Our first stop after St. Maries was Kellogg, Id. Derrick spoke at a four day event at the United Church of Kellogg. We had a great time and met many wonderful people. I cannot get over how nice and welcoming the people here are.

Our first night speaking a very nice lady offered to let us take the girls swimming in her indoor pool. The girls had a blast. Many many thanks to Jim and Norma Seaton for doing this for us.

While in Kellogg we stayed at the Crystal Gold Mine. They offer free rv camping and the sites are very clean and nice. Even though the campground is right up against the freeway it is relatively quiet here.

We took a tour of the Gold Mine. Very interesting. There is still veins in the mine and the tour guide was very knowledgeable. After the tour the girls got to pan for gold. They found tons of fool's gold, amathyst, star garnets, and some pretty rocks.
Thomas family in Crystal Gold Mine

St. Maries, Idaho

Well our time in St. Maries has come to an end. I am happy, but sad. I became very close to many people there. We attended St. Maries Foursquare church for 2 months. While with them we went camping at Loop Creek and took a drive up to Shefoot Mountain Summit, we attended their annual potluck/picnic at Cherry Bend Park, we played softball with them a few times, and we attended many potlucks. They will be missed greatly.

Pastor Steve Cox pitching at a softball game

We were in St. Maries on Labor Day weekend. That is when they have their Paul Bunyan Days. Let me tell you, It is HUGE!!!! They have a carnival, parades, races, water events, logging events, and so much more. We tried to attend as much as we could. The girls had a blast, especially at the carnival.

Michaela in the Kid and Doll Parade