Continuing on our extremely tardy recap of our trip to the Northwest this past summer (view part 1 and part 2), up next is the Eller home! We returned from our epic glacier hike (recounted in part 2), found the nearest pizza place, consumed a lot of pizza, and then drove to the Ellers, about 2 hours away.
The next day we enjoyed the Eller's warm hospitality and spent some time in the blueberry patch, scouring for a few ripe blueberries. While they might not be as tasty, I think the not-quite-ripe ones are just as pretty :)
Barry and I thoroughly enjoyed our drive through Western Montana. It was just as beautiful as I remembered, and Barry decided he liked it quite a bit as well.
I am so incredibly behind on blog posts. There are hundreds, no thousands of pictures waiting for posting!
I already posted Part 1 of our Glacier National Park pictures in July of 2011 but I never got around to part 2. Or the rest of the trip. I'm working on fixing that :)
So without further ado, the pictures :)
On our second day in Glacier, we set out on a trek to hike over a pass and down the other side, using the shuttle system to complete the loop. I can't remember the length but it wasn't supposed to be too long. Here is a shot looking down on what we had hiked up, before passing over to the other side.
Once we got to the top and were heading over to the other side, we encountered a wide and STEEP snowfield. The trail disappeared under the snow. And no one, that we could tell, had gone before us. (This is when I saw a wolverine! I only saw it for about 2 seconds before it scuttled away down a cliff.) About this time, another hiker came behind us and we asked him if he knew this route. It was his first time too. We contemplated turning around but the snow seemed somewhat soft so Barry started across, kindly creating steps for his fearful wife. (For those that don't know, I am rather scared of steep snowfields without the proper gear after an uncontrolled slide last year on another wintry hike.)
It's hard to tell, but this is a LARGE and STEEP snowfield with some cliffs at different points. It took us a generous hour just to get down the steep section. We switchbacked along until it got slightly less steep, then slid for a ways until it leveled out. Because of the snow, we really weren't sure where the trail was, but we just went where we thought the trail should go and eventually the trail once again emerged from the snow.
Just for perspective's sake, this next picture was taken much later in the hike, looking back up at what we had come down. The snow fields on the top middle extending right are what we came down.
After making it down the first snowfield, we ran into these two guys.
They were quite comfortable with us, even settling down for a nap on the trail. At first we didn't mind; I was busy taking pictures. But after a while, it was time for us to go and they were blocking the only way down!
Barry, waiting for the mountain goats.
Eventually, with a little encouragement, they moved on.
It continued to be quite steep, but the views were incredible!
And then we encountered another large snowfield. At first look, it didn't seem too bad, especially after what we had come down earlier. But this one had its own trials. It was facing a different direction and so the sun hadn't warmed the surface, making it icy and very, very hard to make steps. If we had fallen, we would have had a long and fast slide to the rocky bottom. Barry valiantly pounded steps, this time out of necessity, not just fear. The other hiker was still behind us, benefiting mightily by Barry's hard effort. It would take 4-5 pounding blows before we could take one step. About half-way across, Barry was exhausted and the second half just seemed to drag on. But we made it and nothing but green grass stretched out ahead of us. We fondly (or not so fondly for Barry) named it "Barry's Great Traverse".
Nearing the end of our hike, we came to these beautiful falls.
Three years ago, Barry had a little talk with me in Southern's library. He said he liked me and wanted to spend more time with me. It was a short talk, but it changed my life forever.
A friend sent these pictures to me a few months ago, taken just a few short days before that talk. It was a very memorable evening after a very memorable day in which my heart was telling me something important was happening but my head was insisting otherwise. My friend sitting across the room very astutely and secretly snapped a few pictures on her phone. I'm sure glad she did, because it captured a moment that is preserved in my memory for all time.
Love you, Barry. Thanks for being my best friend for life :)
Addendum: After seeing this blog, Jonathan and Ali Gerrans just sent me this picture from another gathering that same week :)
Chapter 64 of Desire of Ages is powerful and convicting, especially if the world has been tugging at your shirt strings.
"Jesus had come to the fig tree hungry, to find food. So He had come to Israel, hoping to find in them the fruits of righteousness. ...He longed to see in them self-sacrifice and compassion, zeal for God, and a deep yearning of soul for the salvation of their fellow men. Had they kept the law of God, they would have done the same unselfish work that Christ did. But love to God and man was eclipsed by pride and self-sufficiency."-p. 583
"The warning is for all time. ...No one can live the law of God without ministering to others. But there are many who do not live out Christ's merciful, unselfish life. Some who think themselves excellent Christians do not understand what constitutes service for God. They plan and study to please themselves. They act only in reference to self. ...Self is so large that they cannot see anything else. ...They say, but do not."-p. 584
"Every evidence of the grace of God, every ray of divine light, is either melting and subduing the soul, or confirming it in hopeless impenitence." -p. 588