Back in the Mountains Again (June 13)

 Ahhhhhhh….The sunshine, the fresh-clean-crisp mountain air…It’s summertime on top of the world!

It was time to take a drive up to Artist Point and celebrate the amazingness of God’s creation on the big-scale! As an added bonus, by keeping most of our camping gear in the Thule (a roof-top carrier), we could quickly pack overnight bags and a cooler and be ready for a spontaneous camping trip! So, this would be an overnighter on the mountain…Because the only thing better than a day on the mountain is two days on the mountain 🙂

Our first stop was the Silver Fir Campground to secure a spot next to the river to call home…

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The boys immediately set out to explore and find treasures…

“Mom, look! I found a feather!”

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“Mom!! Cup mushrooms! Cup mushrooms!”

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“Mom! A perfect place to play catch!!!”

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“Mama! Me sit right here?”

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“No, no, no, no…this a good spot!!”

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Anyway, once camp was settled, it was time to head out for a hike 🙂

It’s really pretty cool to be able to drive to a place where you are literally at the tip-top of a ridgeline, able to immediately enjoy the incomparable feeling of surveying the expanse of sky and mountains that stretch out into the far reaches of your imagination…

I mean, this looks like a great spot to look for wildlife, far away from the crowds and the noise of city life…

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But actually, it’s just a rocky outcropping next to the restroom at the corner of the parking lot 🙂

And this remote spot for a snack is actually just a walk up the hill from our car…I had to run back really quick and grab a knife for the butter 🙂

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But there is a wild world down the path, and you quickly leave behind the memory of cars and traffic and parking lots, buildings and shopping and city lights…

This is God’s country! It’s not remote or anything, so we share the trail with plenty of other people…But the grand expanse of it, the overwhelming natural-ness of it, puts God first in a way that just doesn’t happen in town 🙂

It’s a place of meditation…

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Of exploration…

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Of observation…

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And appreciation…

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Of rest and relaxation…

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Of exhilaration!!!!

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 “Oh my goodness, this is just SO EXCITING!!!!!”

And a place of endless fascination…With those small things that you tend to observe because you’re looking at everything, all the time, trying to soak it all in 🙂

This is the dispirited tiger beetle (as we later learned). You won’t find very much information about him – not much is known. He eats other little creatures & lives high in the mountains. That’s about it. And he’s beautiful!!! 

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(And maybe a little alien?)

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I had never seen a spider with a blue body before…And then Joe pointed out that this was actually a brown spider. With a lovely blue egg sac. Whoa.

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And in this severe, above-tree-line, high-alpine landscape – of course there are spectacular, brilliant, and fragile blossoms…Though they are quite small, and you have to be paying attention to see them 🙂

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There’s life everywhere!!! But you have to be living in this moment to notice it! Otherwise, you might just hurry on past, hoping to get back to Costco before it closes!! Thank God for the incredible places that make us slow down and appreciate, admire, recognize, enjoy, and remember our God, creator of the Heavens, the Earth, the Starry Universe….and us 🙂 How amazing.

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A short drive down from Artist Point, the Heather Meadows Visitor Center has a well-maintained Ranger Station that reminds you that home is a cabin in the mountains… 🙂

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And that there’s no better place for dinner than a picnic table with a view….

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Where you can enjoy a bowl-full of cherries…And if you’re 3, you see everyone else’s red tongue, and you wonder what yours looks like! “Mama! Me have red tongue?” Yes, yes you do!

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And it certainly was nice, after a day in the mountains, to have a short drive back to camp, and climb into tents in the golden evening light that still streams in around 9:00 pm…There was an extra sense of contentment, looking out from my tent at the kids’  tent…

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Knowing they were snuggly and comfy inside after a big day of hiking!

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 In the morning, with camp put away and ready to head for home, we enjoyed some time at the river.

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It was all business. Finding walking sticks…

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Turning over rocks with your new stick…

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Helping your sister across the stream…

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Exploring a new island…

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And then the kids realized that a special construction project was needed…We needed a bridge! “That way, everyone could enjoy this beautiful island!”

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Rock-by-rock, they patiently worked up a dry path, eventually with Asher on one side and Spencer on the other, both working towards the middle 🙂

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Before it was quite complete, it was time to head for home (“Awwwwwwww!”)…Still, you can never consider time wasted at a mountain stream! We may have left behind half-a-bridge, but we took home hearts full of delight, wonder, awe, and a desire to help others (in any little way) more-greatly enjoy God’s creation!



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