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…

IMG 0690

IMG 0677

The boys immediately set out to explore and find treasures…

“Mom, look! I found a feather!”

IMG 0679

“Mom!! Cup mushrooms! Cup mushrooms!”

IMG 0685

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

IMG 0650

“Mama! Me sit right here?”

IMG 0651

“No, no, no, no…this a good spot!!”

IMG 0663

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…

IMG 0748

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 🙂

IMG 0725

IMG 0732

IMG 0745

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…

IMG 0783

Of exploration…

IMG 0785

IMG 0790

Of observation…

IMG 0759

IMG 0802

IMG 0836

And appreciation…

IMG 0693

IMG 0813

IMG 0852

Of rest and relaxation…

IMG 0787

IMG 0768

IMG 0770

 

IMG 0771

Of exhilaration!!!!

IMG 0826

IMG 0803

 “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!!! 

DSC 6961

(And maybe a little alien?)

DSC 6980

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.

DSC 7008

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 🙂

DSC 6929

DSC 6936

DSC 6913

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.

DSC 7021

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… 🙂

IMG 0704

IMG 0694

IMG 0710

IMG 0707

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

IMG 0692 

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!

IMG 0849

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…

IMG 0868

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

IMG 0866 

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

DSC 7117

DSC 7128

It was all business. Finding walking sticks…

DSC 7090

Turning over rocks with your new stick…

DSC 7088

Helping your sister across the stream…

DSC 7108

Exploring a new island…

DSC 7111

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

DSC 7124

DSC 7122

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 🙂

DSC 7133

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!

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s