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This week has been a busy week!  We are preparing for a trip back east and headed ultimately for North Dakota.  But, we are excited to see all the sights in-between!  So I will be posting some about the trip here on the blog, and I hope you will enjoy the sights and sounds of our road trip with me. We will see cousins on the way in Wenatchee and Moses Lake, WA.  The areas we hope to visit are Yellowstone Park, Jackson Hole, Cody, Mount Rushmore, and whatever else we have time to see.  We will visit a cousin’s restaurant while in North Dakota for some good food.  Then, we will be meeting up in Verona, North Dakota for a reunion on my mom’s side of the family.  I’m very much looking forward to sharing stories and life with them for a few days!  We will have a chance to share genealogy together too and that will be so fun!  I’m taking my mom and dad with me in spirit!  God is good to help us make this trip and we are very excited for it to start!  We hope to come back home along the coast line and THAT is going to be awesome too.  My camera is going to get a BIG workout these next two weeks!  Watch for the posts!

So, I will leave you today with a question I posted today on Facebook:

Do you believe that your best life is behind you, or, in front of you?  I will be checking back for your answers!  Blessings to each one of you that faithfully follow the blog.  I appreciate you!

Walking the journey with you…

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Taking the Back Roads

 

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Yesterday, I found a page called Traveler on the Backroads, and it struck a deep tone on the tuning fork of my soul.  I immediately thought about it in terms of my life.  So I thought I would share some thoughts with you, and you can see if you identify with any of them.

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I thought about what it might mean to take the back roads in life?  Why would I want to take a road trip on the back roads?  Well, I would take the back roads because I wanted to see more.  I want to slow down on my drive so that I can experience more of what I see.  I would want to stop when I want to and further enjoy what I find.  I want to see how life was, and how it is today.  I want the slow pace of the leisurely drive.  I want to photograph the moment.  So, that means for me, I want to experience life more fully.  We can’t see much driving down the highway at 60-70 miles per hour!  I have tried that a few times with my husband driving.  Oh…in this area, we can see some beautiful mountains, and if we are quick, we can maybe snap a picture or two with all the wires hanging down.  But its pretty hard to do that when we have traffic all around us!  People around me aren’t really too excited about my timely slowing down to catch something of interest to me.  They even get upset if your pull off the road and they might have to go around.

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In my life, I guess I have discovered that I want to live my life on the back roads.  I want to have time for a friend that needs to unload, a coffee meet up, a reconnection, a family gathering, time to encourage someone, finding out where I came from in a list of genealogy, and then, the understanding that comes from that research.  I want to put my nose in the air to smell the fresh air, even when it’s fresh because of the rain.  Maybe, especially, when it is refreshed by the rain!  I want the back roads of life as compared to running at full speed to get here and there, and then hurry to the next thing and the next.  I have lived long enough to recognize when my spirit needs a reminder that the back road trip is how I want to live.  Give me the quiet.  I need that instead of the noise of life or traffic to distract from my purpose, which is to lean into seeing what is around me.  I want to be forever changed by what I see, what I notice and the insights that I am given.

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So think about it…why do YOU take the back roads on a trip?  Or are you one that just wants to get there, and so you miss what you could see on the way?  Don’t miss it.  You may not have a second chance for another ride.  Put the virtual top down, let the wind blow through your hair, and in your face, and come back home saying, “What a ride!”  Me?  My bag is ready to go!

Walking the journey with you…

The $150 Adventure!

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A couple of days ago, my friend Judy asked me if I wanted to take a drive up to Mt Pilchuck with her on Tuesday.  Of course, that means bring your camera and let’s see what we can see!!  Well…I’m in!!  But wait Judy!!!  Before we go, let’s see if we can get ourselves in to a position of adventure that creates fun, a bit of danger, get almost frozen, and have no money available to us, or cell phones!!!  Wouldn’t THAT be fun?!?!?!?  Let’s do THAT!

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I digress…Yes Judy called and asked me to go and yes my camera and I jumped at the prospect!  We always have fun together and laugh a lot.  Yesterday, we had such a great time traveling where neither of us had been in years!  We headed up towards Granite Falls and stopped at the cable bridge that is up there.  We get out of the car with our cameras, walk across the bridge to get some pictures, and Judy says, “Oh no!  My battery is dead.”  Now there is NOTHING more disappointing than to go to take pictures and find you can’t!  Total bummer.  So my brain starts working on what we can do to fix this.  I tell her about a device that you plug into the lighter and charges your other devices.  So…we stop at Granite Falls Rite Aid and look around.  I ask God to helps us find what we need to be able to connect and charge her battery up.  I asked Judy if she had her charge cord with her, and low and behold, she did!!  Who’da thunk?  God came through and we found one that would fit the lighter and charge her camera battery.  She bought it and hooked that baby up!   Away we went, charging her battery all the way.

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We used my maps on my phone as far as we could, watching signs.  We did find Mt Pilchuck.  Judy is a great navigator!  We were taking pictures along the way.  We found some wonderful views.  There is just something so fun about a rode trip, whether it be for the day or a few days.  In our case, it turned out to be a very LOOONG day!

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There were some interesting houses to see and we drove up as far as we could to Mt Pilchuck and then we turned around.  But we saw a wooded area of birch trees that we so beautiful against the snow.  We parked kind of weird because, who would be coming down this road?  Not like people lived there, right?  Nope… we had a car come barreling down the hill and there the Tahoe sat.  We were busy taking pictures, and they managed to get around us.  Judy and I looked at each other and said, “Go figure.”  On down the road we went and Judy was wondering if the Mountain Loop Highway was open all the way to Darrington.  I didn’t know.  Adventure!  Let’s go see.  On the way up, we saw some beautiful scenery; beautiful sloping roads with mountain backgrounds, snow stuck to birch tree limbs like cotton balls, and little waterfalls along the way.  Another stop…

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We continued up the highway, catching up on our lives and in-between, we are saying things like, “Oh that is gorge!”, or “Look at that!”,  and the brakes would come on for another stop to take a photo!  When we go out, often times, we find the same thing to stop for and at the same time.  SO fun!  (Manuscript Notes):  Just for the sake of background, I would usually leave the door on my side open, sometimes close it,  but Judy would grab her keys, lock it,  and put the keys in her pocket.  We had a system.  You will notice some photos have a lot of twist and turns in the road; little did I know, our day would be a lot like that.

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BBQ anyone?

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We traveled up Mountain Loop Highway and no signs to tell us whether it was closed or not.  We were enjoying ourselves, so we kept going thinking we might be able to go across to Darrington.  But we got up to where the highway narrows, found rocks piled up high, and the saw horses are out to indicate it is the end of the line.  We turned around and headed back down looking for things we might have missed coming up.  As we are traveling along enjoying the beauty of the mountains, the sun silhouetting the mountain tops, we are both in awe over the beauty!  We felt it was great to see this on such a sunny day.  We rounded a corner and we both saw it at once!  Beautiful wall of hanging icicles and strange formations of the melted ice that looked like flowers and diamonds.  Eeerch!!!!  Swing this baby around and park!!  We get out and put our coats and scarfs on because it is cold!!  Freezing cold!  I had been having a bit of trouble at times getting out of the Tahoe because it sits so high, so I was trying to be careful this time lowering myself to the ground.  I didn’t want to touch the door because of the locks there.  However, somehow, even though I used my right hand to brace myself with the vehicle, my left arm must have brushed those locks just enough to touch them.  Judy was outside the Tahoe already and when I heard it beep, I thought she had locked it, so I closed the door.  Came around the front, and the horn honked.  Oh NOOOOOOO!!!  The doors locked and Judy did NOT have the keys in her pocket!  I tried to be so careful getting out and was sure I didn’t touch the door.  But, Judy in all her kindness says with an expression of sorry, “I think you did.”  Oh my gosh!!  We are now at least 18 miles up Mountain Loop Highway, no living people within miles and miles, locked out of the Tahoe in freezing weather, with nothing around us, no phone, no purse, not a thing to help us.  AND…all those items?  Yah…they sitting on the seats in plain sight!

Cars coming or going are not much of a happening thing up there, if you know what I mean.  We walk around the Tahoe trying all the doors, like the Tahoe won’t lock ALL the doors in the vehicle; just ours.  Duh!  Yah, uh huh.  We look at each other and say, “What are we going to do?”  What DO photographers do?  We had stopped to take pictures of this, so we might as well take advantage of this situation!  We both cross the road and snap away!!!  At least we are going to get pictures out of it!!!  Ok.  Back to reality.  We reaccess our situation, which is no different than it was before.  We again wonder what we can do.  Judy said she was tempted to break one of her windows.  Oh man!  Not that!  I hated to see that happen but we were kind of desperate!  If we stay out in the weather, we are going to freeze to death.  Immediately, a news scrip comes to mind on our current situation.  News Flash!!!  “Two women found on Mountain Loop Highway, around the Silverton area above Granite Falls, frozen to death with cameras in hand.  The women are yet to be identified.”  Hahaha!!!  Nope.  Don’t want to go there.  I prayed and ask God to provide somehow for us because this was a dangerous situation; it was late afternoon and soon the temperatures would drop even more.  I was so thankful I hadn’t just hopped out to take the pictures; I had my coat and scarf!  I pulled it closer around me and my scarf up by my ears.

The pictures we stopped to get:

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After a few minutes of walking around, feeling rather helpless, I again prayed and asked God to provide.  A few minutes later, I looked again up and down the road.  Nothing.  We talked about options as we walked around to warm up.  Pretty soon, I walked back to the road looking up and down just in case there was something.  Not sure what I expected but I was praying God would answer.  This time I saw a pickup truck coming.  All ideas of the danger of hitching rides and strangers went up in smoke.  Desperate times called for desperate measures!  If there IS a car, I’m getting them to stop.  So I am raising my arms and waved them as I walk closer and closer into the road.  I look over and Judy has joined me in doing the same, and the pick up slows down, swings in, and then stops.  We walk over to the truck to find a guy leaning over to open the passenger side window.   After explaining our situation, he got out and did a check around the vehicle to see if there was something he may know of.  Nope.  We learn his name is Mike and we ask if there is any land line close by for us to make a call.  He thought that just up the road there was a sheriff’s radio available to make contact for emergencies.  We both thought this was an emergency, and so when he offered to take us up the road about 8 miles to check it out, we agreed to go.  So, he cleans out his front seat of his little beater pick up truck and we climb in.  Now, I am in the middle, with a small portion seat, and this is a 5 speed…not easy on my knees to say the least, but God had provided us transportation.  His little truck was warm.  I’m thankful.  His name was Mike and he is from Snohomish.  He was coming up to check to see if there was snow.  We gladly told him there was, but hoping he would help us women in distress first.  When we arrived, there was no sheriff’s radio anymore.  We came back down and he said we can try the ranger station because they have someone to man that.  That was 8 miles back and then another 8 or so miles to the station.  We are thankful for this option and gladly say yes.  So as we travel, he gives us some history of the area.  We find out he is a birdwatcher and some of the jobs he has done in his life.  He is a very kind man and when the ranger station is closed, he again tells us about having a spare key in a secret place, and calling a tow truck.  Yes we COULD call, IF we had a cell phone and IF there was service.  He says he has a cell phone but this area is a no phone zone.  Oh goodie.  In all our efforts to figure this out, Judy and I are trying to whisper a bit back and forth what we can do.  Judy tells him that she would like to get to an area where she can maybe call a locksmith to come and open the Tahoe.  So THAT is our new plan.  We drive along and it is getting kind of crowded for a long trip to Granite Falls and Mike tells us, “This  pick up was made so that three Japanese men could comfortably sit in it.  What were they, gnomes?”  We laugh our heads off!  He had a pretty dry, funny sense of humor and we are glad for the distraction.  I’m am glad for something to laugh at, because in the back of my mind, I’m thinking, what if this person is just telling us about all these places and knows they aren’t available just to get us to a place where bad things can happen?”  Crazy how your thoughts go sometimes.  Then, I think of Judy and I, and say to myself, “Hey, it’s two against one!  He wouldn’t stand a chance!”  So, then my mind goes to thinking about whether we can get someone to do it, and how much will it COST?  I feel responsible!  I’m closest to the Mike and look down as his gas gauge, and become a bit worried when it is down on empty!  He’s trying to help us and his tank is empty.  But I remember having a few cars where I would have to guess on my gas, so maybe he has one of those kind of cars.  I mean, the guy was going UP mountain when he stopped for us.  No gas stations up there!  As we got into cell range, I was able to call Terry and let him know a little of what had happened so he would expect me to be later getting back home.  As I hung up, his phone dings, so I know he has a pay per use phone.  I am wishing I could buy some minutes or gas for his trouble.  Mike drives us into Granite Falls, and Judy asks him if he could drop us off at the police department.  So, bless his heart, he takes us there and we thank him profusely, as we have nothing to give him since our purses are locked up in the Tahoe on the mountain.  He parting comments was, “Spare key!”  I secretly thank God, that He sent us the right kind of person, and that He would bless Mike for his kindness.

With heads held high, we walk into the police station and ask for help in finding someone who might be able to get us back up the mountain and unlock the Tahoe.  She directs us up the street to a little place that could easily be missed if you weren’t so desperate to find them.  As we walk into the little office and talk to the guy about our situation, it occurs to us, that we have no money to pay them.  He says, “We take credit cards.”  We say, “Yes that is great IF we had our credit cards.  But our purses and everything dear to us is in that Tahoe up the mountain.”  He tells us that all his trucks are out and it will be 45 minutes to an hour before he will know where his trucks are.  So he suggests that we walk down to the restaurant and get a bite to eat and we can call him to check in to see what he has found out.  We are looking at each and saying, uh huh.  Call with what????  Do you remember the part about us telling you we are locked out with our purses and cell phones in the vehicle?  But, we take the number and walk down the street to the cute little pizza place.  We ARE thinking something to eat sounds good.  Until…we get inside and sit down and realize once again that we can’t do that because we have no money!!!  This sweet little waitress comes up and starts talking and we explain our circumstances and ask if we can just sit here while we wait.  She says we can.  She immediately picks up her phone and calls a someone she knows can help.  She tells us no answer.  She informs us that we can eat and pay later; no problem.  Wow!!  That is pretty cool!  We decline, but thank her.  I was very thankful for a place to sit down for a while.  I had been doing a lot of walking.

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We are sitting there trying to be patient.  So I decided to take a picture of Judy’s camera.  All of a sudden, Judy sees a truck go by from the company we are waiting for.  This waitress see the number on the truck, gets on her cell phone and calls them.  She says, “Hello.  This is so and so, from Granite Falls Police Department, and I have your two ladies here that are waiting for you to take them up the mountain to get into their vehicle?  Do they have time for a bite to eat before you are taking them up or are you leaving right away to take them to their car?”  She pulls the cell from her ear and asks us whether we want to eat or go right away?  We say we will eat later and would like to get back to the car as soon as we can.  It is getting dark.  So in a few minutes, NOT 45 minutes or an hour, a guy is picking us up to take us back up the mountain!  Bless her police woman’s heart.  She used her position and clout to help speed things a long!  We told her we would come back for dinner and out the door we went!  Thank you to the sweet heart of a person who was willing to help two strangers in need!

As we follow the guy, we now know is DJ, to his pickup, once again I am in the middle.  A bit better though because this is an automatic.  Thank goodness!  We learn a bit more about him as we travel back up to the Tahoe.  We tell him our story.  He laughs and says he has heard a lot of stories behind keys getting left in a vehicle.  I ask if he has had any he couldn’t get into and he tells us only one.  Judy and I look at each and think, “Thank you Jesus!”  As we wind up the Mountain Loop Highway, we finally come to the Tahoe and are pretty excited to get back inside.  After a lot of playing with his magic wand, he finally gets it open!  We were happy enough to do a happy dance, but didn’t, because he might think we are weirder than we already were given our day!  I run over and take another picture of the icicles and say, “Take THAT!”  He couldn’t take a split payment, so Judy was on the hook for it until we got home.  We got him paid and he waits until we have the Tahoe running before he leaves.  Thanks DJ.  We both get in the car and are so happy to be “inside” and on the way home.  DJ, you were the best!

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My SO THERE picture I took.

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As we are driving back, Judy and I are talking about how much fun we have when we are together and it is always an adventure!!!  So true!  We have stories to tell and I told her I was going to tell this one.  We kept our promise and stopped for dinner at the little place in Granite Falls.  She greeted us with great relief that we got back safely.  We thanked her for her help and enjoyed a warm restaurant and a good dinner.  On a quiet moment on the way home, I was thinking about our day and told Judy that Mike came up for snow, and that bird watcher got part of what he was looking for…he got to see a couple of crazy birds!!  And Judy says, “Yep!  A couple of loony birds!”  Then, I asked Judy if she thought some of our pictures could be sold for $150?  …Anyone?

I’d do it again with you Judy!!  We had angels in our midst today, but I think we will also stick to your plan with extra keys in both pockets!

A quote that is a perfect reminder:  “The only thing you can know for certain is that you are going to have obstacles in front of you that you cannot count on–only God stays the same.” – Beth Moore

Walking the journey with you…

Road Trip Part 4

img_1934Here we are in Part 4 of the Road Trip.  Isn’t is amazing that we can go from sharing a postcard with someone when we are on a trip, to posting in on a blog and letting many, many people share in your experience?  Changing times…

To catch up you, we are now headed to Wenatchee and meeting up with a cousin of mine that I haven’t seen in years and years.  As we drive into Wenatchee, we are wondering which way to go because it has changed so much since I last was there!  So with my Maps on my phone and hubby’s good sense of direction, we were able to find her house.  What a fun reunion we had visiting and catching up.  They took us out for dinner and we got to keep the conversation going.  It was once again a reminder that family is so important, and that losing contact with them is such a waste of great fellowship!  We need our family and surprisingly, they need us too.  Don’t let time constraints keep you from staying in touch!  I got the address of a cousin that was my best bud when we were five years old and sent him a couple of pictures of us.  I am in high hopes he will contact me back!

So after that wonderful visit, we headed toward Leavenworth and to our home for the night.  We are staying at Thousand Trails, Leavenworth and thought we had a pretty good idea where we were going.  I even got directions from the reservations operator.  Yeah…well…not really.  She had us going the back way in, we had no idea where we were and it was getting dark.  I thought I would use my phone and see where we are!  Wrong.  Got our pin point location and then lost signal because we are up in mountains!  Ok, how about the map?  Nope.  The roads aren’t even on the map and this is a new map!  We would get a signal and then hubby would move forward with the car and lose it.  Of course at one point he just stopped but that wasn’t the place where we could get signal.  If it wasn’t getting so annoying that we had such poor directions without technology, it would have been kind of humorous.  So after a lot of, “I don’t know.  I’ve never been here before either!” comments, we just kept driving and I started praying that we would find it soon.  Nobody to ask because there weren’t that many houses there.  When we did find someone place to ask, at a small hotel, they didn’t answer their door for service.  So we got back on the road and kept driving.  Several more miles down the road, and we saw the sign.  We had been driving total of at least 50 minutes looking.  But, we DID find it…thank you Jesus!  And below, you will find a picture of our home away from home.  Not bad, huh?

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We even had a BBQ on our deck we could use.  I think we will come back to this one!  It was beautiful!  As you can see, it had a pool also!  Oh yah!!  Course, I won’t be seen in any form of a bathing suit, but it is way cool to have a pool.  Maybe a midnight swim when no one is looking????  I always wondered why some designer hasn’t designed a swim suit for “the less likely for two-piece anymore” kind of gal!  You know, one that comes almost to the knee?  Skirt type with a BIG flair to it?  I can see it, can’t you?  But I digress.

IMG_1644So we unload our things from the car and walk into our house and the lights are on and music is playing…I like that they wanted us to feel right at home.  Kind of like the Motel 6 commercial where they talk about leaving the light on for you.

IMG_1635IMG_1640We really enjoyed our stay here and kicked back for the evening.  Resting up was important because we have a big day ahead of us tomorrow walking around in Leavenworth!

So the next morning, we are up and going and headed into Leavenworth to have breakfast.  It is so nice to just have no particular schedule and just enjoy the moment.  Breakfast was very yummy!   After eating we parked our car on the main street and hit the shops with great anticipation.  Oh my!! SO many things to look at.  Look what I found in the first shop!!  I put my keys on it right after this picture was taken.  I even got a “J” charm to add to it!  Yep, its me!!

IMG_1680IMG_1679The of course, I had to walk across the street because I saw chocolate.  And hot or not, I had to get some to enjoy!  Oh yummy!  The store is full of wonderful chocolate of all kinds!

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I just loved this shop window!  It was fixed up so cute!  And look at this chocolate covered macadamia nuts!  I also got some chocolate covered orange sticks too!  But I DID share with my sweetie.

IMG_1661IMG_1655IMG_1654Wasn’t that “eye candy” for the chocolate lover’s soul?  It sure was to me!  We walked to another little shop and found the coolest furniture made from whisky barrels!  I would have loved to buy the table and stools for our bedroom.  Yeah…that’s another story.  But anyway, we sure did like them; very creative style.

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IMG_1662IMG_1652It is a nice ambiance walking the streets of Leavenworth.  You can find some very unusual things.  One store had a statue that my hubby had to show me because I am Norwegian and it is a statue of the Norwegian God of Folklore.  He really liked it!

IMG_1671I also have always wanted to get an old vintage trailer and fix up.  I have some great, creative ideas but not always as practical for me, because who would remodel a vintage trailer for me?  I certainly don’t know enough.  But I have learned about some ladies who call themselves Sisters On The Fly who have done it.  They inspire me.  I had to get a couple of books to read all about it!  Pretty cool!  So watch for future episodes.  It just might happen for me before I’m wear grey hair!

IMG_1676I have been known to stand in stores and read cards and laugh my head off.  People look but I don’t care.  If it is funny, I laugh.  I like clean and funny and these little one pieces for babies made me laugh right out loud in the store.  Sometimes I wish I could come up with these things.  It makes you wonder what type of person thinks these up!  But then I remember that I would like to be one of those persons, and I laugh again.  They would be like me who laughs in a store at a card that is funny, and sees the humor in all things.  I laugh at commercials at home all the time!  I think we need humor in our lives and maybe more of it.  Laughter is good for the soul!

IMG_1658IMG_1657So we have walked around, listened to music piped through the town square, enjoyed a Stawberries and Cream Frappe at Starbucks and talking about heading home.  We both wish we could do a couple more days of this.  But then I think everyone feels that way about a great get-away.  We walk back to the car and head down Tumwater Canyon and I take some shots as we go.  The beauty around us is right there, but we sometimes take it for granted.  Here are a few shots of my canyon run…

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The water along the river is so gorgeous!  I loved the movement and of course I could sit there all day listening to it!  I took a rock at one point and put all my concerns on that rock and threw it in so it could be washed away and I could walk away clean from my concerns.  That is how it is with God.  We give him our worries and troubles and He takes them away to Himself so that we can be free.  He smooths all my rough edges.  I was free that day once again.

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It is so nice to see all the waterfalls, great and small along the way.

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Close up of the river and the crashing waves against the rock.  “BE STRONG, I heard.  BE BOLD, I heard.  Never give up even when things are crashing in around you.  I AM HERE.”  Phew!!  Good to get that reminder!

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Look at this pretty waterfall so high up in the mountains supplying the water to the river below.  I saw this waterfall and thought it is a lot like God.  He supplies our needs from His High Place to our us.  Beautiful scene!

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Up river a little further, is the waterfall you see below.  It was so pretty.  There wasn’t a place to park, so we walked a ways to get this shot but well worth it!

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The photo below reminds me that we can have all the chaos around us, but if we have God in our lives, we can have calm right in the middle of it.  Do you see in this photo how the center is open and the waves are crashing all around it threatening to close in?  We can feel like that in our lives at times, and that is why these times away to reflect and enjoy life are so important for us.  Our perspectives are given an opportunity to see things from a different light.  Certainly, that happened for me during these three days!

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My hubby and I talked about where we want to go on our next trip.  Because you see, we need to do that.  It is a healthy choice, both for relationship and for healthy mind, soul and body.  What do you need to move around in your life to make time for the important?  It is well worth the sacrifice to do it.  Make a road trip fund and start right away!  We have our next one planned!  I would love to hear your thoughts on this trip and places you have visited or suggestions.  Where will your next get-away take YOU?

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I leave you with a photo that speaks of my feelings about the trip.  It is so pretty and very peaceful.  That is what this trip meant to me.

“When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll.  What ever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul!”  Horatio Spafford 1873 from Psalm 146:1.

Thank you for coming along on this Road Trip with me.  I have enjoyed sharing it and I hope you too can say daily, “It is well with my soul.”

Walking the journey with you…

Road Trip! Part 1

IMG_1747In a day and age where so many people are flying everywhere, it is really refreshing to take to the road!  Instead of flying over everything, we are seeing it as we pass by it, or better yet, stop to SEE AND explore it! So, I thought it would be fun to share my trip and thoughts in three or four posts here on the blog.

Part 1

This last week, my husband and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary.  We have had some rough times, but one thing we know, God has been faithful to us. We decided to celebrate by taking a road trip to areas that my husband had not seen, and where I had not been in years.  We left early on Monday morning and headed over the North Cascades to see what we could see.  I am anticipating a wonderful time of leisure with my hubby and my camera because I know each time I take the time, God always shows up with some amazing thoughts and experiences.

 

The first place we stopped was in Marblemount, Washington.  This is a kind of last stop before going over the pass.  As kids, we knew if we needed a potty stop, this was the last one for a long while.  So for old times sake, we stopped and walked around.  There were IMG_3788some wonderful lilacs along the fence line that I had to take the time to smell and photograph.  We walked across the road toward the bridge because I wanted to try IMG_3798and get a photograph of the fog bank over the water.  But instead, I found a wonderful perspective of the bridge to take.   So, I walked to the bridge and took this photo from my point of view and looking to the other side.  It just reminded that no matter how grey and foggy our life may seem at times, that if we will walk in faith to the other side, we will see a different perspective and maybe find God is doing a new thing!  I felt that day, that God was doing a new thing in our lives.  I was to walk “in” it.IMG_3796

 

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IMG_3794Then, as I turned, I looked down river and took a few shots of the fog.  Every couple of minutes it would change.  It was kind of funny because as I was trying to get a photo, a big 18 wheeler came over the bridge and the bridge vibrated for several minutes afterwards.  It took a few minutes for the bridge to settle so I could get the shot.  But the scene made me want to tarry a while to enjoy the beauty of the green tree-lined river.  It was so peaceful.  This is what it is about; the ability to take the time to enjoy the beauty God has given us.

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After I took my bridge and river picture, we get back into our little red car and head up the mountain.  We stop where ever the notion hits us for a good photo-op, and we certainly found a few; pretty riverbanks, water falls, and deer along the road, tunnels and park areas.  It is amazing what you see when you go with the intent of seeing, and not just letting it pass you by, on the way to where you are going!

We pulled over to get a beautiful shot of the water fall.  There were so many along with way but it wasn’t always easy to stop where we saw them so I did a lot of walking.  Here is one of the falls I saw a little ways up the mountain.  Close by, the deer pictures were taken through the car windows so we could get as close as we could without them running off into the woods.  They were just curious enough to turn around to get a good look at us.
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IMG_3896We came through this tunnel and I got the brilliant idea that I wanted to take a picture from one end of the tunnel to the other end.  I seemed to be getting that idea at the beginning of this trip; the idea of “looking through to the other side.”  We couldn’t park there, so we had to go up the road ways to park the car, and I ran back to take a photo.  Every time I would get out into the middle to take a photo, a car would come.  Back to the side I would go.  The car passes, I would go out to the middle and try again.  Here came a car.  So, finally after about six tries, I had a break and got out to the middle quickly, and took the shot just as a truck came around the corner!  Phew!!  The things we do for a photo!  In the time it took to get this shot, it had started raining, and quickly turned into a downpour!  I needed to get to the car.  Terry couldn’t back it down because there was no place to park.  What to do?  Wait it out?  Put my camera under my coat and run for it?  I was standing there laughing so hard at my predicament, that I just decided to put the camera under my coat and run for it!  About that time, Terry gets out of the car with no jacket, and starts coming for me with an umbrella.  We meet up and run to the car under the umbrella laughing so hard we could hardly breathe!  It was quite a distance!  I was trying to tell him about the cars coming every time I wanted a picture and we just burst out laughing again.  What a pair we are!  But he is my knight in shining armor who came to my rescue in the pouring rain, to help his photographer wifey not get too wet.  It’s times like these you never forget!  Love that man!

Now that we warmed up in the car, we decide to move on up the road and came to a park information area. We stopped in to see what we could learn.  Inside we found information about the whole mountain area, all water ways, and a little shop.  In the sitting area, we found this above the fireplace.  In light of our world right now, these words could never be more true.  It IS up to us to take care of our land, but not just that, but to put our life priorities back into place on a daily basis.  We found good information and I bought a map so we could begin to map out on the map of Washington where we are visiting on this trip and future trips.  Away we go again.

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We made another stop at Diablo Dam.  It was kind of ire to see the dam without the water flowing over it as it is so black in color.  But I have seen it when the water is flowing and it is beautiful!  The picture above shows the dam.  The next photo is from across the dam and looking up at the mountain.  It was so majestic looking even with all the fog.  But it stands strong and unyielding between the green of the other mountains.

You drive down the hill to this quaint winding drive with light posts that line the whole distance of the drive.  We drove across and I took some shots around the area.

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IMG_3902When we drove around the lake and I looked back at the bridge, one thought came to mind.  When I look at this photo, it looks like the bridge is a pretty straight shot.  You can’t see the twists and turns or the drive.  Our lives our like that.  We think it should be, or we want it TO be a straight shot.  We don’t want any of those twists or turns, or ups or downs.  When it happens, we find ourselves disappointed, hurt, or angry.  But we are told to expect them, so it depends on how we look at them.  What is our perspective?  I found that when I was up close, I could see the beauty even IN the turns.  The ups and downs of the road led me to this place of beauty.  I believe it is like that in our lives too.

Well, here we are and we aren’t even that far into our trip!  Both Terry and I said so many times that first day how much we were enjoying the leisure time to get out and see what we could see.  Spending time in God’s creation is always a great way to draw near to each other and I think God designed it just that way.    I think He wants us to look at our lives the same way.  It is an adventure and a journey.  There will be rain, storms, losses and all of that.  But we can keep looking forward to what is around the next corner, the next hill, the new thing to learn, the next moments to spend with ones we have and love, and above all, to spend time with the Creator who made it all for us to enjoy!

I will leave you for this part of the journey and will post the next in Part 2 of…The Road Trip!

Walking the journey with you…only this time, you are walking the journey of mine with ME!