UPDATED: July 25, 2005

BONZAI TRIP 2005 (part 5)

FRIENDSHIP
The next leg of our adventure took us to Colorado, where we met up with my close friend Doug Carlsen. Doug and I worked together for six summers at Hume Lake. His impact on my life was remarkable; he was my best man at my wedding.

COLORADO'S ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH
Oh, yeah... we're talking 105 degrees in Denver. Hottest day EVER in Denver's record books. Thank the Lord above that Doug was lent a cabin in Breckenridge for the week, where we stayed through the hottest days last week. FUERTO LOCO EL CAJON! We even camped at Dillon Res., where we got to enjoy a beautiful sunset^.

BEATIN' THE HEAT, HAWAIIAN STYLE
So to beat the heat
we decided to jump off of cliffs. Did I mention Doug and I used to jump off cliffs together at Hume Lake? We were driving around Green Mountain Reservoir, and lo and behold there were some locals jumpin' off this COOL cliff. So Doug said, "We're doin' it!"
The next day, we were out there, a couple of old farts diving off of big rocks into water. Here's some pics of it:
Paco Dive 1^, Paco Dive 2^, Doug'N'Paco Divin'^ (they say "Blue River Res.," but it's really Green Mountain Res.).


NEXT ADVENTURE:
Back to Washington...


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JULY 17, 2005 UPDATE

BONZAI TRIP 2005 (part 4)

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
Quite possibly my favorite mountains in the world (right up there with Idaho's Sawtooth Range^, Wyoming's Wind River Range^, and California's Sierra Nevada Mountains) are found in the Teton Range^. The only drawback is the amount of people who are there each year. It was a tough time this year as the amount of bugs rose proportionately with the amount of traffic we encountered. The sunrise shots at the famous Barn^, Mormon Row (pic 1^ and pic 2^), and Schwabacher's Landing^ (including the beaver lodge^) saved it for me. Unfortunately for Jessie (who enjoyed sleeping at 4 in the morning while I stumbled out of the sleeping bag), there wasn't the magic we experienced at Glacier (see below for pics of Glacier). We did enjoy sundowns at Oxbow Bend^ and from near the summit of Signal Mountain^ (which had some pretty fields of lupine^ scattered beneath the lodgepole pines) together.

We did enjoy a day hike to the VERY popular Hidden Falls^, which comes from Cascade Canyon^, eventually draining into Jenny Lake^.

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
We also enjoyed a day in Yellowstone National Park, where we saw some sweet hot pools (hotpool 1^, hotpool 2^), including the Morning Glory Pool^. The pools rise up through the thin crust (this area is a "hotspot") to make scalding pools and geysers right next to snow-fed rivers^! As we watched literally hundreds of people (no exaggeration!) Ooo! and Ahh! while Old Faithful^ blew her cork, Jessie and I preferred the venting of Castle Geyser^, which spews every 13 hours or so.

One highlight was the chance to see Lower Yellowstone Falls (pic 1^, pic 2^) in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone^, which I hadn't seen since I was a boy.

WIND RIVER RANGE
Leaving the Tetons a day early, we headed for the relatively unknown Wind River Range^. It's an outdoorsman's paradise, and most people just don't know it's there. Seven of the ten largest glaciers in the lower 48 states are found in the Wind Rivers. Mid-summer isn't the best time for tent camping (the best stuff takes some backpacking to see), but we did enjoy camping at the Green River Lakes (Upper^, Lower^). We enjoyed a solid 10-mile day hike to see the Clear Creek Natural Bridge^, viewing Clear Creek Falls^ along the way. Even in mid-summer, the wildflowers in the Wind Rivers were very pretty (pic 1^, pic 2^).

The COOLEST THING was that while we were on the trail to the natural bridge, we met a wonderful couple from Idaho who happened to be believers who happened to have a canoe. Jessie and I had said how we'd wished we could take a canoe out into the lake not two hours earlier! They offered their canoe (no, we didn't even hint at it!), and we had a peaceful time on the Lower Green Lake^. We truly thanked God for the gift! He keeps doing that for us this trip-- it's been so rad!

And if you're reading this (Bruce and Jan): THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! You lifted our spirits and brightened our day!

ROCK SPRINGS SETS A RECORD
So here I am, typing away in Rock Springs, Wyoming at a Super 8 Motel. Today was the hottest July 16th on record. Lucky us.
Oh, and d
on't order the Pizza Hut-- go for the AppleBee's up the street.

MORE PICTURES
Li'l Critter^ (who had joined me early one morning as a took some sunrise shots)
Upper Mesa Falls^ (in Idaho), which we experienced as a side trip on our way from Glacier to the Tetons.
Scroll down the page for a lot more cool photos...


NEXT ADVENTURE:
Colorado


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JULY 10, 2005
UPDATE

BONZAI TRIP 2005 (part 3)
PHOTO CRAMP
Okay, since the photos are MUCH cooler than whatever I type, I'll just give you a li'l taste of what we experienced in Glacier National Park...

LAKE SAINT MARY: photo 1^, photo 2^, photo 3^, photo 4^, photo 5^, photo 6^, photo 7^
OTHER LAKES: Iceberg Lake^, Iceberg Lake 2^, Grinnell Lake^, Waterton Lakes^, Lake McDonald^, Many Glacier^, Cameron Lake^
LOGAN PASS AREA: Hanging Gardens^, Logan Pass Glacier Lilies^, Bearhat and Hidden Lake^
WILDFLOWERS: Beargrass 1^, Beargrass 2^, Beargrass 3^, White'n'Bloom^, Indian Paintbrush^, Glacier Lily^
WATERFALLS: Bearing Falls^, Saint Mary Falls 1^, Saint Mary Falls 2^, Virginia Falls 1^, Virginia Falls 2^, Virginia Falls 3^, Falls at Logan Pass^, Cameron Falls^, Falls on Going-to-the-Sun Road^, falls on east side ^, Running Eagle Falls (Trick Falls)^, falls on Reynolds Creek^, falls below Virginia Falls^, falls on Swiftcurrent Creek^
WILDLIFE: Friendly!^

MORE PICTURES
Scroll down the page for a lot more cool photos...


NEXT ADVENTURE:
Grand Teton National Park and Colorado.


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JULY 3, 2005 UPDATE


BONZAI TRIP 2005 (part 2)
VANCOUVER ISLAND (WE THINK)
Our next "leg" of the adventure took us across the Strait of Juan de Fuca^ to Vancouver Island, British Columbia. It's said to be gorgeous, but the rain and clouds^ hid its beauty well! We went to the Pacific Rim National Park on the coast of the island, but didn't get one single good shot. SAD! We did get one good sunset at Rothtrevor Beach^ on the east coast of the island; other than that, nothin' much. We did get to see a couple cool waterfalls (Lower Englishman River Falls^, Little Qualicum Falls^).

FERRY MADNESS
Crazy thing happened, though, crossing the ferry back over to Vancouver. It seems the ferry just before us lost engine power and slammed into a bunch of recreational boats a few hundred feet to the right of the ferry dock (crashed ferry^). It took over two hours for divers to check for any poor souls caught in the boats. To my knowledge, no one was killed.

FINALLY!
So once we left Canada, things got a lot better. We went to see Mount Shuksan^ (Mount Shuksan Sunrise^) and Mount Baker^ in the North Cascades^. We were going to camp, but before we chose a site, we went up the winding road towards the ridge between the two peaks. Lo and behold, we came across The Firs' Chalet^, a Christian Camp-owned chalet with a prime view of Mount Shuksan^, just across from the Mt. Baker Ski Resort. We knocked, and a caretaker let us check the place out. AND THEN... since I had worked at so many camps for so many years, he offered to let us stay there for free!! The view from our room^ was amazing! And then the next morning I was able to look out the window at five in the morning and see if there was good sun on the moutain. God gave us great sun for some great shots!

THE END OF THE RAINBOW
Just last night in Kalispell, Montana, God sent a cool rainbow, and I happened to capture it right by a church steeple^.

GOD IS SO GOOD
Just before heading up there we had prayed for "something special," as we were getting bummed from camping in rain night after night. So He gave us a beautiful place to stay AND a beautiful morning, clearing the clouds just long enough for some wonderful views!

MORE PICTURES
PART 2 PICS
Nooksack Falls^
PART 1 PICS
Mount Adams at Takhlakh Lake^
Moon Over Mount Adams^
Summit Moon, Mount Adams^
Takhlakh Lake^
Fall Creek Falls (near Mount Adams)^
Mount Rainier from Chinook Pass^
Reflection Lake Glacier Lilies, Mount Rainier NP^

NEXT ADVENTURE:
Glacier National Park, then Grand Teton National Park.


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JUNE 26, 2005 UPDATE


BONZAI TRIP 2005 (part 1)
First of all, we're really sorry that there are no pictures in this update! The reason? We're in the midst of our most ambitious adventure yet: a 3 month long camping/backpacking/job-interviewing/friend-visiting Bonzai spree that will, when all is said and done, take us thousands of miles all over the West. We've already been to Crater Lake (not that we could see it through the fog), Mt. Adams (the "best kept secret volcano in Washington"), Mt. Rainier, Olympia (for an interview), the Kitsap Peninsula, and Sequim (on the Olympic Peninsula).

Oh, okay... I'll give you a few pictures:
Mount Adams at Takhlakh Lake^
Moon Over Mount Adams^
Summit Moon, Mount Adams^
Takhlakh Lake^
Fall Creek Falls (near Mount Adams)^
Mount Rainier from Chinook Pass^
Reflection Lake Glacier Lilies, Mount Rainier NP^


CRAZIEST THING(S) (BLESSINGS) THAT HAPPENED:
To be honest, we haven't really experienced anything that crazy. I guess the biggest blessing has been meeting a group of relatives I had never met before at our family reunion in Sequim, Washington. It's been so neat to be able to meet them now that I'm an adult and can appreciate conversation and time spent getting to know them. I am humbled by the fact that most of my relatives love the Lord-- praise God!

LONGEST TIME PERIOD WITHOUT SHOWERS:
4 days, 3 nights in southern Washington

NEXT ADVENTURE:
This week we explore Olympic National Park, Vancouver Island, and begin exploring North Cascades National Park. Next week we head to Glacier National Park; the week after we hit Grand Teton National Park... you get the picture.

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APRIL 9, 2005 UPDATE

We finally went to the Four Corners Region^ for an extended adventure! It was really eye-opening to see how beautiful the "high lonesome" of Utah and Arizona can be. We were dazzled by rock formations like The Wave^ in the Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness^ and intrigued by crazy passages in places like Lower Antelope Canyon^, as well as just plain awed by the wonderful paradise-like beauty of Havasu Falls^ in hidden Havasupai^. We actually contemplated moving to Utah!

CRAZIEST THING(S) (BLESSINGS) THAT HAPPENED:
We lost Jessie's wallet in Moab in the parking lot of a grocery store. We had gone back into Arches National Park^, all the way to the trailhead at Park Avenue^ when we noticed it was missing. Went all the way back to the parking lot and... it was gone. Prayed that an honest person picked it up. Prayed a lot. :)
Went to the police station, and sure enough: God answered our prayers.

Also, when we had gone to see The Wave^, it was ALL total blessing. Originally we wanted to see a place called Buckskin Gulch, but inclement weather filled it with too much water. Our next thought was The Wave^, but we found out that you needed to get a permit WAY in advance. Lo and behold, just before closing (when we walked in) at the BLM office, the lady said they had had a cancellation, and the permit was not only available (for two), but free since it had already been paid for in advance.

God is amazing.

NEXT ADVENTURE:
Same as before: Sell the Honda (keeping the Pathfinder), stuff all junk into storage in Fresno (near Paco's folks), then travel the West taking exploring tall lofty summits, deep canyons, majestic shores... and takin' snapshots all the while.
Where we end up when it's all over? Only the Good Lord knows...

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FEBRUARY 12, 2005 UPDATE

Our latest adventure found us in Yosemite National Park^ on New Year's Day. This has become a tradition for us; I proposed to Jessie^ on New Year's Day in Yosemite three years ago.

We had fun, as usual, exploring some really cool places and once again re-living some timeless memories. Yosemite never gets old.

CRAZIEST THING THAT HAPPENED:
We made a snowman on a log. Walked away for about five minutes. Came back and someone had actually taken the snowman! We looked hard for evidence that it had been smashed, but nope; it was taken away. Made us laugh... is it immoral to steal a snowman someone makes in a field of snow? Is there like a time limit as to when it changes from wrong to okay? :)

NEXT ADVENTURE:
Sell the Honda (keeping the Pathfinder), stuff all junk into storage in Fresno (near Paco's folks), then travel the West taking exploring tall lofty summits, deep canyons, majestic shores... and takin' snapshots all the while.
Where we end up when it's all over? Only the Good Lord knows...