Back to the National Park trip. We certainly enjoyed Bryce Canyon National Park. The weather was cool and the skies were constantly changing. I got up before sunrise each morning and stayed up late each night to soak up all I could of the magnificent grandeur. Here's a few shots.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Here's our latest Forney Flyer news letter, hot off the press. Those of you who are on our e-mail list will be getting an e-mailed pdf copy very soon from MAF. Those of you who are on our hard copy snail mail list should get a copy in the mail in the next week or two.
If you'd like to download a pdf copy of this letter go here. To see previous editions of the Forney Flyer letters, or if you're interested in joining our ministry team, please go to our MAF staff webpage here. Or you can always e-mail me. Thanks!
Monday, February 17, 2014
Here's a few more from Arches National Park. If you look really closely at the lower center part of the picture, just above that dark green bush, you can see my kids climbing on the rocks. That gives you a bit of perspective as to how HUGE this arch is!
Here's a view of Landscape Arch--a remarkably long and thin arch which seems it should come crashing down at any moment. I guess a good size chunk of it did do just that not too many years ago.
We all hiked up into some fins back behind Delicate Arch. The older boys and I ventured out onto the end of this fin. I know you can't tell from the picture, but it drops off about 50 feet on all sides. The view was amazing!
I love the wide open space and feel of the American Southwest! Look at the size of everything compared to Joy and the kids!
Here we are on the back side of the Windows Arches. All the tourists were on the other side, but we took a trail that wrapped around to the back--it's always better without the crowds!
And here's Double Arch. Again, check out the enormous size!
I believe this is the South Window Arch, from the back side, if I remember correctly.
This was a fun trail on the way to Delicate Arch--the first Arch that I pictured in the last post.
And the Three Gossips.
And here's some little beetle tracks we saw in the sand, along the way to Tower Arch.
In case you're wondering, we've been working hard getting ready for a departure to Uganda. We're shooting to leave in about four weeks, but still waiting on a work permit before we can pursue purchasing tickets. We appreciate your prayers for that. When we know something definitive, I'm sure I'll let everyone know so we can begin the countdown together. But until then, we're running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to get a whole bunch of last minute stuff done before we leave.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Arches National Park is like a giant outdoor playground. The arch below is the most photographed natural arch in the world, and it appears on Utah's license plates and many other iconic images of the west.
Everything is so big and vast in this part of the country. The sky and rocks and everything just seem to be on a super-sized scale. In the distance you can see Balancing Rock, another famous sight in Arches. It doesn't look very big from this far away. Incidentally, this is where we ate our picnic lunch...the picnic table being just behind me when I took the picture. Pretty awesome hugh?
But up close it's massive, and awe-inspiring. You can go up and walk around it, but there's no people in this picture. If there were, they would look like ants next to balancing rock, which is 128 feet tall!
There were actually a ton of people at Arches when we were there--lots of buses full of friendly Asian tourists, and a ton of snow birds heading south for the winter. So most of the sights next to the main road were really crowded. Since we're not really crowd-type-people, especially when trying to enjoy the wilderness, we set off and did some longer hikes. It didn't take long to loose the crowds and pretty soon it was just us, and the vast land and sky of the American Southwest. Amazing!
Like I said, it's a giant playground, and we had a lot of fun exploring it.
Here's Britton and Hudson being dwarfed by a giant arch. Cool hugh?
The twins wanted their own version.
The third day we were there, we took a 10 mile unpaved road to a remote part of the park. We were the only vehicle there. Then, with plenty of water and a packed lunch, we set off hiking to find the arch below. It was a ton of fun
Here's all seven of us. Can you tell who's who?
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Here's a few shots from the roads of Utah. Each one of these was literally taken within 10 yards of a road, as we were driving from one place to another. As you can see, the weather was as dynamic and awesome as the ever-changing scenery!
Next up, Arches National Park.
Saturday, February 1, 2014
We had intended to spend some time camping in the Grand Tetons. But we added a few extra days in Yellowstone and by this time we hadn't showered or done laundry in a week. Further more, our last night in Yellowstone there was a massive rain storm and flash flood of sorts that came through our camp. We were soaked, stinky, and freezing cold. So despite the sun and blue sky popping out for a few hours, we just enjoyed the beautiful Tetons from the road.
They certainly are magnificent! Some day I want to go back and climb them!
On a completely different line of thought, and most definitely contrasting with the beauty of the Grand Tetons, is the story of my transformation into "Mountain Man". As we were packing for the camping trip, my daughter, Hannah, saw me holding a razor. Apparently I must have looked tentative (I never take it on jungle treks, and don't like packing extra) because she immediately said, "Oh daddy, don't take it. Grow a beard! I love when you grow a beard!" If not for the certainty that my wife wouldn't be quite so excited, that would've been all it took to convince me. I hate shaving. But instead, I did what we often do for issues that might impact our whole family (hey, they were the ones that had to be seen with me), I put it up for a family vote. It was 5 for the beard (the kids), 1 against the beard (Joy), and one abstention (me). And so it began. This is what I typically look like.
Once the vote was decided, Joy got into it. She decided it would be fun to chronicle the event, so she kept trying to snap pictures of me with the iPhone every few days. This was one of them, while I was fueling the car, a few days into the trip.
Then Hannah learned how to take pictures with the phone. She took this one, while we were all sitting on a log taking a break during a long hike in Bryce Canyon about three weeks later.
And this is what I looked like when we returned to Oregon--behold, Mountain Man! Hannah loved it. Joy hated it. You should've heard my mom's reaction, first time she saw me on Skype after our camping trip. It was pretty funny. To her credit, she didn't say anything specific...but the gasp, and "oh my" comment were pretty easy to interpret. My dad jus started chuckling. I got a kick out of everyone's reaction out here in Oregon--from, "what the...?" to, "dude, love the beard!" Apparently beards are actually the in thing out here on the West Coast. And the bushier the better. But alas, I've never cared much about what's in or out...unless my wife says it's in or out. And she said the beard was out, or the Mountain Man could move out. Well, it wasn't quite that direct, but I got the message. So these pictures are all that remain of the mountain man look. What do you think about it?
Check back soon, and I'll have some dramatic scenery shots from Utah. I promise you'll enjoy those a lot more than Mountain Man.