All this beauty right under our noses…

Well it’s just a little crazy that summer 2017 is history! But it has been a fabulously warm one here for us with deliciously record-breaking heat just perfect for somebodies that find themselves a little too far north for real comfort.

This morning drizzle turned to snow for a bit, so I think we can safely suppose that any brave flowers still out there won’t last long.  The elk have yet to come for the ones on my porch but this year I’m hoping they’ll come by and turn their fading remains into elk-fuel to spare me having to uproot them myself.

But before I lose the chance I wanted to post some pics from the Cascade Gardens in Banff.  We pedal to and from Banff quite often but have not slowed enough to notice all this beauty right under our noses. These gorgeous gardens are tucked around the Parks Canada Administrative Building, which is itself an impressive sight!  They made for a delightful end-of-day stroll.

And with these I bid summer 2017 farewell!


The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever. Is.40:8

Yellowstone Plus!

  {My goodness I’m poky with pictures… but here goes, belatedly…}  

There’s no way of visiting Yellowstone without coming away with oodles of pictures!
I will restrain myself and share just a sampling of my favorite thermal features.

Look closely at this one!  Do you see a troll with a long nose?!!

Each of these natural wonders has its own name. This one I do remember–Morning Glory pool!

And then there are the videos…[which don’t seem to be embedding today, but the links should be ‘clickable’ and they’re all quite short.
TIP: Press CNTRL key before you click on them to open in a new window and not leave this page ( :]

 When you least expect it! POW!  Off goes another geyser!

But our Road Trip was dual purpose.  We love Yellowstone and wanted to share it with the kids but we chose to make the 10 hour trip at this time because just another hour and a half of driving would put us in the region of totality for the Solar Eclipse!  And that was the crowning event of our short week!

We got up with the sunrise in hopes of beating traffic and made our way to a rendezvous point off the beaten track in small town Idaho.  Google Maps designated the spot: Paris. Population: 0. There beside a lonely grain elevator in a vast field of wheat and grasshoppers… 

…we had our own little Eclipse Party joined by a straggle of others seeking parking without the masses.
One couple had come all the way from Oklahoma like homing pigeons to this spot where they had broken down on a prior road trip!

It was an awesome event in the truest sense of the word.  The biggest disappointment is that there’s really no way of sharing the wonder. Over the hour and a quarter it took to fully eclipse the sun we kept tabs on progress with our eclipse glasses, and ate chips and dinner mints and caught grasshoppers, (and lady bugs and a caterpillar the precise color of wheat…) and kept each other posted with ‘look now!’s

We played with our strangely crisp shadows and noticed as they took on distortions…

It was a hot summer’s morning but soon there began to be some relief, and then I was grabbing my jacket. Brrr!  It was surprising how cool it actually got as the sun waned.

Finally there was just the itty bitty-est bit of bright orange visible through the glasses.  Still that dot of sun was too bright to look at with the naked eye and then !!! the view through the glasses went BLACK– not a smidgeon of light to be seen and I pulled the shades away from my eyes to behold—AHHHH (bring on an ethereal choir of voices) a black circle where the sun had been and radiating from it on all sides the glorious soft glowing of the corona.  It was not a squinting bright like sunlight in your eyes but just a glowing splendor to gaze at for the next two minutes.  The horizon glowed with a strange twilight but we all stood and milled about in deep shadow as though the world were coming to an end.  “Is it  still daytime, Grandma?”

Sadly, it is impossible to capture the grandeur of the moment  with puny lenses.  Jim did his best and gave me these. The glory just isn’t there…my apologies.

Then Chase said, “Listen, Grandma.”  A vast silence had settled over the wheat field.  Not a grasshopper stirred.  They too had taken notice as the heavens were transformed and the earth grew cold and all of us gathered in that little parking lot marveled at the glory the sun exudes even when it is hidden…


…until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time–
he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,
who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see.
To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. I Tim.6:14-15 ESV

Road Trip to Yellowstone!

We’re home this week from a short but idyllic camping vacation to Yellowstone with a couple of our kids and the grands.  It was beyond precious to take the kidlets to spots that were our family’s favorites years ago–to see them swimming in Firehole Canyon, to hang out by the sparkling waters of  Nez Perce Creek having ‘boat’ races, to pitch our tents in the very same wooded site their daddy once trotted about in…

Now follows a whole slew of photos–the best of a goodle more–as an attempt to share our experience…

Yay for road trips!!! And ‘My Country Tis of Thee’!

I am a true blue American at heart living in exile with the man that I love… As I said to the border agent–He’s worth it! (But it’s always wonderful to be back!)

Yellowstone is as awesome as ever…

The Grand Canyon of Yellow-stone….

The sweeping Hayden Valley through which we cycled…


The booming, sloshing, pulsing Dragon’s Mouth…

Lots of rubber-necking delays heading out of the park most nights on account of wildlife along the way…

Boat Races on the Nez Perce Creek… and a disappointed 3-year-old who learned this day that rocks don’t float.

Swimming in the geyser-fed-but-not-quite-warm waters of the Firehole Canyon…

Baby squirrel trying to get back to mama has to risk passing these little humans…

Fun doesn’t get much better than playing in and around streams…


One of the perks of camping with the kids–Bacon, eggs and pancakes done to perfection over the fire. Thanks Micah!



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One of many, many road-side wonders, the “Young and Hopeful” Geyser.  


The crowning event of our trip is yet to come, more next time…