A cup of Tea?

Summer will not long be with us.  Already a dusting of snow has appeared on the mountain ranges around us.  So we’ve squeezed in a few hikes this month…I’ll let you guess which was my favorite!

Up, Up and UP we went to find the fabled ‘Teahouse’ on Lady MacDonald, which rises just across the highway from townLady McDonald HikeIMG_20160818_114144179IMG_20160818_123438098_HDRIMG_20160818_123452092_HDRIMG_20160818_123553621_HDRIMG_20160818_123811211_HDR

The ascent was a doozer, steep and relentless,  and we never did find the teahouse, only a helicopter pad…


Had we read more closely we would have realized that the elusive teahouse was never completed.  This failed enterprise of some tycoon visionary was demolished a few years back.   All that remains is the helicopter pad that would have saved the diners an arduous hike!

But had we come just a few years sooner we might have seen this:

and the gazebo that is no moreTeahouse Lady McDonald[from Internet archives…]

Climbing three thousand feet in under 2 1/2 miles is difficult but the descent was at least as bad! IMG_20160818_130832731

My quads complained for days! They are accustomed to pedaling, not climbing and descending.

At least now I can point to this mountainIMG_20160818_172234133and tell you just where the helicopter pad sits and how once-upon-a-time we climbed up to it…


Well, that was last week.  Hoping to ‘lock in’ these climbing muscles  we went for another summit in Banff a couple days ago—Sulphur Mountain.  IMG_20160825_114449168_HDR

We once took the gondola but not this time. IMG_20160825_114456487_HDR IMG_20160825_121948567

A seemingly endless series of switchbacks tamed the 2,283 feet of rise, spreading it nicely over 3 1/2 miles.  And this time there was a real coffeehouse at the top from which to survey the expanse of Banff


and to wait out a passing squall.

Then we hustled down the mountain to dine at McD’s and hurry home to get ready for the kids coming for a birthday celebration!

With them we did another sweeter hike the following day.

This time, just 2.8 miles round trip and just 853 feet of rise, but with smaller feet and shorter legs it was a triumph for all!


The rock faces around Grassi Lakes are a rock climber’s destination, so some of us tried a hand at that too…



P1210931climbing in the wilds

It was a splendid day!





Ho-ho cake anyone?


Go and walk through the land, and describe it, and come again to me… Joshua 18:8

Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. Ps.89:15

A Little of this and a little of that…

I Have been wondering where the sweet scent in the air lately is coming from—couldn’t see any flowering bushes, just a lot of silvery leaves, but then I took a closer look.  They may be tiny but there are profusions of tiny yellow bells dangling under the leaves and they give off a strong musky, sweet scent.

IMG_20160602_115738886It’s called a “Wolf Willow”, and produces a mealy berry, thus the alternate name, ‘Silver Berry’.  Apparently it produces beautiful seeds that have traditionally been used to make necklaces!  I’d better keep an eye on these bushes.  No doubt the bears and elk will be too!

Well since last post we’ve done a bit of riding on the tandem—climbed Mount Norquay in Banff in hopes of a fast descent, only to be foiled by a strong headwind.  Ski runs always look strange without the snow…IMG_20160602_134246052_HDR

And we had a bit of company this week and did a bit of hiking…IMG_20160604_171240397_HDRIMG_20160604_171453145_HDRIMG_20160604_171457102_HDR

We got to see an owl’s nest with its bumbling fluffy young hopping about on a cliff face.  But the pictures left everything to the imagination… so it was fun to find a close-up nest along the trail down, even if these aren’t owls!IMG_20160604_175515654

We’ve done a lot of settling into our own nest this past week—the best part is getting to unpack the kiddie books and toys for the grandkids… and cluttering the fridge with memories of when ours were young…


I couldn’t get through spring without a few plants, IMG_20160605_140518835

so now there are flowers at the door P1200717and a fig tree on the mantle..

IMG_20160605_140542381.  ahhh…that’s better!

And we’ve had spectacularly warm weather, my favorite kind–IMG_20160606_160823378 though they say it won’t last…


And I’ve found a play/work space and have been dabbling in color.IMG_20160605_143016721

God does this too–rainbow out the window

And that’s the latest from our nest. P1200716




Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men… Col.3:23