Wednesday, July 26, 2017


I still have to stop and think about how to spell- Coeur d'Alene.  

WHERE did this name come from?

The first white people to encounter the Coeur d'Alene's were French trappers and traders. It was one of these Frenchmen who found the tribe to be vastly experienced and skilled at trading, thus the name "Coeur d'Alene,"meaning "heart of the awl." The nickname stuck.

Still have to think-even after writing it over and over!

You will be surprised--perhaps shocked to found out these people I travel with CAN relax!

Babs has family living in Coeur d'Alene.  She had no problem emailing and asking for a lake outing.  It is wonderful to have an obliging family!

Note--the small island in the picture
This is a floating tee for the golf resort.

We were given the royal treatment and grand tour by sister in law- Sue and nephew- Brent and Ginny.  Who would believe this beautiful sun bathed lake freezes over and is surrounded by snow in the winter!

The wind was up and the lake was choppy--so we headed to one of the connecting rivers.  Thank goodness for wind protection-- my stomach does NOT like to rock and roll!

We spent an enjoyable and relaxing day---and OH YES---we might have eaten at the beautiful Coeur d'Alene resort.

AND--we needed the rest and nourishment to prepare to hit the hiking trail AGAIN tomorrow!

Psalms 65:8

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


A couple of days of the trip were taken with riding the Coeur d'Alene biking trail.  Although I HATE missing out--better sense occasionally prevails!  For once I listened to my head and not my "Want To".  This trek was almost 90 miles---NO WAY would I survive that unscathed.  I wanted to be able to walk the remainder of the trip and that much sitting on a bicycle seat would NOT have been wise.

I DID get up and make the official "Trip Photo" and wave Bye-Bye!  NOW--look closely at these bikes.  They are cruisers---NO gears--NO hand brakes---old fashioned HEAVY bicycles.  The first day of the ride was almost 60 miles--on these babies.  MAYBE I WAS SMART!

The entire first day was at a slight down grade and all on a paved trail.  The girls did tell me--the bikes were so heavy they had to peddle every step of the way---NO COASTING like you would on a lighter bike.  

They spent the night in Harrison and rode to the end of the trail-Plummer and back to Harrison the next day.  The shuttle only picks you up in Harrison.  This added another 16 miles to the trek.  This day there was an upgrade coming back--NOT SO EASY.  The good news, they found better bikes to rent for the last section of the journey--GEARS-HANDBRAKES--the real deal!

Three of the group made it all the way to the end.  Susan went back early to get a shower before riding back in the shuttle---my kind of girl!

SO sometimes---when you are not in tip top shape--you miss out!  HEY SOMEBODY had to hold the home fort down!

For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
Proverbs 2:6

Monday, July 24, 2017


The phrase, "Cherry Picking" denotes culling through items to select the best for oneself.  In the case of our Idaho trip, it can be interpreted literally--we went cherry picking the first day upon arrival and the last day upon leaving.

We hit cherry season perfectly!  I am not much of a cherry eater, but picked with the girls and added to their buckets.  We walked away the first trip with each of the four having in excess of 5 pounds.  They might could be accused of being cherry gluttons before the trip was over.

I might have been persuaded to take a bite of this fresh cherry pie a la mode after our trip to the orchard.

While on the hiking trail, we noticed the huckleberries were just beginning to ripen.  These are a favorite of the local bears.  These berries do not grow in clusters, but individually--it's beyond me how a bear makes a meal off this slim pickings!

BUT there is definite evidence of their love affair with this tart berry.

YES--this is bear scat--FULL of undigested berries.

Personally I prefer mine in a piping hot cobbler covered with ice cream

I missed the treat of picking raspberries along the bike trail.  The story of that ride is coming.

Then there was the last day and picking cherries to carry home.  They all ended up with close to 10 pounds before that session ended!  There might have been an almost "Incident" when someone was crushing the cherries in the overhead on the airplane.  I've seen babies not get as careful treatment as these girls gave their cherries on the L O N G trek home.

When we returned home, Sandra discovered cherries were $4.50 per pound here---as opposed to the just over a dollar in the orchard.  Perhaps their efforts were NOT in vain.

We had a Berry Good time while in Idaho!

 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you.
 And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.
Genesis 9:3

Sunday, July 23, 2017












Saturday, July 22, 2017














Friday, July 21, 2017


 Looking at the beautiful pictures of our hikes, you probably get the idea the way up the trail is a leisurely stroll through God's greatest grandeur.

His beautiful creation can give you a false sense of serenity and calm marking the path to the top of the mountain.

Not unlike our trek through life, the path can be steep, treacherous, and filled with danger.  Though the trail occasionally evens out--most of the trek is a long way from easy.  A picture can never do justice to how steep the climb can often be.

Nor can you tell how hard and fast our hearts are pounding nor hear the gasping for more oxygen as we trek up and up.

A stroll through an avalanche field is no walk in the park.  It requires slowly picking your next step and always having your eyes peeled on the trail.

Yes that is snow on the opposite side of the lake.

The reward is always at the end of the trail and as we stopped to view the beautiful Stevens Lake, we were once again rewarded for the struggle.  

AND there is the one brave person among us, who meets the challenge of the ice cold lake in order to experience the full adventure.


For you see--the easy path is not always the best path.  Those who are brave enough and wise enough to chose the right path are rewarded with the great blessing of God's perfect path, when they dare to travel the harder road.

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Deutronomy 31:6

Thursday, July 20, 2017


One of our days spent in Northern Idaho consisted of riding bicycles on the Hiawatha trail.  The fact I have only been on a bicycle a couple of times in four years and have not put my rear on a saddle in a year would not deter me from saddling up with the posse.  Don't they say once you know how to ride a bicycle you never forget?

What they failed to tell me was immediately following the start is the first of many tunnels.  It is two miles long.  Now I certainly remembered how to ride a bicycle, BUT riding in a dark and wet tunnel with only a small beam of light MIGHT have pushed my "Nearing Panic" button.  WHAT WAS I THINKING???

This picture from the WWW would have you to believe you could actually see in the tunnel.  THAT WOULD NOT BE THE CASE.  It was pitch black and you could only see the lights pedaling toward you and the dim circle of light created by your LED flashlight.  In this--the longest of all the tunnels, it closely resembled a Broadway Parody of "Three Blind Mice"  --PLUS TWO.  The others quickly pulled ahead of me and I was in the back with only my twilight haze of light to try and avoid all the puddles of water and the the deep troughs of run off on each side.  I was truly groping in the dark and watching for the first glimmer of light that announced I might get out of this dark dungeon alive.  Sadly I determined my Claustrophobia is alive and well.

When we finally emerged in the daylight, I knew I would survive.  We then rode mile upon mile of trestles, switchbacks, and beautiful trails built on an old railroad track bed.  The scenery was breathtaking and the slight downgrade made the entire ride an exhilarating experience.

We began the ride in Montana and rode back to Idaho changing time zones on the way.  There was some confusion about the time for our pick up by the shuttle for the ride back to our car.  We somehow managed to make it with minutes to spare--quite by "blind luck"--pun intended.

We then load our bicycles and ourselves on a bright yellow school bus for the thirty minute ride back to the start.  The most frightening part of the entire adventure was the school bus ride up the hair pin switchbacks getting us back up the mountain.

SURPRISE---YOU HAVE TO RIDE YOUR BICYCLE BACK THROUGH THE TWO MILES OF DARK TUNNEL TO GET TO YOUR VEHICLE AND TURN IN  THE BICYCLES.  Since there is NO Plan B---you must get back on the bicycle and ride back through the pitch black tunnel.  Only thing is the tunnel is now FILLED with a large number of riders, making it even more treacherous.  

SOME of us needed to have to have our rears cleaned up after sloshing through the water and mud filled tunnel.



When we relaxed after stumbling through the dark beginning!  Sometimes you have to take the plunge into the unknown and conquer the fear factor, to experience the biggest blessings!

"I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, In paths they do not know I will guide them I will make darkness into light before them And rugged places into plains These are the things I will do, And I will not leave them undone."
Isaiah 42:16

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

Thursday, July 13, 2017



Just WAIT to you hear about these people I travel with
and their bike ride!


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Maxine is wrong---I have escaped very early this morning.

Off on another adventure.  Hiking & biking on the agenda.  Stay tuned for a full report.

Monday, July 10, 2017




Day 5 of our "Excellent Adventure" and the last day on the USA side of Glacier Park. We had to travel today to reach the Canadian side of the border, so we opted for a short hike of 8 miles to Grinnell Glacier. To shorten the walking part, and give our legs a break, we purchased boat tickets across Swift Current Lake & Lake Josephine. Since we had already hiked these trails the second day of the trip, we did not feel the need to be redundant. Once we unloaded the boats after Josephine, we joined a ranger led hike up to the glacier. The ranger was a "Seasonal Ranger" who also had just retired from school teaching. Both of the ranger led hikes we participated in proved very informative. The only problem with today's was that after a few miles, we decided we needed to get on up to the glacier since we were pushed for time. This led eventually to the bear encounter since we were the first group up the trail.

This proved to be another beautiful hike with long trails on the ridge line and the edge of the mountain. We had to hike through a waterfall which proved wet. On the edge of the cliff there was no way to escape the water, thus wet feet and then blisters under toenails.

On the way up the trail, we came upon "Mary, Queen of the Trails" as dubbed by the Ranger. Mary was a 35 year employee of the Forest Service who SHOVELS the snow off the trails after the dynamite has made the initial clearing. She was a woman of few words, but we all thanked her for her service profusely!

If you missed the story of "The Bear" go to STAY CALM!!!!!!!!!! to read all about it. One of the things that I forgot to mention was Jim fumbling through his backpack after discovering the bear to find his telephoto lens. THANK GOODNESS the bear decided to have a little roll in the snow before heading toward us. OK, FRIENDS, REMEMBER THIS-there is no record of a bear EVER attacking a group of 4 or more hikers. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR GROUP! The next day, as we were hiking, I told Babs that I was behind her and she was in deep trouble, because I would not let her turn around if we encountered a bear today. In a VERY serious tone, she informed me she would knock me down! WELL!

After the encounter and then heading back up the trail, we came to the Glacier Lookout. STUNNING! You are able at this point to step onto the glacier, but they strongly discourage it. Good citizens that we were, and since we had already had plenty of excitement, we obeyed the rules. Grinnell & Salamander Glaciers were once one big glacier, but the climate warming has melted them and they now are the two. Salamander is named for its shape and its shape is now beginning to melt. Grinnell was the man that discovered this beautiful area by horseback MANY years ago. There were several landmarks in this area named for him, but appropriately so.

On the way back down the mountains, I managed to slip down in a snowfield. Thankfully we were not on the edge of the mountain. I did provide Sonja with a good laugh! Another beautiful hike, but heavily populated by the time we started back down the mountain. It is always smart to start as early as possible, but not too early since the bear warnings are particularly strong early and late in the day.

We then drove to Waterton, Canada for our last day's hiking tomorrow. A beautiful drive, but with a van packed out with gear a little crowded! Think about this, we have had 5 days and seen a bear or bears-EVERY DAY! Last year's hiking trip, in Banff territory, we only saw one bear and that was on the side of the road. Will we see a bear on our last day? Stay tuned tomorrow for the exciting conclusion of our "Excellent Adventure."
The Ranger giving us a talk on the area while we intently listen.

The lake at the beginning of the hike. Lake Josephine

The Grinnell Falls are in the center of the picture.

Now you see two lakes as we keep going up.

And THERE HE IS! Look closely and note the length of the claws. This is just after I rounded the corner and looked at him and he looked at me. He decided to have a little snow roll while pondering his options.

Obviously all that fur is hot. He seemed to really enjoy the roll in the snow. What you cannot see is the drop off just to our left.

Here HE COMES, marching down the trail, since there were ONLY 3 OF US!

The view in front of Grinnell Glacier.

Another glacier shot. You could not do justice to the size of it with your camera.

A shot from above Grinnell Falls.

The reddish flowers are "Indian Paintbrush" that we also see around the Austin, TX area.

Here is the waterfall we had to hike through. No way to not get wet.

We are headed back down and once again the lake we have to cross by is in view.

We made it down and another day hike is over. ONE MORE DAY OF FUN!


4 In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. 
5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.
Psalms 95:4-5