Monday, July 5, 2010

Raindrops on roses...

A couple shots from the yard last week.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mt. St. Helens

Monday we headed up to Mt. St. Helens.  We had arranged to have a tour with Mr. Lloyd Anderson from the 7Wonders Creation Museum.  At the museum, he gave us a lecture on the eruption and some of the things it teaches us.  Then he rode up with us to Johnston Ridge, explaining to us along the way the things we were seeing.  It was good to have someone there to explain everything to us from a Biblical perspective. 

Our first stop was this cabin not far from Toutle, where the museum is.  The cabin looks like it's in a hole, because the mud flow from Mt. St. Helens came around it and raised the ground level.

This viewpoint below was another one of our stops.  This area marks the beginning of the blast zone.

The viewpoint for an elk preserve near the mountain.

Elk grazing far, far below in the preserve.

The mountain!     

It's interesting how the south face of the mountain can become so commonplace to us, because we see it so often (when it isn't raining). In contrast, the north face looks a lot more menacing. I find trips up to Mt. St. Helens rather sobering. It makes one realize just how finite we and all the created world around us are. Not even mountains can be called unchanging--only God. This week for our devotions we read Psalm 46 and found ourselves struck by the way Mt. St. Helens illustrates verses 1-3:

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling."

In the Gorge

After seeing the Coast on Friday, we took Uncle Dan's family to the Columbia River Gorge on Saturday.  If the weather was a bit cool and cloudy on Friday, it was just perfect on Saturday.  It was lovely and sunny all day.  First we took them to Beacon Rock and everyone hiked to the top.      

I just love this little arch in one of the rock walls on the way up.  I have no idea why they built this little arch there, but it just begs to have pictures taken through it. 

Uncle Dan, Aunt Rita, and family at the top. 

Our second stop was Multnomah Falls.  It was really crowded, as I guess we should have expected it to be on a sunny Saturday in the summer.      

We debated whether or not we should hike to the top of the falls. After all, we had already done Beacon Rock. In the end we did go up to the top.  Everyone hung in there quite well.  The sign at the bottom says it's only a mile to the top, but it feels like more than that.  Getting to look over the edge of the drop-off where the falls begin makes it worth it, though. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Friday on the Coast

In the 2 1/2 weeks that I've been home we've had visits from both sides of the family.  When your grandma lives in the Midwest and all of your aunts and uncles live on the East Coast, that's a really big deal.  First my Grandma (Dad's side) came to visit.  This was her third year coming to visit us in June and we enjoyed having her here with us for a few days.  She was able to see Christina play at her flute recital, which was really nice. 

After Grandma left, my Uncle Dan's family (Mom's side) arrived to spend a few days with us.  This was the first time our cousins had been out  to the West Coast, so they wanted to see some of the sights.  On Friday we took them to the Coast.  Our first stop was Cannon Beach.  It was a cool and cloudy morning on the Coast, but I think it's always pretty there, even when the weather isn't the best.  We walked down the beach to Haystack Rock, talking and playing Frisbee as we went.     

I will probably be taking pictures of Haystack Rock for the rest of my life.  I don't think it would matter if I finally got one amazing shot of it that outdid every other one I had ever taken of it--I would still have to take a picture of it whenever I saw it again.

 Our family--photo credit to Uncle Dan.

Left to right--Janelle, Jeannine, Joanna, Julia, Aunt Rita, Uncle Dan, Jason, and Jessica.

We snagged someone passing by on the beach to take a group picture of all twelve of us.

Jason photographs the big rock.

I love the beach cottages on the Coast.  This one looks so picturesque.

After spending some time at Cannon Beach we drove south to the Tillamook Factory, which Uncle Dan particularly requested to visit.  It was a good way to wrap up the day.  They were having an advertising campaign outside the factory, with a Tillamook employee passing out little metal pins next to this cute little van.