The Halyards Stop Singing

Michigan strong is a saying that lives up to its name. Northern Michigan summers are IMG_6609.JPGnearly perfect, with temperatures averaging seventy five degrees. Our lakes are refreshing on hot summer days. Bonfires can be seen, and smelled nearly every evening with voices of laughter and guitars in the distance.

Fall is beautiful with brilliant foliage colors of oranges, reds, and yellows. The fall sun provides a shimmer on the lake along with peaceful solitude in your heart that is difficult to describe.

Then, old man winter blows in with ice, sleet and inches upon inches of snow, with barely a glimpse of sunshine for days, sometimes weeks. While winter can be cozy, and the art that the frozen lakes, waves, trees provide is outstanding, the white knuckle driving, accidents and desolate feelings, leave even us Michiganders longing for flip flops, s’mores and the desire to be outside, more than in. Our winters make us appreciate the other three seasons.

IMG_6613-0.JPGTourist are fewer, summer residents are packing for their winter homes in warmer climates, boats in the marinas become fewer, docks disappear one by one and the sound of the halyards singing in the wind can only be heard occasionally on land, but for now, I’m staying Michigan strong.

IMG_6615.JPG

Advertisements

C.S. Lewis’s Argument from Nostalgia

Beautiful and worth pondering…

Well Spent Journey

(or, “Why you sometimes feel like you can remember something, sometimes, from even before your childhood”)

_____

C.S. Lewis often wrote about (and alluded to) the sense of “nostalgia” that comes with beholding a beautiful landscape.

I’ve always thought that the Christian argument from beauty/awe/nostalgia is one of the most difficult to convincingly express, yet one of the most powerful when properly understood. It shares some commonality with the Argument from Religious Experience, in that it relies on personal revelation rather than hard evidence (historical & scientific data) or soft evidence (formal philosophical arguments).

Rather than relying upon another person’s (oftentimes unreliable) testimony, however, the argument from nostalgia encourages self-reflection by identifying a peculiar sensation – almost like déjà vu, or a lost memory, or a half-forgotten dream – that seems to be shared by most people. C.S. Lewis described this sensation as follows:

“In speaking of this desire…

View original post 658 more words

Texas Town Runs Out Of Water – Fracking

Yes, I’m a tree hugger, star lover and I respect my earth. Yes, my earth. All of us that live on it and use it – it belongs to us and we should respect it and care.

While traveling in states that are heavy in fracking, I constantly hear, ‘it is good for the State as it brings in billions of dollars.’ It does, but the people don’t receive billions or even hundreds. The towns are filthy, the general public are poor and the night sky is illuminated with fire and smoke. The housing dates back to slavery days, and like the slaves, nearly all of their money pays rent. (Back to the oil companies)

Be ashamed Texas, North Dakota and so many other states.

Texas town runs out of water due to fracking.

Native Indians, Bears and Capitalism

Fake teepees and brochures with fierce looking Grizzly Bears – as John Stossel would proclaim, ‘give me a break!’ While I thoroughly enjoyed my hikes and the GNP along with the amazing majestic beauty, there wasn’t a day and more often when I didn’t feel for those that were/are kicked to the curb for greed and financial benefit.

Really? The brochures advertising a fierce bear, yet they kill them when the bears, (who have more right to this land than we do), come into contact with humans. If they don’t kill them, they shoot them with rubber pellets. Seriously? Does anyone else see a paradox here? And the natives? Yes, there are fake teepees all around. It must make the natives disgusted and sad as well. Sure, the White people preserved the park but they could also preserve human dignity and integrity.

That is all…or, I’ll be ranting. :(.

Reference: Canadians, Indian Children, Orphanage, Genocide

Ptarmigan Tunnel Hike

20130818-141751.jpg

20130818-142056.jpg

Wowza! Strenuous with a little moderation. Wooo hooo! Switchback heaven OR hell depending on your perspective. Unimaginable beauty, and a defining point would be the totally different vista when you exit the tunnel on the other side. This hike rates right up there as one of my favs because you have an immediate kick your butt elevation gain and then you have an immediate kick your butt elevation gain and THEN you have Lake Ptarmigan for a nice ‘soak your feet in a cold pristine alpine lake and rinse you head wrap.’ After that? Yah, the switch back with a major kick your butt elevation gain, for a total of 2500 feet.

Coming down the mountain is far more arduous than going up for a couple of reasons; The trail is very narow, steep, and dry rocks make it unstable. Bring your sticks! The other reason; as you can imagine the descent is steep and it’s hard not to run. 😉

Bears concerned Kevin the most on this hike because two miles of trail were lined with Grizzly dessert – berries. Numerous campgrounds, trail heads and park sections were closed due to the high volume of Grizzlies this year. Yes, we saw four Grizzlies and three were close. Hind feet close. Check out this article of a Griz in Glacier sleeping on a tent AND stealing a pillow. 🙂

Warm up for Ptarmigan Tunnel with the Iceberg Lake hike.

20130818-141723.jpg

20130818-141805.jpg

20130818-142125.jpg

20130818-142035.jpg

20130818-141957.jpg

20130818-141928.jpg

20130818-141840.jpg

20130818-141829.jpg

20130818-141738.jpg

Iceberg Lake Trail

20130831-144102.jpg

Iceberg Lake Hike – Glacier National Park

Unbelievable beauty. Forever instilled…

Just do it!

Moderate elevation gain. Iceberg Trail ends at the Lake. If you’re there in August, you’ll likely see Grizzlies due to two miles of berry lined trails. No worries, they could care less about you. It’s the delicious Huckle and Blueberries they’re after. Do make much noise as not to alarm them and put them on the defensive.

More floating icebergs than in years past.

20130831-144129.jpg

20130831-144155.jpg

20130831-144222.jpg

20130831-144248.jpg

20130831-144640.jpg

Banff Canada in a Day – No Thank You Lake Louise

20130819-153959.jpg

20130819-153856.jpg

20130819-153745.jpg

Fifteen hours of driving (not riding) and here we are at Daisy May Campground – Fort Macleod, Canada. Roughly one hundred miles back to the USA border, which btw we were called off to the side for investigation early this morning. OF COURSE!

Banff NP in Canada is breathtaking and it reminds me of regions of what I imagine Alaska to be, however, Lake Louise? NO Thank you. Upon arrival it was clear that Lake Louise had become yet another HUGE tourist attraction. There were more cars than people in all of Glacier so it seemed. We didn’t even park, well we couldn’t, as they didn’t have RV parking for the Stream, but I wouldn’t have anyway. Regardless of the beauty of the lake, somehow more than a thousand people crowed together to look at it, left me very sad.

Only six hours south of Banff in Glacier, my purpose was to check it out for a future adventure and so shall it be…right after I climb Half Dome. We intended two days at Banff (which btw isn’t nearly enough time), but we were diggin’ the hikes and Many Glacier so much, we unanimously decided to stay at GNP. Our campsite was not lacking SPECTACULAR viewage!

Reference my blog; Native Indians, Bears and Capitalism.

20130819-153717.jpg

20130819-153821.jpg

Holy Crap!

20130818-094553.jpg

Big Joe and his wife Linda, (our neighbours at the first campground in Glacier) are celebrating their four year engagement anniversary today and because Joe has been so helpful with the Stream and Linda is an absolute blast, I offered to have Linda’s Mom, Gertie for the afternoon while they enjoy and have lunch where Joe proposed; The Prince of Whales in Canada.

Gertie is unintentionally funny, eighty five years old with moderate to advanced Alzheimer’s disease so you might imagine the stories she tells and the things that come out of her mouth…and elsewhere. Read on.

Cute nuances began immediately; Gertie saved a few of her French Fries for their dog, but the dog is 1700 miles away in Wisconsin. That’s okay, let her think the doggie is here in Glacier. We then drive to our new campsite, Many Glacier and quickly get settled. Remembering Linda’s words, ‘Mom needs to be reminded to go to the bathroom’. I quickly suggested we head to the restroom. THAT trip went great, it wasn’t until thirty minutes later when Gertie rose from the camp chair and announced, ‘I have to go to the bathroom’, that I realised she may already have… ‘Keevinnnnn’ I shouted up to the front of the Airstream, ‘Gertie has to go to the bathroom’. I was bent over laughing. Kevin wasn’t very excited regarding this task but I’m the only one of the two that knows how to hook and unhook the Airstream and I was conveniently in the middle of unhooking it. 🙂

Minutes passed, like twenty and still no Gertie or Kevin. I thought, ‘what the heck is going on’, so I headed up and saw Kevin outside of the ladies room on a bench. After inquiring, Kevin thought Gertie must be done, so in I walked and nearly vomited. How the heck can a cute elderly woman stink so bad. I then noticed it on the floor and well, let’s just say the second trip to the restroom was a rather crappy one. Oh yah, when I asked Gertie where her extra change of clothes were? ‘In the trash, I don’t need them.’ Sure enough, there they were.

It doesn’t stop here friends. After gag me cleanup, we walk back to the campsite with Gertie and I was actually feeling sad for her. It’s hell having Alzheimer’s Disease and I sympathized. Immediately upon arrival at the Stream, I quickly grab my hand sanitizer and say. ‘Here Mama, we need to get this on your hands’, Gertie stabilizes herself with her walker and extends her right palm. I squirt a quarter size dollop in her hand and without hesitation, lickity split, (literally lickity, with lickity being the operative word), Gertie sucks the sanitizer off her hand. Omygosh!!! Again, ‘Kevinnnnn’…he walked to the ranger station where he explained the situation. The Ranger seriously asked, why did she do that?’ I had JUST asked Gertie the same question. Stupid question for me to ask an amazing elder with Alzheimer’s Disease. More accurately my response when Gertie sucked up the hand sanitizer was, ‘oh my gosh, did you just really do that?’

In the end, the sanitizer was not harmful and Linda and Joe showed up prior to another bathroom incident.

Gertie. You made our day. We’re still laughing all the way back to Michigan. Xox

For all of those Caretakers out there, hat’s off to YOU!

20130818-094504.jpg