Monday, July 14, 2008

Day 1 at Glacier National Park

flower in Whitefish

I'm taking my time uploading pictures from my Montana trip - I took SO many, and when I got home and really looked at them, the ones I thought would be most wonderful fell flat, and the detail shots I overlooked at first were best. This is how I know I'm an amateur at photo-taking, but I do find I'm best at capturing what fascinates me most: tiny details. :)

Flying somewhere on the 4th of July is amazing - I mean, all the predictable flight delays aside, that is. But just being in the air and seeing storms of fireworks bursting in radiant shimmering colors below you... wow. Of course I have no photos for that - only the memories in my head. :) Also, when flying to Montana in the summer, it's a shock to see how late the sun sets: I watched the sun set from our plane at 11:30 PM! That alone made our 12 hour airport/travel ordeal worthwhile. I remember seeing a tiny sliver of an orange moon rising as we landed with fireworks bursting all around, out of the deep mountain shadows.

Lake McDonald

It was odd to wake surrounded by mountains. We drove about 30 minutes into the park and here was my first pic, snapped at Lake McDonald. It in no way comes close to the real beauty of it, but there it is, an approximation. :) We drove down Going-to-the-Sun Road from west to east. It takes hours, not because of the distance but because of the fierce bottlenecks near the end, in the mountains near Logan Pass. Along the way we saw all kinds of butterflies, birds and wildlife, including an immense female elk that gracefully stalked across the road. She seemed to stare down haughtily at all the cars, and I could see why, because she TOWERED over us. Really, I've seen photos of elk before but none have ever captured how huge they are. And of course she was gone before I could snap a picture... :) I was predictably captivated by tiny things, like ground squirrels.

Photos of mountains are really quite dull and none of them are like standing on a mountain...

Every time I see things like this, beauty like this, I find myself saying "thank you." I feel so grateful to encounter everything, to see things that are wild, and large, and clean like this. All the way uphill to Logan Pass waterfalls formed by melting snow poured downhill to meet us, either sprinkling us or raining down in torrents.

Logan Pass was 10 degrees cooler than the valley, so windy, and covered with snow at least 5 feet deep in places. Those tiny speck in the distance are people skiing:

snow at Logan Pass

That pic was taken by my boyfriend, who, unlike me, is a master at framing. :) I made a few little friends at Logan Pass:

Hoary Marmots! :) They're like fat ground squirrels with fur coats who do a lot more pondering and staring than running and squeaking. They're so un-timid, I was able to put my lens an inch from their furry faces:

Hoary Marmot

On the way out, we saw a herd of bighorn sheep scurry up a snow-covered hill faster than we could pull out our camera.. of course. :) We stopped to see a couple of waterfalls and take in St. Mary Lake:

glacial water

That last pic was also taken by my boyfriend. One of our last sights in the park was a very famous pull-off to photograph Wild Goose Island:

Wild Goose Island

It must be famous because even a dummy can photograph it well... Yes, I took that photo. :) That day, we continued our drive south to East Glacier, down a windy road surrounded by mountains, cattle fields, and wildflowers:

Just outside of Glacier NP

And, thanks to a broken power window on the driver's side we had to drive all the way back to the airport and back again (about 3 and half hours) which means we were stuck in the car for at least 7-8 hours that day. Oh well. Not a bad deal if you can see mountains, I guess... :)

To those of you who shared so many kind words and thoughts about my dad, thank you again. He's still resting at home and still doing well. I was really worried going on a vacation we'd planned so far in advance but when I heard he was at home and recovering, I felt better about it. I checked on him so many times my mom (who is used to only hearing from me once a month or so) told me to give it a rest... ;) Thank you again, and more on Glacier soon.

Also, have you checked out Feeling Stitchy? We're featuring the 5 finalists (chosen by Jenny Hart) in our banner competition this week, and after they're all featured everyone will vote for a winner. Check it out! :)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

What it Means to be Happy

Miracles happen. I don't want to sound cheesey, but they do. My dad is no stranger to miracles and here was another, I called home yesterday to find he'd been released from the hospital and was resting at home. I'm not sure why miracles happen. But maybe they happen to show you there's so much, so many things in this world to be happy about.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Thank you... about my dad

I want to say thank you to everyone who who left so many kind comments yesterday... I would normally think this post teeters on the edge of T.M.I., but I only do it so you know the state of mind I'm in... and can bear with me if I miss a few emails, etc. Everything you said means so much to me...


My dad had a rare stroke yesterday that caused lots of bleeding in his brain. He'll be in ICU at least a week while they observe him and make sure things don't worsen. The blessing is that physically he's fine - talking, laughing, moving without any problems, just some problems with his vision, if I understand correctly. It's more serious than the doctors initially thought, but I'm confident that everything is in God's hands now.

my father at his desk

My dad is used to being strong and a fighter - he's also a cancer survivor. After dealing with the awful-ness that is chemo and radiation therapy more than 10 years ago, he decided not to go back to the hospital and his cancer went into remission on its own. He's a bit of an adventurer, strong and proud, and often speaks his mind no matter what the consequences. He's had a lot of trials in life but has tremendous faith in God. I do think his faith inspired us all to have faith, and I'm proud to call him my dad.

Again, thank you for your kindness and for keeping us in your thoughts. I'll be out of town for a week starting this Friday and I hope to return with good news.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


dad getting on a plane

I just found out that my dad is in a hospital back home. He's doing well, being himself, cracking jokes and asking for tacos, but it feels powerless to be here in New York. This feels like the only thing I can do, although that sounds weird. Good thoughts for him please.

Here's a few of his pictures that I love:

many mountains

this mountain is telling me a secret...

dust blowing in the desert

beautiful haze hazy house

My parents have been married 50 years this June: