Saturday, April 28, 2012

AK Missions: Yellowstone NP

Old Faithful gyser is the most recognized symbol of Yellowstone National park. It errupted on schedule at about 94 minutes interval. With the brilliant blue sky background, it was most impressive.
Evidence of one of several "bison jams". Herds of these magnificnet beasts roam the park and cross the roads at their discression. Autos and photographers beware.
Thermal pools produce hot, often smelly, steam that leaves mineral deposits with a rainbow of colors.
Fumeroils (spelling?) are steam vents that may be small gysers or just produce boiling steam. A strange sight on the sides of mountains and in the valleys.
We were walking on a boardwalk when this black bear passed close beside us and then under the boardwalk. fortunately the railing and his interest in the vegetation keept him from investigating us.
On another hike we discovered the tracks of a grizzlie. Notice the claw marks and the length of the paw print as compared to the pair of binoculars.  Glad we didn't run  into the bear!
Yellowstone contains many rushing waterfalls. Snow under the trees and in piled banks indicated the rate of winter snowfall providing the source for many of the falls.
Herds of elk roam the park, especially near Mammoth visitor's center. They are not allowed handouts, but are quite tame. As with all wild animals, we gave them a wide berth.
Yellowstone is a magnificant adventure. Unfortunately this early in the spring, only the west and north entrances are open. Most of the roads are still closed because they have not been plowed to remove the snow.
These photos are only a very tiny sampling of the over 100 pictures I took in this fascinating environment.
Follow us as we cross into Canada, travel through the Yukon and on into Alaska.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

AK missions, AWSOME

Our trip lead us to Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park to check out the huge trees. Notice the tiny people at the base of the grove of trees. All that white stuff at the base of the trees is several feet of SNOW!
While in Sequoia, Nick and Monique decided to hike from the road way pull out to this river far below. I stayed at the RV. Nick sat on the larger of the two rocks in the upper left-center with the intention of sliding down to the second rock. He did. But caught his leg and tumbled down headfirst into the rapids scaring Monique. She tried to grab him and got soaked too. He suffered a skinned shin and bone bruise, but is ok now.
We spent several  days with Chris, Maggie, baby Chris and Bella at her parents horse ranch. We got to ride the horses. Maggie is standing next to Chris who is sitting. Yes, he's a big guy and baby Chris is taking after him.

From Fresno we drove up,down and  around snaky two land roads to Yosemite National Park. Monique and I hiked to the base of this waterfall. The splashing mist was so intense we could not get close pictures.

Our next stop was Antelope Island in the middle of the Great Salt lake. Portions of this land-locked lake have a 25% salt content. Millions of California Gulls and birds have rockeries here.

Herds of Buffalo and pronghorn antelope run wild here. Pictures from the RV only. They are not "pets".
This picture from Sequoia was misplaced. Blogspot has changed it's format and I goofed. Monique is standing at the base of the General Grant tree. It would take 20 people holding hands to reach around the base of the tree.
Monday and Tuesday we spent at Yellowstone National Park. I took over 180 pictures.
Internet access is spotty, so I will post some of those awsome pictures at our next stop.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mission Trip 2012, On the Road Again

On our way up north to Alaska we are making a few side trips. The drive west on I-10 proceeded through many miles of spring Texas wild flowers. We didn't stop for pictures but imagine fields of yellow daisies, bluebonnets, Indian paint brush, buttercups and many more.

We spent the first night at Balmorea State Park, but were disappointed that the pool at San Solomon Springs was closed due to something that was causing swimmers to itch.

The following morning, we drove to Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico. Due to the warm weather, we had to kennel 3 cats and the dog before walking down the natural entrance.

The natural entrance has been improved over the years with an ampitheater for visitors to watch the flight of free-tail bats. Unfortunately the bats have flown the caves for Mexico.

This unusual photo is of the natural entrance to the left with light motes in blue and artificial light along the very dark serpentine walkway descending 750 feet into the caves.

I took many photos of the formations but am only including two.

These soda straws and stalmites cover many high ceilings. Photography with a small camera is difficult due to the darkness and limited artificial light. Flash photography caused washouts.

This is one of mery many columns built up over the years of calcium deposits. Our self-guided tour from about 1 PM to 3:30 ended with a quick ride up the elevator, 750 feet in one minute!We camped overnight at an Escapees park. The following morning we were met with a glorious sunrise.

A Navajo woman was weaving in the traditional manner on an updated verticle loom. She had been working several weeks and stated that the finished rug would take her about 5 months. These rugs sell for thousands!

From the Hubble trading post we entered Navajo reservation and drove north to Canyon de Chelly. This photo is of part of the hiking trail, down 600 feet into the canyon.

From the bottom of the canyon we were able to see the White House pueblo ruins, built thousands of years ago by the Anasasi tribes.

Our route next took us 150 miles across First, Second and Third Mesa to the Grand Canyon.

Our first view of the canyon was from the Watch tower. The air was misty with a forecast for snow!

We will have to make a return trip when the sun is shining on the magnificent colors of the canyon.

We walked the rim near the original village.

Did I mention snow? We woke to 2" of fresh, powdery snow. Temp was 20 degrees. Fortunately we have propane and a generator. We walked the rim again in snow.

This is what a small part of the rim was like in the snow.

We drove south in snow to Williams where we sat out a blizzard in a McDonalds parking lot.

We are now headed toward Fresno.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

He is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed! What a glorious Easter this has been. We have celebrated the aniversary of Jesus over coming death for our sins. During our morning worship service pastor Big Jim and our Director of Missions, Dion, held a commissioning service to pray for Nick, Monique and me as we begin our mission trip to Alaska.

Nick and Monique have been attending our church since their move from Florida.
Nick joined our curch by promise of letter from his previous church.

Monique asked to be baptised and followed our Lord in baptism, to show publicly and symbolicly Jesus's death, burial and resurection.

Monique and Nick survey the basment of the RV to make sure there is plenty of space for the donations of coats that we are taking to Alaska.

We have to pack summer and winter clothes. While it is in the 80s here, Delta Junction is just climbing above freezing and it is snowing.

We are joined by Sassie in preparation for our trip. The three cats are locked inside.

While in Alaska we will be roofing a church, assisting with Vacation Bible Schools, cook, clean and teach at a youth camp, then assist other churches before we return.

Follow along for an adventure.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Church welcomes sinners

Visitors to West End Baptist Church are always met by loving church members. We recognize that we are all sinners in need of the Lord. However, unwelcome "visitors" broke windows and attempted to steal from the church last week. Fortunately the alarm system's siren blasted them into a hasty retreat.
Five other churches and businesses were also hit about the same time.
Pastor Big Jim Salles sends a message on the church board. Are you familiar with Exodus 20?

Everyone is welcome to worship with us in the Lord's House during regular church hours. Unfortunately churches must lock doors to prevent robbery and vandalism.

We are praying for you.