Category Archives: Outdoors

Nature Photo- Intricate Beauty Of Frost

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31 Days Of Decorating With (Re) Purpose- Using Chalkboard Paint On Pumpkins

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Let’s step out to the front porch for a minute. My friend had the great idea of using up some chalkboard paint…on our pumpkins! Read the rest of this entry

Jeep Run In High Desert

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I thought it would be fun to share what my parent’s do for a hobby. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “Jeep Run”, in CA they have many areas that Jeep owners gather for to off-road. My girls were fortunate to come visit this week during an organized run in the high desert.  It was a thrill for them to spend the day slowly climbing, dipping and balancing. Someone rolled their jeep off the trail, down it went until it hit a tree. The community spirit is part of the draw. It is typical for fellow Jeepers to stop, figure out some way to right the Jeep, and get it moving (whether that means continuing the run or getting back to camp). There is often someone whose Jeep is damaged. Part of the risk, part of the sport, and avoiding it is part of the skill. It takes practice, talent, and a friendly support to guide drivers over precarious areas. The days can be hot and dusty, and in the desert the night can cool off dramatically. It has been many years since I was able to go along, but the night sky left a lifelong impression. Truly, the experience is amazing.

 

Pike’s Peak

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Saturday dawned blue and clear. Loading into the car we set out for the day’s adventure. As we entered Pike National Forest, the sign said we’d only be able to travel up 13 of the 19 miles to reach the top of “America’s Mountain”, Pike’s Peak.  Disappointed, we decided to pay up and go as far as we could. We had quite a surprise in store. As we drove further on, the landscape changed many times. This drive had the distinction of fooling you into being unaware just how steep the ascent was. Every curve shocked us at how high we’d come. The pictures just can’t begin to capture the depth of the view. We hit the 13 mile mark and were told the ranger would take up a few cars at a time, if the wind allowed so we waited.

Next to these monstrous snow plows.

We were a little unsure about going up. Several people had told us they were scared out of their wits on this drive. Steep. Switchbacks. Oh, and no guardrails. Then the warnings from the rangers, which were plentiful. The one that was repeated several times was to hold onto our doors. And, all the windows had to be cracked at least an inch. They, kindly we agreed, didn’t want our windows breaking or our doors ripping off. Really? And we paid to take our children up here? Sounded extreme but dramatic. It happens here they said. So, windows down, we listened carefully as the ranger agreed to lead us up 1 more mile, but probably not further. She told us how/where we’d pull over after a dramatic switchback. Okkaaayyyy….


This is one of the few places with the guardrail. Notice the road below? That is a good indication of quickly we are ascending. Colorado Springs is  about 6,000 feet above sea level. That gives you an idea of how quickly we ascended in only 13 miles. When we reached the stopping point, we were STUNNED by the wind. We thought they were being cautious. It was painfully cold but worth it. Our small party watched the ranger measure the wind speed and she determined we could go one more mile up, slowly. They have a cap at 40 miles per hour max and it was 30 mph. Now here we are at the first stop. Two things to notice in the following pictures: our hair (wind speed) and how the landscape changes. This was the last tree, they completely stop and the terrain starts looking like a remote planet.

Stop#1


Stop #2

The ranger tested the wind and asked if there were any takers to go all the way…slowly. One of our kids was disappointed when we hit Colorado Springs, thinking these were not the mountains she expected. I explained that we were just at the base. The view explained it all, suddenly the Continental Divide was fully exposed, and the view was different in every direction!  Imagine driving up into the clouds with no idea what is coming your way… (don’t forget the NO guardrails detail)
Almost there…We are literally at the top now, “The view from 14,115 feet is fabulous, stretching as far as Kansas or New Mexico on a clear day”. We had an knowledgable ranger who pointed out every single range in sight, every state, the changes in landscape. It was like a private tour .
Zero degree wind chill, 30+ mile an hour winds, a view from the top. Was it worth the trip? Definitely. It is easy to see why the song “America the Beautiful” was penned after the author visited. What a land we live in. Thankful.

Live Confidently in 2012

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The Will of God

The will of God will never take you,
Where the grace of God cannot keep you,
Where the arms of God cannot support you,
Where the riches of God cannot supply your needs,
Where the power of God cannot endow you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the Spirit of God cannot work through you,
Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
Where the army of God cannot protect you,
Where the hands of God cannot mold you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the love of God cannot enfold you,
Where the mercies of God cannot sustain you,
Where the peace of God cannot calm your fears,
Where the authority of God cannot overrule for you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears,
Where the Word of God cannot feed you,
Where the miracles of God cannot be done for you,
Where the omnipresence of God cannot find you.

Everything happens for a purpose. We may not see the wisdom of it all now, but trust and believe in God that everything is for the best.

~Author unknown