Our Trip

Nate and I have been back from our trip out West for several weeks and it’s about time to post an update and some pictures! It was a wonderful trip- practically perfect- and definitely blessed by God. We had a refreshing time of adventure and beauty; basically, everything that we had hoped for and wanted. Here are bullet points of what we did and / or enjoyed:

– Niagara Falls! (yes it does)
– Driving across the country we saw so MUCH farmland. It’s inspiring to know that a lot of agriculture still goes on here
– Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, ND. Saw lots of wildlife and a whopper of a thunder & lightening storm from atop a mountain.
– 80mph speed limits in Montana 🙂
– Camped, hiked and fished in beautiful Glacier National Forest in MT
– We got off the beaten path (and in some cases, off roads altogether) in search of remote alpine lakes for good fishing. Doing so led us to some lovely places
– Saw the cool ghost town of Burke, ID which used to be a mining community. Because of the narrowness of the valley, the only place for train tracks was right through the lobby of the town’s hotel.
– Camped in the wilderness around the Lochsa River in ID. 80 miles from the nearest town. Beautiful river with amazing fishing.
– I loved the hot springs that are abundant in that area of the US- especially one waterfall that was like nature’s shower, pouring out of the ground at 120-130 degrees. Some of them were hotter than that and had to be accessed in pools where the hot springs and river waters met
– While camping in a national forest land high in the mountains, we heard what sounded like a large herd of animals. Following the sound of bells, I hiked to where 2000 sheep were grazing in mountain meadows. They glowed white in the setting sun and covered the rocky hilltops like snow. They were guarded by two huge black and white dogs and a shepherd in a tent who stays in the mountains with them for 2 months. As I walked away I heard him start to play some woodwind instrument, the sound floating hauntingly around the hills. It was downright magical.
-Hiked the most beautiful hike to the most beautiful lake I’ve ever seen, Alpine Lake in the Sawtooth Mountains. There was a still a huge patch of snow on one side of the mountain around the lake. I hiked to it, made snowballs and slid down it, digging my heels in to keep from tumbling into the lake below
– In some places it didn’t get dark til 10:30. We ate late then would sit around a campfire til midnight or 1AM. By that time the stars were out and bright. Unencumbered by trees, the big sky night view was like nothing I’d seen before. Toward the end of the trip I saw a burning meteor with a long long tail. Probably the beginning of the Persid meteor showers.

Throughout the trip I felt great and had plenty of energy. Thanks to all who prayed for us and for our trip! We are already planning the next one 😉

Treatment update: Chemo continues between TACE procedures. I had the first TACE procedure last week. It was around 2 hours long. I was sedated and mostly slept through it. The doctor was able to access a vein in my wrist so the insertion site is less than .25″, which I find amazing. Unfortunately, the after effects were rough. Nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and liver pain that lasted for 4 days.

While I was going through it, same as with chemotherapy, I question whether the trade of quality of life for quantity is worth it and often answer “No.” But when the experience is in the rear-view and I’m feeling back to normal, I don’t think about the nastiness. Instead, I am experiencing the pleasure of NOW. Just this moment, and being content with that. This moment and the enjoyment of it are both gifts from our good Father.

Enjoy these pictures of His masterpieces (as well as some of Daisy, Nate and me 🙂

Painted Canyon, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, ND
Niagara Falls

Painted Canyon, Theodore Roosevelt National Park

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Middle Fork Clark River, Glacier National ParkIMG_1432

Hiking in Glacier Nat’l Forest


Kootanai River, MT
Near Kanisku National Forest, ID
Jocko Lake, Flathead Indian lands, MT
Jerry Johnson hot springs. near Lochsa River, ID
Sawtooth mountains
Stanley, ID


Sawtooth mountainsIMG_1782


Alpine Lake, Sawtooth National Recreation Area, ID


Alpine Lake, Sawtooth National Recreation Area, IDIMG_1805


Alpine Lake, Sawtooth National Recreation Area, IDIMG_1809

Indian Tunnel cave, Craters of the Moon National Monument

Indian Tunnel cave, Craters of the Moon National Monument, IDIMG_1897Indian Tunnel cave, Craters of the Moon National MonumentIMG_1892Indian Tunnel cave, Craters of the Moon National MonumentIMG_1891IMG_1824


Grain field in Wyoming