Beautiful Day

Monday, June 22, 2015

Vacation Beauty

I am not leaving the topic of beauty yet.  It's just too central to my life, especially now.

Recently, we were able to enjoy a wonderful week of family vacation time.  So needed!  It was good for us all, in so many ways.  

This was an excursion in the outdoors for us--one of our favorite kinds of trips.  We thrive in the explorations of God's natural world around us and the beauty it encompasses.

With all of the bike trails, we loaded all of our bikes in the trailer to take along.  We couldn't wait to get out all together and ride (which isn't so common an occurrence at home).  Our first evening after dinner, we headed out on a sunset ride.  I think there were simultaneous "ooohs" and "aaaahs" when our trail opened up into this meadow with these views!

And we must not forget that said meadow contained animals of the cow/calf, and horse/foal variety!  A couple of mine couldn't resist exiting the bikes to go and "rescue" this calf who was out of his pasture.

Once the sun went down, it was a race back to our vacation home before dark.  As we headed back through the trees, my children were amused that a bat flew down and hit my helmet!

The next day, Warrior and I had a date to the lake.  We had planned to try out stand-up paddleboarding.  As there was only one of those left, we rented the one, along with a canoe, so that we could be out on the lake together and still try it out!  I must say it was more stable than I envisioned, and I didn't fall off once!

Next up...horseback riding!

We went in two shifts.  Warrior accompanied the younger ones on their one-hour ride, and my more skilled riders wanted to do the two-hour ride, so I went with them.  My knees were quite tired afterward. but the scenery was beautiful!  And we found out why real cowboys need bandanas!!  Can you see the dust?

Wildflowers abounded and we enjoyed looking them up.  There were many lupines in bloom all around!  Adventure girl collected this bouquet on her hike up the mountain.

We hiked to the top of Black Butte.  Since it was too strenuous to take the youngest ones on, we went in shifts again.  Warrior hiked it twice in one day!  Once in the morning with our older children, and again at sunset with me.  He says it's good training for his upcoming half marathon.

Of course, the views were spectacular!

And now, I'll introduce their friend at the top.....affectionately known as "Chipawoo."  (This comes from our current reading of "The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place" series.  You might "get" this, if you read the book! :))

The lighting in the evening makes for a unique experience the second time around for Warrior (and beautiful for me on my first trek up!)

The shadow of the mountain we were hiking was pretty amazing!  Looks like a Pyramid of Giza!

Sunset on the mountain with my Beloved--can't ask for much more!  And so much to worship our Creator for!  I love all the stunning beauty to breathe in!
(It was, however, very windy on this evening up there!)

After our week of adventures (I didn't even mention the daily trips to the pool, or playing tennis and pickleball, and yet more bike rides; and then a bit of a shopping excursion for the girls and I), the day came that it was time to go home, and we were all sad.  We had such a wonderful week, that we weren't ready to return to "real life" just yet!  Before we headed home, we stopped for this picnic by the lake.

Warrior and I joked that this was our foot spa treatment.  The hot rocks felt so glorious under foot!

A few wanted to cool off theirs!

Lastly, I captured this picture because it is symbolic to me, even though it doesn't fully capture what I witnessed, and the emotion it evoked.  On the way toward our destination, there was a section near the highway that had this very eerie beauty.  It was full of burned out trees from a forest fire several years ago.  The backdrop was green, the understory is green, there are black tree stumps, a few green tree tops, and many, many silvery-gray branches.  It almost resembled a snowy landscape were it not for the green.  Warrior remarked that it was an eerie beauty, but a beauty all its own--God's own display of how He brings beauty from the ashes.

"To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
~Isaiah 61:3

1 comment:

  1. Looks like an AMAZING trip! Full of beauty!



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