Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday July 22nd ~ 2011

To say that I had a last fantastic day of hiking in Glacier and then 3 even better days of teaching at the Powder Horn Trading Co may be one biggest understatements I have made in the last decade.

McDonald Creek- LoL
The park on Thursday was so beautiful. The weather was cold and over cast and the trails had the most unusual quite calm quite to them. It was almost unnerving at times. But I hiked a good portion of the McDonald's Falls Trail along McDonald Creek. (The word creek seems a bit understated at this time of year. The creek are more like raging  rapids.)

After the Falls I picked a trail that is not on the major lists of trails to hike. I hiked along the South Boarder Trail up to the cut off for Loneman Mountain Lookout Tower. I had to turn back at Harrison Creek due to the lack of other hikers. I did promise my GF that I would not get attacked while I was partaking of nature. This trail follows the Flathead River ultimately cuts back along the Coal Creek up to Buffalo Woman Lake. After being the total geek that I know I am and scouring the topographical map of the park that I bought this is a hike that I need to take the next time I am back in Glacier.

Benton Bridge & Flathead River
 Classes were a blast and each and every student was a total joy to get to know. I am excited about the possibility of coming back next year for another round of classes and I know for sure that Terri & I are coming to Glacier next summer for some serious fun.

Not only were my hosts Cindy & Bud, the owners of Powder Horn Trading Co, totally generous by opening up their home to me, they also fed me almost to bursting. As Cindy said she did not want me to go back and say that I was not fed well. My second to last morning the 3 of us went on an early morning horse back ride for over 3 hours that went up to what Cindy called the nose bleed section of the hills where they live. The views back towards the Mountains was spectacular.

*** I will see if I can get my hands on some pictures of the 2 horses I rode, Nada & Pepe as well as Bud and Cindy's most excellent dog Hank. ***

My drive back to New Mexico was uneventful and as the miles passed the unfolding scenery was absolutely breathtaking. Had I really paid attention to my return route I may have decided to take a few days and do some hiking in Yellowstone National Park. I had no idea that I would be driving right by the eastern side of the park. Well, maybe next time I am out that way I will figure out a way to add that into the itinerary.

It is good to be home and I enjoyed taking Thursday off to rest and gather together the memories of my past 2 weeks away from my wonderful life here. It was an action packed 2 weeks and I have to get right back at it ASAP.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday July 13th ~ 2011

Day 2 in Glacier National Park did not disappoint.

The decision to hike the 7 mile Haystack Butte trail at Logan Pass was the choice for this days adventure. The departure time from the hotel was 9am on the dot and looking forward to a most excellent day.

Today, the Logan Pass was opened and it was the latest date for the pass opening in the parks 101 year history. This road is called the Road to the Sun and it is a breathtaking 50 mile drive that takes you up to the high point of Logan Pass. The elevation of the pass is 6646 feet and upon our arrival we were greeted with a great deal of snow. Logan Pass is actually on the Continental Divide which is cool.

The snow a Logan Pass

The Park Ranger told me that the Haystack Butte Trail was totally socked in with snow and was "totally scary" so the grand plan of hiking a high elevation trail was a big fat NO. So… back in the car, over the pass and off to St Mary's Falls and Virginia Falls for a 5.5 mile hike that was no less amazing.

St Mary's Falls
Virginia Falls

Even though the traveling in the car today was close to 200 miles there were amazing sites to be seen. At the end of the day there was the surprise of a heard of goats bounding down the side of a mountain. I have not laughed that hard at something that cute for a very very long time.

Really Cute Goats

The most disappointing aspect so far is that the hotel does not have the Verses Channel so I am actually missing the Tour De France. UGH, and tomorrow is the first mountain stage. I need my tour.. I am going through withdraw.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tuesday July 12 ~ 2011

After working like a crazy person for these last months I am getting 3 days of hiking in Glacier National Park before I start teaching at the Powder Horn Trading Co. in Kalispell Montana. Today was day #1 of the adventure.

"Be still like a mountain and flow like a great river." ~ Lao Tzu ~

Trail of the Cedars trail head

The hike along The Avalanche Lake Trail is a total of 6 miles. The entire trail runs parallel to the Avalanche Creek. Now, understand that the word "creek" is a total understatement. It is really the Avalanche Gorge and is an extremely fast running heavy duty stream that is fed from the lake and the lake is is fed from the glacier melt.

As you hike along the path, it is the sound that surrounds you and is the most amazing. During the entire 4 plus hours of the hike the presence of the rushing water is always there, is every present, always moving letting you know that you are getting closer to your goal. It is so powerful and so awe inspiring to be a part of it for just those few hours. 
The hike to Avalanche Lake

My last National Park experience was Yellowstone with my parents when I was in my mid to late 30's. (i know… I know…) This was a very different experience. Where Yellowstone is all about the effects of thermal features on the surrounding landscape, Glacier is all about mountains, melting snow packs & the rushing waters from the many glaciers of the area.
The view end of the trail

This is a much needed respite and rejuvenation of my soul. My camera is clicking and my creative spirit is starting to glow again.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday July 10 ~ 2011

Well; I stand admonished: George, a longtime student and follower of my blog came up to me today at the Puget Sound Bead Festival and admonished me for being a slacker for not positing on a more regular basis.

It has been year since I relocated to Albuquerque from Tucson and this shift in my focus and in my life has been a positive one. I have loads to say and so much to talk about. Only now, I have another person to talk to and I do not just have to type out what I am thinking and feeling. So, my drive to post has been diminished to some extent.

Life is a constant ebb and flow, as I learn how to incorporate a constant presence in my daily life am figuring out how to keep on task and still meet all of the goals that I have set for myself. It is a harder task than I thought it would be. As much as I know that I am in a totally wonderful relationship that I would never trade for anything there is some small part of me that is a hermit and loves my solitude.

So, my travels are still my solace and my time for introspection. I have spent my drives of this year contemplating my past, both professionally as well as personally. I am sure that there are things that we all wish that we could do differently or try again, but I will say with all honestly that I would not change one aspect of the last 3 & 1/2 years of my life. I have made hard choices and I have made the right ones

I am at peace and I am at home in my own skin as I feel I have not been for a very very long time, or if ever. True happiness and contentment is a constant goal and to find it, grasp it and accept it is a true test of ones self.

Bead and Button this year was fun as always and I am now hanging in Tacoma at the end of the Puget Sound Bead Festival and getting ready to head out in the morning to Kalispell, Montana to teach at the Powder Horn Trading Co. next weekend.

I have never been to Montana and I am excited that Jeannette Cook (seed bead artist extraordinary) & I are going to be hiking in Glacier National Park for the first part of next week before I settle in to teach next Saturday - Monday.

For those of you that have followed me for the last few years know I am up every morning in July before dawn to watch each stage of the Tour De France and I have my favorites and as I drink my mornings Peet's coffee, I cheer at the end of every day as the riders that are my favorites succeed or struggle on.

I am digging into all of the political nonsense again so I will warn you now that many of my posts over the next months will be politically slanted.. I know that will be a surprise for many (NOT) but get ready, there is steam coming out of my ears on so many issues.

I drive to Montana tomorrow and am looking forward to a totally new adventure. Stay Tuned for Amazing Updates.

The Simple Tao

The Way is to benefit others and not to injure.
The Way is to act but not to compete.
It does not show greatness and is therefore truly great.

~ Start The Way ~
Be still like a mountain and flow like a great river

    Tao ~ "the way", "the path": it is often represented by water because water always seeks the path of least resistance, yet is strong enough to demolish even stone when no other recourse is available. everything below flows from this.