God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Little Joys

This is a view overlooking Horseshoe Lake in Denali National Park. The lake sits on the East side of the park, near the Nenana River. There were beavers at work in the lake; we saw a couple of them swimming through the water with small tree branches. Not sure we would have even noticed if there had not been signs pointing out the beaver dam.

How often do we miss noticing the “little joys” in our lives?

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God in all things, Photography, Prayer, Scenery, Travel

Obvious

This photo was taken at the end of our first (full) day in Alaska. We were driving from Seward back to Girdwood. I remember looking across the road and seeing this lake (Tern Lake) and noticing the beauty. We stopped and took a few pictures and got back in the car to finish the drive to where we were staying.

It was only much later, when studying this photo to write this reflection, did I realize that the tops of this mountains are brown because they are above the tree line. Turns out the tree line is about 1500 feet in the area.

So often, what seems obvious in hindsight was not-so-obvious at the time.

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God in all things, Photography, Prayer, Scenery, Travel

Rapids

The New River is well known for whitewater rafting and kayaking. The Lower New River has a vertical drop of 250 feet in 16 miles, much of which occurs in a series of rapids. Those rapids are barely visible as whitewater in this photo taken about 1000 feet above the river. They are much more impressive up close, as seen and experienced on the water. The more challenging rapids (class III, IV and V) have detailed descriptions online including instructions on how to best navigate them.

Life has plenty of “rapids”. Fortunately, we also have instructions on how to navigate them.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Adventure

This photo was taken during our February trip to the New River National Park. We like taking a trip in February to celebrate our anniversary. In recent years, it has been a long weekend hiking. Unfortunately, travel in the Midwest during February leaves the potential for snow/ice. The day before this photo, we got rain, freezing rain, then snow at the end of our hike. This ice was from a winter storm days earlier, and made this section of trail somewhat treacherous – both the footing and the falling ice. We like to think of ourselves as adventurous but definitely not risk takers.

It is interesting how often in the Bible God calls individuals to be leaders when they do not think of themselves as adventurous or risk takers (or leaders).

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Something New

This photo was taken during our visit to New River National Park this February. It was a rainy weekend and the creeks were definitely swollen. This is a view of Pinch Creek (on the left) feeding into Glade Creek as it makes it’s way down to the New River.

I am struck by the contrast in the color of the water between the two creeks. And the line in the water dividing them. With a recently married son, I can’t help but think of how a husband and wife bring differences to their marriage but create something new.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Clouds

These photos of the New River were taken at Grandview Lookout a mere 2 hours apart. We got up in the morning expecting clouds and rain, so we were pleasantly surprised that the rain let up enough to go hiking in the late morning. We were also happy that the River was visible when we got to Grandview Lookout. That didn’t last long though and the gorge was completely obscured by low clouds before we finished the hike.

We all experience “clouds” in our lives that block us from seeing what is in front of us. Thankfully, God blesses us with times that we can see clearly, if only briefly. That is what discernment is about.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Us and Them

This is a view of El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite. I took this photo 9 years ago when we visited California. About a year ago, we got a puzzle that had almost the same view. And yet, not exactly the same. I’m sure many hundreds if not thousands of their individuals have taken similar photos but I am confident none are exactly the same as this one.

That is us. No matter how similar, not exactly the same. It is tempting to divide the world into “us” and “them.” “Us” are people who are “just like us” and “Them” are people who are not at all like us. This is not just an oversimplification of the world, it is flat out wrong. We do well when we both recognize and appreciate the ways we are different.

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