Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Wonderland Trail

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. The Schmerse's (the in-laws) were back in town for a few days on there way back to IL, and we got to spend some fun time with them sighseeing. We headed down to Crater Lake, which was very fun and beautiful. We also got to see Smith Rock State Park, Tumalo Falls, and we took the ski lift up to Pine Martin Lodge at Mt. Bachelor to take in the view. Mark and I also climbed South Sister and headed over to Salem for a day to connect with Carmen, the senior pastor of Mountain View who is leaving. We had a great time getting to know him and his family, and he was more than helpful in showing us around and filling us in on the inner workings of the church (technical and otherwise).
Soon after the Schmerse's headed home, I finished up my work, and we headed out for a week to hike the Wonderland Trail that circles Mt. Rainier. It was a beautiful trail, but a lot of work. There is a lot of elevation gain and loss (20,000 ft total!), and we spent the first two full days in a cloud with misty rain. Most of the week was gorgeous, and the views were amazing!

The trail was well marked at each junction, and every once in awhile a sign showed up in places where there was still snow that helped reassure us we were headed in the right direction.

Beautiful wildflowers!

Hiking up Emerald Ridge in a cloud.

Most of the time there were bridges over the creeks, but every so often they hadn't gotten one fixed yet, and we would have to walk a big log. Many of them wash out each year and need to be replaced. Luckily we only had to ford one creek!

Misty, cloudy, forest.

Ipsut Pass.

There were two large suspension bridges that crossed over the Carbon River and Tahoma Creek. They are both glacial creeks...this one is the Carbon Creek Bridge.

The end of the Carbon Glacier. It was really cool to hike up next to the glaciers, because you could hear them popping every so often and see rocks falling off the end. It reminds you that it really is moving.

Close up of the Emmons Glacier.

Cooking in camp. Boy was I happy to have a tent on this trip! It was so nice to be able to get in and not worry about the bugs if I wanted to keep my sleeping bag open a bit at night. Also, the mosquitos weren't bad in too many places, but it was so nice to be able to get in and know they weren't coming under the tarp!

Heading up to Panhandle Gap. One of the few places I used an ice axe.

If you look closely at the snow slope (zoom in!) there are mountain goats!

The snow fields past Panhandle Gap and headed toward our camp at Indian Bar. You can see our tracks through the snow behind Mark and down to the right.

Mark hanging our food bags on the bear poles. We only saw a couple bears the whole trip, and those from a distance. We never had a problem with them in camp.

Martha Falls. The spray from this falls felt like air conditioning as we hiked by. It was 80 degrees or so and we were climbing, so we just stood there and soaked in the spray!

Rainier and Reflection Lakes.

Here we are in the Nisqually River Basin a couple short miles from Longmire and our finish of the trail!

A celebratory burger at the Copper Creek Inn. We ate here after our attempt at climbing Rainier a few years ago, so it was fun to return to a familiar place!

We were one of the first groups to finish the whole trail this season, and had a great time doing so. Now it's time to start packing up...moving time soon and then I'm off to IN for school!

Saturday, July 04, 2009


We moved to Bend knowing that it might be temporary. We had been planning on going to seminary this fall, and just wanted a cool place to live. As we've lived in Bend, we've been praying and processing and honestly, the verdict has fluctuated all over the place from staying in Bend to going to seminary to going into ministry again.

Four to Six weeks ago we prayerfully decided to put out Mark's resume to some local churches. We had been praying about going to seminary, but weren't feeling 100% about going to Duke or Azusa, which had been the plan. We had been hearing about IWU's new MDiv program, which could be done onsite or online, and so as Mark put out his resume, I put in my application for the online program. You have to go to IWU for the first 2 weeks of August, but other than that, the whole program is done online. The program requires you to be in ministry at least 20 hrs a week, so the hope was that Mark would get a position as a lead pastor in a smaller church, and then I could work part time (paid or unpaid), and do school. Eventually Mark will look to start school as well.

Mark's resume went out to DS's all over the country - some in the east, a lot in the midwest, and quite a few out west as well. But what ended up working out for us was a great church near Salem, OR called Mt. View Wesleyan Church. We went and cadidated a few weeks ago, and couldn't have been more welcomed by the congregation. They were pleased with us as well, and they collectively voted us in and extended an invitation to Mark to be their new Lead Pastor. We start on Aug 2, and soon thereafter, I will leave to do my first 2 week stint at IWU. We are really excited and are looking forward to beginning our life and ministry with this great group of people in Aumsville. The great thing is that, although we will have to go back to IL to move all our stuff from there, it is only 2 hrs from Bend (in good weather), so we still have great access to the mts and all they have to offer.

Thanks to all who prayed for us and gave advice through this process. We look forward to seeing what God has in store for us and for our church!