Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Heading For Philly

*breep, breep, breep, breep*... WHAM!

It's 5:45 AM and our alarm has just been silenced. We are piling into the car this morning to begin our drive back to Philly. First stop, however, is Greeley, CO, as we have one final interview with the church planting committee of our presbytery. It'll be good, but it'll also add 4-6 hrs to our already long trip (34 hrs).

At any rate, all this to say that a) I'm tired, b) I'm not really looking forward to such a long drive, but c) it will be good to see the church planters on our way, and d) we can't finish seminary if we don't go, SO...

*vrooom, chugga-lugga-lugga-lugga-lugga" (sound of our diesel Excursion warming up)... see you in Philly on Saturday! We appreciate your prayers as we travel.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Sundance Sally Turns 10

Well, it's official! On Thursday our sweet little Rebekah (my favoritest daughter in the whole world) turned 10!!!!! Pretty cool, huh? You can click over to the photoblog to see all the pics...

Glimpse of Granite Peak

Ever wonder what the Beartooths look like to the eagles which soar among their rocky crags? Well here are a few photos my dad took last week on his way back to Billings from Boise last week...
This shot here gives you a nice glimpse of Granite Peak, the highest point in Montana (it's that main peak skylined in the center of the photo). We're looking at it from the southwest, flying along about 14,000'. As you can see this is rugged country, to say the least. A couple of summers ago, a friend and I dayhiked Granite Peak, just to see if we could (yes, we could, but 19 hrs and 22 miles later, we were pretty sore puppies).
Here's another great shot of Granite Peak (far upper right), this one from the east, looking over Froze To Death, Turgulse, and Brent lakes. These lakes offer some wonderful fishing, but it's a bit of a hike to get to them.

And here's one final shot of the peak, this time east-north-east, looking across Froze To Death Plateau. You can get a nice understanding of just how rugged it is from this perspective.
Ah, this country is absolutely beautiful... see why we miss it when we're out in Philly?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Slip Sliding Away

Well, it's true - the summer is slip-sliding away, faster than we can believe. This past week we headed to the mountains for a final fishing trip before we head back to Philly (Sept 1 - a week from this coming Thursday). Our destination? Sliderock Lake, at the far end of Hellroaring Plateau (you may remember our previous visit earlier this year).

Fortunately for us, the weather was just as splendid the second time around (albeit a bit windy) and we had a fantastic day of fishing - something the kids always appreciate. Want to see the photos? Of course you do! So click on over to the photoblog for all the details...

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Glacier National Park

Hey folks, the Glacier National Park photos from a couple of weeks ago (Aug 4, 2005) are finally up for your viewing pleasure. Click here to visit the photoblog and share in our wild Montana adventures. And while we're talking about the photoblog, please note that I've created a master photo index to make it easier to browse...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Our Trip To Seattle

Hey folks, just a brief update for those of you who are interested in our recent weekend trip to Seattle. All 200+ photos are up, and organized chronologically under 4 distinct posts (each with links to the photoblog). So if you want to see the pictures from Jessica's wedding, this is the place to start...

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Home Again On Sunday

Well, we are home. The shot above was taken Sunday afternoon just outside Deerlodge, MT as we wearily trekked our way back across three states.

This past weekend was a whirlwind - we started by driving to Steilacom, WA (about an hour south of Seattle) on Thursday night. We arrived just in time for the 5:45 AM ferry across to my mom's place on Anderson Island. At which point the kids went for a ride in her motorboat and Marilyn and I crashed for a couple of hours. These all-nighters just seem to get less and less fun the older you get.

So why the trip? Well my little sister Jessica was getting married, and she had invited Rebekah and cousin Naomi to be flowergirls (more pics of these things to follow shortly). One of the great things about visiting though is that it gave us an opportunity to reconnect with old friends, most of whom we haven't seen since we left some five years ago.

On Friday, we hooked up with George (George is one of the best SQL guys I've ever met, and back in the dotcom days he taught me pretty much everything I know about databases). On Saturday, we reconnected with Eddie and Christy, our old neighbors from Olympia. Then finally on Sunday morning we got up at 5 AM so we could drive up into Seattle to have breakfast with Scott and Courtney (Scott is major Linux guru, and Courtney is a nurse - she was very gracious to host us at such an early hour of the morning, and she makes killer pancakes!).

All told, it was an extremely busy - yet enjoyable - weekend. We saw a lot of old friends, made quite a few new ones, and got a chance to visit with a lot of extended family to boot. Plus, it was a great wedding (more on that to follow soon as well).

At any rate, on Sunday we hopped in the car and drove back to Billings, MT, arriving home a little after 11 PM last night. Whew! We're beat! Tons of pictures to share, but it's going to take a bit to get them up. For now, you may have to content yourself with Driving Through Montana and a Moonrise Over Montana series that I snapped from the car window last night.

Stay tuned for more photos later this week...

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Saturday Night Wedding

So here we go - all the photos from Jessica's Saturday Night Wedding are up on the photoblog, waiting for your perusal. Check them out if you'd like to see more happy sights, like the one of Hannah and Naomi holding hands in their wedding dresses. Hey, there are even a few shots of the bride and groom...

Friday, August 12, 2005

Friday Night Rehearsal

How's this for a pre-wedding cake? For those of you who are interested, all the photos from Jessica's Friday Night Rehearsal Dinner are up on the photoblog. Check them out if you are interested...

Hanging Out On Friday

So on Friday before Jessica's wedding, we basically hung out on Anderson Island and ate and slept (not a bad way to spend the day!). If you'd like to see the photos, click on over to the photoblog series called Hanging Out on Friday. And if you're chomping at the bit for the rest of the photos, please be patient - I'll try to get to them in the next day or two.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

View of Missoula

Here's a cool panoramic view of Missoula, taken when we were there last week. I snapped this shot from the southeast hills, looking out over the city towards the northwest. The city center is on your right. Beautiful vista when it's clear...

We took an awful lot of photos while we were visiting, and rather than just plunk them all up on the photoblog site (that would probably be a little overwhelming for both you and me) I think I'm going to put them up a few at a time, with some comments as fancy strikes.

Meaning, you'll just have to keep visiting this site on a regular basis if you want to see them all. Yes, I am clever aren't I? :-)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Joshua Ryan Sutherland

For those of you who have been following Ryan and Rachel's story with their little Joshua, I'd invite you to check out their blog, where Rachel has posted some thoughts on what they've been going through this past week or two. Please do take a moment to read, and please continue to keep the Sutherland's in your prayers as they deal with the loss of their son.

Home at Last

Well, we are home from vacation, and it's time to start updating the world on everything that happened. Realizing that this is too large a task for a single post, I'm going to post comments in nice bite size chunks over the coming weeks. Just for reference, here's the basic chronology.
  • Last Friday night, we headed to Bozeman where our friend and mentor Shane Sunn (church planter from St. Patricks in Greeley, CO) was speaking to the Galltin Valley Presbyterian Church's family camp - this lasted Friday through Sunday.
  • Sunday afternoon we headed out to Missoula, where we stayed until Wednesday, just hanging out and taking in the town. This was extremely helpful (and fun too!) as we think about moving to Missoula next summer to plant a church there.
  • On Wednesday morning, Shane and his family headed back to Colorado; that evening, we headed north out of Missoula up to Whitefish, MT.
  • The next day (Thursday) we did a marathon drive to the east through Glacier National Park, and then down through Helena to eventually end up back in Bozeman, where we stayed with my brother Jake until Saturday evening.
Sound busy? It was, we are now exhausted! But a great time was had by all, and we even managed to make some new friends and catch a few fish along the way. And speaking of fish, that's what I want to talk about first - we fished the Gallatin River near Bozeman on Friday night and then again on Saturday, and I've put up the pictures describing those days.

SO, with no further ado, I'd invite you to click on over and see our fishing photos...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Sunshine Wheat Tractor Pull

Here I am, blogging from a KOA parking lot (that's 'Kampgrounds Of America' for all you easterners) just outside of Whitefish, MT. It's amazing where they have wireless these days. I wonder how much longer we'll still be able to call it "camping."

Here's what I do like, though... it's that Sunshine Wheat to wash down the Reuben and Sauerkraut sandwich I had for lunch at The Raven Cafe. And how about that "tractor pull coaster" (you may have to click the image to see it)? That right there was worth the price of lunch...Off to bed now. Tomorrow we work our way through Glacier Park before heading back to Bozeman (Uncle Jake misses his buddy Jack). Night night!

Way Cool Coffee

So here I am on a sunny wednesday morning, sitting in a very cool coffee shop called Liquid Planet. This is a one of a kind place that exists only in Missoula, MT. Not only does it offer great coffee and free wireless, but they also serve killer breakfast crepes (just as pleasing to the eyes as they are to the tastebuds). Plus you can get loose leaf teas from all over the world. And wines. And beer. And just about any other kind of drink immaginable - sodas, waters... heck, Marilyn had a great Argentinian "Matte Latte" this morning!

Latin salsa churning in the background, plenty of room to stretch your legs, lots of friendly people to chat with, and of course a very cool grizzly at the entrance. Very, very, nice - if you are in Missoula, this is definitely a place to check out!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Welcome to Missoula

It's pretty nice when your hotel sits right on the Clark's Fork. There's Malachi, at first light trying to catch a fish... Now it's high time to go find a bagel and some coffee!

While the Cat's Away...

Hey folks, Jack here! That's right - Marilyn's Sourdough Flapjack, the Cryder's wonderful yellow lab - that's me! And since they are all busy at some camp this weekend, I got to stay with good 'ol Uncle Jake for a few days. And boy, let me tell you, Uncle Jake is the real deal. He is a man's man, the dog's bark, the cat's meow... in short, he is the BEST!

Not only does he have two swell pals for me to play with (Shiloh and Strider), but he took me in and treated me like I was part of his very own family! I got to say in the house, and eat this really yummy venison stew, and then he let me wash it all down with a nice cold one. Wow. I mean, you've gotta look long and hard to find better lovin than this! And that wasn't the half of it!

Every evening he asked me sleep inside and keep him company. I think he was kind of lonely, since most of his family was gone - so rest assured I did my labrador best to comfort him and show him how much I enjoyed his hospitality. I kept a sharp lookout for any danger, and at the first sign of trouble I made sure to let him know about it. I kept his feet warm, his couches soft, his floors clean... heck, I even tried to help out with the dishes!

I know he appreciated my efforts, because he pretty much bent over backwards to make sure I was happy too - if I needed to go check on my pals, he would get up and let me out, and then when I needed to come back in to check on him, well there he was just waiting at the door for me! I mean, that's how much he cared! Wow!

Well the folks are coming by soon to pick me up, so I better go (I still need to help Uncle Jake finish up a little yardwork, and then I'm going leave him a special going away present!). Just for the record: I still love my own master better, but if I ever need to find a new home, I'm heading to Manhattan to live with good 'ol Uncle Jake!

That's all for now!

(Editor's note: evidently Master Aegidius has a slightly different perspective on Jack the house guest)