Friday, March 25, 2005
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
The eyes have it (a visual haiku)
infection means wear glasses
old prescription stinks
to update go I
one hour at a great price
lens crafters I loathe
I squint, eye waters
all blurry, my brain is numb
please give me lasik
Monday, March 21, 2005
From the shore to the rock and back
We put on our boots and strapped on our packs and took off on the Shores Lake/White Rock Loop Trail. This is a 13.4 mile loop that goes up to White Rock Mountain and then loops back around to Shores Lake. We were also planning on hiking the White Rock Rim Trail, which adds another 2.1 miles and has some amazing views. So, off we went into the woods. It was a nice day with temperatures in the 60's, but with quite a bit of wind. Thankfully, once we got into the woods the wind didn't really bother us. We hiked for a couple of hours and stopped for a late lunch next to this beautiful waterfall:
After spending some time relaxing by the falls, we took off again. It was about 3:00 by this time and we had gone about 3 miles. Our plan was to hike for another couple of hours and find a campsite at around 5 miles. This next section of the trail began to climb more aggressively (the total elevation gainfrom Shores Lake to White Rock Mountain is over 1700 feet). We passed the 5 mile mark and didn't see any areas that were suitable for camping because there were just no flat spots, so we kept hiking. We soon realized also that we weren't going to be camping near any running water either, so that made us a little nervous. However, we soon stumbled upon a tiny little stream and I filtered enough water for our dinner and breakfast the next morning. Of course, now we had to carry the extra weight of the water! It was now after 5:30 and we still hadn't seen any camping spots. Decision time. Hike on up to White Rock Mountain or camp in a less than ideal spot? We decided to hike on up to the top of White Rock. It was further than we originally intended (6 miles from Shores Lake), but well worth it. We decided to camp in the campground, but the problem was that we didn't bring any money with us. As we were hiking past the cabins, a lady on a 4-wheeler pulled up next to us and asked if we were planning on camping for the night. I told her yes, but that we didn't have any money. She said that the campground normally costs $5, but she would let us stay anyway. I guess our faces and bodies looked tired and she didn't have the heart to tell us to keep hiking to find a free spot further down the trail!
As we were setting up camp in our campsite, we were treated to a beautiful sunset, so I grabbed my camera and scrambled to the edge of the mountain to take a couple of quick shots:
Once we settled into camp, we built a nice fire and ate a tasty dinner of Ginger Sesame Pasta with Chicken. As the evening progressed, most of the campsites near us filled up with typical loud car campers. This is what I don't like about camping in a campground. The guys next to us (about 30 feet away) parked their cars facing the forest, left their headlights on and loudly searched for firewood for about an hour. Then they built a HUGE fire and proceeded to talk as loud as they could about what things they forgot to bring (like forks) and about whether they should get intoxicated before or after they set up their tent. So much for the peace and quiet of the wilderness. Do people not realize how far their voices travel when they are outside? This is why we were originally intending on backcountry camping before we got to White Rock - to avoid people. We had a nice time nonetheless. Just being outside next to a fire without cell phones, to do lists, house chores, etc. is very therapeutic, if you know what I mean.
On a side note, around midnight Elise heard the guys walk down the road towards the shelter out on the bluff (to look at the stars or something) and they were apparently pretty drunk. She experienced this moral dilemma about whether to stop them or not since the bluff is a pretty dangerous place, especially if you are intoxicated. There is a sign when you drive up to White Rock that says 7 people have died from falling off of the bluff in the past few years. Thankfully they came back intact about an hour later.
Saturday morning, we packed up and hit the trail. First, we hiked around most of the Rim Trail that circles the top of White Rock. This is a beautiful trail with nice views in every direction. There were lots of hawks riding the thermals like these:
After hiking the Rim Trail, we took off on the East Side of the loop back down to Shores Lake. It was a gorgeous day - sunny and 70 degrees! We hiked about 5.5 miles, then came to this nice little spot on a creek and decided to set up camp for the night. We got there at 2:30, so we were able to set up and have a little nap before dinner. After dinner we sat around the fire talking, enjoying the moon, stars and quiet (no drunk campers 30 feet from us).
Sunday we hiked back to our car and headed for home. This weekend came at just the right time for us to relax and unwind and the weather was splendid. Overall it was a very enjoyable experience.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Maitlyn the Artist
Maitlyn loves art. Every day she asks to color, paint or draw. She was a little bit sick on Sunday, so Elise brought her to the worship gathering of The Grove on Sunday (so she wouldn't get the other kids sick in the Greenhouse). We offered the opportunity during the service for people to create artistically on canvases around the room as a form of worship. Maitlyn didn't particpate then. However, after the service, I was talking with her and her eyes were fixed on one of the canvases. I asked her if she wanted to paint and she nodded her head while never removing her eyes from the canvas. I talked to her about how she should paint a picture for God telling Him how much she loves Him and she jumped right in and started painting.
I thought this picture captured the moment well. Good thing I had my camera.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
"Why are you scared to dream of God when it's salvation that you want?"
From the song "We Are Nowhere And It's Now" on Bright Eyes' album I'm Wide Awake And It's Morning
Conor Oberst is the brainchild of Bright Eyes, an eclectic alt-country band from Omaha. He's weird and a little tortured, but also a genius. Bright Eyes' album I'm Wide Awake And It's Morning is outstanding, in my opinion. You can check it out here.
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Where have I been?
bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...
Arkansas / California / Colorado / Florida / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maryland / Michigan / Missouri / New Mexico / Ohio / Oklahoma / Tennessee / Texas / Virginia / Washington D.C /
As for other countries, I have been only to Mexico and Canada. I have also been to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
I can't believe I used to live in Colorado (when I was about 6 months old). My parents hated it! (Am I adopted?)
Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Where Have I Been All This Time?
Alabama / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Florida / Georgia / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maryland / Michigan / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / New Mexico / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Pennsylvania / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Virginia / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C (Only 14 more states to go - I didn't include them because for some reason my font makes it hard to distinguish between bold and regular text)
United States / Canada / Mexico / Peru (Wow, I have a lot of countries left...)
Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.
Monday, March 07, 2005
Free iPod video
It really does work! Get your own free iPod by clicking here.
Teaching is and interesting proposition for me. I feel like I do a pretty good job. However, it seems like it takes a lot out of me to do it. This past week I had to work hard at preparing and getting ready. That may happen just because those "muscles" aren't in very good shape and it just takes me longer to prepare than it would if I taught more regularly (I teach about once every 3 months at The Grove). Or maybe it is something I CAN do but it isn't a part of my natural gifting. If that's the case, then I just have to live with the fact that I have to work at it more when I do it.
Anyway, in the end I felt pretty good about it.
I'm pretty excited about an upcoming backpacking trip. Elise and I (and whoever else is interested) are going backpacking sometime between March 17-21. I don't know the exact days or exact place yet, but I'm excited nonetheless. We'll probably go somewhere near the Buffalo River or maybe on the Ozark Highlands Trail. I'm just hoping that the weather stays nice. I'm getting a pretty nice dividend back from REI this year, so I'll probably buy a new piece of gear or two before the trip. I've been wanting a new canister stove for a while. I've had my eyes on the SnowPeak Giga Power, but I'll probably do some research before I decide.
It should be a great excuse to use my camera as well.
Friday, March 04, 2005
This week has been a bit of a blur. When I haven't been working, I've either been spending time with my family (albeit a limited amount of time), eating or sleeping. I did manage to find a few moments to hone my skills in the Digital Darkroom.