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  • shawnmariespry

Rocky Mountain High

Updated: Aug 3, 2019

"The Crown of the Continent", Glacier National Park, in northwest Montana, is home to Triple Divide Peak, the hydrological apex of the North American continent, where rainwater at the summit can flow to the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans--the only location in the world like this!

He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains.
A July afternoon at Avalanche Lake in Glacier National Park

Two weeks ago, the day after our 28th wedding anniversary, Scott and I piled our family into a rented Suburban and headed from Holland, Michigan--where one-third of us live--to West Glacier, Montana. A special guest joined us, our oldest son's girlfriend, Hailey; our eldest, daughter Bailey, who lives on Maui met us there.

Praise the Lord, my soul. Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

More than four-thousand miles and hundreds of hours later, we are back, full of great memories, taut muscles and lots of vitamin D thanks to cloudless skies. Praise God for family, resources to travel, safety, healthy bodies and beautiful weather. And, of course, for mountains, rivers, lakes, bison, marmot, pika, ptarmigan, mountain goat, grizzly bear and rainbow trout.

He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved. You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.

When I was young, my father instilled a deep appreciation for nature by taking us to multiple national parks. The summer of 1977 included one very memorable month-long trip, from Michigan to Arizona to Washington and back. We had six people in a truck camper, with our family of five and my paternal grandmother, sweet Grandma Lennie. Highlight: seeing the sun set from the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Lowlight: vomiting from heatstroke at my uncle's non-air-conditioned shack in the Sonoran desert, where chickens lived in his kitchen.

Visiting Uncle Fred & Aunt Mary Shellnut with Grandma Lennie on our epic out west trip, 1977

Scott and I went on a cross-country adventure the year before we became parents, traversing the country in a sporty blue Jeep, often with the top down. We hiked the Grand Tetons, came face-t0-face with a bison herd in Yellowstone National Park and watched a moose cross our path as we drove into Montana. The year before, we had the privilege of hiking with a youth group to the summit of Mt. Elbert, the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains. Being outdoors, amidst God's creation brings us both great joy.

Yeah, yeah, nice glasses...Scott and me at the lower saddle of the Grand Tetons, summer 1994

We took our family of six on a similar adventure in 2008. Scott and I were so happy to share some of our nation's natural treasures with our four kids--the Badlands and Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota; Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado; Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef in Utah; Grand Canyon in Arizona and Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. Wow, what a journey! And yet, the highlight was being with family in Phoenix, having the kids enjoy their geographically distant cousins.

A new view for us all ~ the Spry kids at the north rim of the Grand Canyon, summer 2008
But at your rebuke the waters fled, at the sound of your thunder they took to flight; they flowed over the mountains, they went down into the valleys, to the place you assigned for them.
A trip lowlight: missing the bats at Carlsbad Caverns, NM, due to rain, and having your mom make you wear a ridiculously embarrassing poncho

We are incredibly blessed, here in the the good ole' U.S of A., surrounded by natural wonders. Islands and peninsulas, Maui to Michigan, there is so much to explore! I am so thankful to our Creator for his incredible natural wonders and the absolute truth of Pslam 104 (outquotes throughout) as I revel in the memories of our past and recent adventures.

How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

Here are some photo highlights from last month, Holland, Michigan to West Glacier, Montana via the Badlands and Mt. Rushmore (heading west) and Teddy Roosevelt National Park (heading east):

I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
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