Posts Tagged ‘Olympia’

Back to Normal

Back to Normal

Things are starting to get back to “normal” around here now. About four days ago we received an unnatural amount of snow for the lower Puget Sound region; estimates ranged from 12″—18″ in Olympia, WA (where we live) and some surrounding areas. While the snow is beautiful to look at as it makes everything seem to clean and serene… and it provides some fun with sledding, skiing, snowmen, and snowball wars, the long and short is that it can get tiresome and quick. And, it did.

We lived in the Northeast (Northcentral, PA and Western, NY) for most of twenty years, so we are accustomed to long seasons of heavy snowfall. The difference between living then & there and here & now is preparation and familiarity. When living in the Northeast, it was not uncommon to get a foot or more of snow with temperatures below zero and winds gusting 20—30mph and still not see roads and businesses closed or school cancellations. The type of weather there was expected; people learned to live with it and prepared accordingly so their lives would be minimally impacted. Conversely, when you do not see weather of a particular magnitude but every ten or more years, it doesn’t make practical sense to prepare and budget for it every year…you just deal with and take your lumps when they come.

That’s where we were for the past few days, dealing with our big, frozen, and no electricity lumps. We have our power back now and most roads are cleared, so life is returning to normal for the most part; however, there are still thousands of people who continue to be without power. This is serious stuff, well past the minor inconvenience stage, so prayers are welcome for restored services…

This post isn’t all about inconvenience though. The approximate two days we were without power were good days for me. I enjoyed the quiet. I enjoyed having my wife and son huddled under blankets hanging out together with me in the same room. I enjoyed our conversations and listening to them share the random thoughts that popped into their heads. I liked looking around at times to see each of us buried in a book reading… wondering what adventure they might be on in the story they were reading. I liked when the sun went down and we illuminated our dark apartment with candles and flashlights…there was something cozy and intimate about those moments. I enjoyed writing in my journal by candlelight while Laurie and Josh combined efforts to complete a jigsaw puzzle. While it might not have been four-star cuisine, it was comforting and satisfying to eat food out of a can and it was neat to be able to legitimately justify the reason for having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for every meal. I was a little bit disappointed, like when a great vacation comes to an end, when all of the sudden at the end of our second day of being “snowed in” the power came back on. While shouts of exuberant joy went forth from my wife and son, my heart sank a wee bit… knowing that this “inconvenience” was ending and now going into the memory book.

And so, we’re settling into our “back to normal.” I don’t know that I like that, back to normal… too many things it seems get taken for granted and I don’t like that I am so quick to presume, assume, and take those things for granted.

You know the things I talk about: electricity, food, the ability to come and go as you wish, the convenience of going to a store to get what you need and/or want, light, entertainment, internet…the list continues. There are other things too that we take for granted: the closeness of our family, meals together, conversations…random thoughts shared unconditionally between loved ones, hearing their dreams and their fears too…listening to them breathe while they sleep next to you. And, realizing how blessed you are and thankful that you have been reminded of things that are truly important. Snowmaggedon 2012, I will miss you and I am grateful to you for the days we had together in the quiet, in the cold, and making memories together…me, Laurie, and Josh. May we never get swallowed up in the “normal” of life, but always be ready to make the most of those sacred “abnormal” moments.

Sept-Oct Newsletter

Our latest newsletter has been posted and is available for download or online reading. You can click on the graphic to the left or you can follow this link to the archive of all the available newsletters since the beginning of our Pacific Northwest Journey. We are greatly aware of and appreciate your prayers as we continue to seek God’s direction during this season of our life. Our faith and trust in God is strong. God Bless you!

Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek

So, we’ve been living in Olympia, WA going on three months now. Most days since arriving here we’ve been able to look upon the majestic beauty of Mount Rainier. Most of these majestic views are obscured by tree lines, power lines, or urban creep… In other words, we haven’t been able to find a vantage point that revealed to us the entire scope of the Mt. Rainier experience in all its divinely inspired and created glory. Since the mountain has not come to the Bordens, the Bordens went to the mountain. Some two hours later, we arrived at the base of the mountain and once more, as we have played this visual cat and mouse game with “the mountain,” the 15,000 foot behemoth successfully evaded us again hiding itself in the wispy cloak of fog and clouds (frowny-frowning moment).

Not to be denied, we decided to ascend the mountain and take-in the sites we could as the smoky shroud teased us with its game of peek-a-boo cloaking and uncloaking of vistas and venues of the marvelous landscapes. Our never-say-die tenacity did not go unrewarded and we returned with a few digital spoils of war. So, without further ado, I’ll share the images our eyes beheld with you and tell you that we will look forward to the next day that we try to capture the image of the elusive Rainier.

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Like a “Punch in the Faith”

Like a Punch in the Faith…

So… is it more like a “punch in the face” or a “punch in the faith”??? Right now the jury is still out as I work through the latest in a string of transitions for our life in Olympia, WA. What am I talking about? Actually, I’m talking about “punching a clock face on faith…” meh. Or, something like that… All kidding aside, I started a new job today. Laurie started hers last week. With both of us in our (whispers…) “forties,” it feels a little odd starting over again. I think it was especially odd feeling for me when I was clearly one of the oldest people in the room; there was definitely a generational divide. Much to my joy, there didn’t seem to be any notice of this from the other “newbies” in my training class.

What does this have to do with faith? Everything… I think. Can I take a minute to explain? Okay, bear with me a minute.

Me = first day at work. I’m a growing (ever so gracefully) older man entering a young-adult-entry-level customer service job. My first inclination is to say; “Self, what in the world are you doing here?” I look around and begin to feel scared and/or sorry for myself. I begin to fantasize about doing anything but what I’m doing at the moment. I start to project forward in time to when I am no longer doing the work I’m doing, but something more gratifying and satisfying. Then I remember why I am where I amFaith. Faith brought me to where I am. Following Jesus brought me to Olympia. Part of Olympia is my willingness to say “yes” to God and trust His leading and His provision. Part of His provision is through my new employer. My obedience to God translates to my becoming a blessing to my employer; all of the sudden the paradigm of my predicament flip-flops and turns from destination depression to divine direction. And that’s how it happens; being led by the Spirit.

It is all too easy to follow the path of self. We do it all the time; protecting self, defending self, boasting self, exalting self, feeding self…self, self, self. However, the journey of following Jesus is about self denial and that presupposes that one scenario will exclude the other. Self cannot follow Jesus; He said so (Luke 14:25-27 and Matthew 16:24). So anyway, pushing self aside and listening instead to the Spirit we find our way to purpose and living in harmony with God. We find our way to unity with the Spirit and advancement of God’s Kingdom and His divine Purpose. And, this is where my day ended… Joyfully exuberant that God would see me feeling as though I were “punched in the face” and reminding me that I was practicing a punch in my faith. So, when I “punch my clock” each morning at my God given new job… I’ll delightfully remember that He brought me to where I am and He’ll teach me, guide me, and use me in the purposes of His choosing all for His glory. I’ll remember to leave self at home.

Olympia Move: 10 Days Later

welcomeThe Move to Olympia: 10 Days Later

We’re still getting settled… slowly but surely we’re getting settled in. We are still unpacking boxes, although it has slowed down dramatically. It’s more like; “where is such and such?” “Oh, I think I saw it in the box with blah-blah-blah.” And, then the hunt is on. In the mean time, life has been gearing up and going on. We just got cable-internet yesterday, so our communication has been hindered a bit (thus the slacking updates). Anyway…here is a summary of the past week and a half.

Deals and Details… Jehovah Jireh I

You will remember that we sold our Chevy SUV with the plan to purchase a smaller and more economical car when we arrived. We had asked for prayer that we would be discerning and wise with the direction we went. I am confident that prayer was favorably answered by God with the purchase of our “new-used” 2005 Ford Taurus. We actually ended up with a final (before tax and license) price on the Taurus for just under our selling price of the TrailBlazer! We are all pleased with the vehicle and it will suit our needs perfectly. Thank you all for your prayers and all praise to God for His provision!

We also got a “smokin’” deal (pun intended) on a gas grill. Our old grill had literally burned itself out; we like to grill a lot. We had a very small budget for the grill and I was shopping prices as we were bopping around various stores in our travels this past week. We figured that we weren’t going to get out the door for less than $129.00 for a grill and realized that price point was pretty cheap workmanship (in other words, the grill might only last a season or two at best). Fast-forward:::: We hit a Lowes and found a close-out on a higher quality grill, although the close-out price was still over our $129 budget. I went home and thought it over and decided it was a better move to stretch a little on the budget and get better quality. The next day I arrived at the Lowes and the grill had been sold. I asked if there were more in stock to find a display model still available. The sales mgr made me a deal of $120.00 for the floor model and “BAM” we were sold. But wait! There’s more… Some details on delivery and our not having a truck ensued and we dickered and bartered for a bit to finally land on a price that was over our budget when deliver was included. I thought we still made a decent deal, so went home to wait on our delivery later in the week. The next day, we happened to borrow our friend’s minivan and I thought we’d try to fit the grill in and save the delivery charges. To my surprise, the sales mgr offered to drop the price even more on the grill to a final price of $99.99!!! The original price was $269.99 and our final take home price was $99.99 netting a savings of $170.00 “WooT”

Employment… Jehovah Jireh II

Laurie and I both were able to secure employment before we “officially” landed in Olympia; what a great God of provision we have! Laurie started work this week at the front desk of an Optometrist office and has had a great week as she tells it. Not only is her work going well, but the office staff is full of Christ followers! We (Josh and I) were able to meet them (all of the staff) this week when we were invited to the Lake Fair with them for lunch. Although our time was short and very limited, we enjoyed their company and conversation.

I completed the new hire paperwork for my new job this week. I officially start and begin my eight weeks of training next week. The job will be providing technical support in a call center… déjà vu. Yes, this is where I started out 10 years ago with Adelphia. Hopefully, the old “just like riding a bike” adage will prove true in my case and I’ll be able to pick up where I left off after a brief reorientation time. Please continue to keep both Laurie and I in your prayers as we transition to our new jobs and that as we do, we will continue to reflect Jesus in all that we do.

Church, church, and church…

The pastors (Dan, Matt, Me) of the church we are planting, Trinity Community Church, met for the first time this past week. My impressions were that it was a wonderful visit and conversation. I continue to marvel at the work that God has done to bring us together and how similarly our hearts are intertwined with the vision of creating this special community. We are still waiting for God to provide the fourth pastor in our plurality of leadership, so please continue to pray for this individual (whoever it may be). Also, continue to pray that we would be sensitive to the guiding hand of God’s Holy Spirit as we press on with this wonderful vision.

We have not started to meet formally as a church… just as a leadership; although we are having community dinners with folks we have met since arriving. These meetings/dinners are providing us the opportunity to get to know one another, but we’re not actually teaching and experiencing a corporate worship environment. We are visiting local faith communities to get a feel for what God is doing in the Olympia area. I’ve had the opportunity to worship with two different communities thus far and my partners have been following this model as well. I think this will provide us with information and context for what God may have planned for TCC when we officially launch.

This past week we visited the Free Methodist Church in Olympia (Light & Life Bible Fellowship). We connected with the heart of the pastor (Larry) as he shared the message and Word of God. At the end of the service we introduced ourselves (the Borden family) to Pastor Larry and shared a time of conversation. The L&LBF church is doing some wonderful things in the Olympia community and I am encouraged by the active heart for God’s Kingdom that our Free Methodist Church has from coast to coast.


I know several of you readers have asked for photos. I am still trying to get them processed for displaying on the web and I’m also trying to get fully unpacked and “house-arranged” so we can take some pictures that don’t have boxes in them. I promise to get a faithful representation of our digs once we get all moved in… I might even be able to swing a short video. Until then, here’s a small mix of pics we’ve taken since the last day or two on the road until now.

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2,750 Miles in Seven Days: The Final Leg

2,750 Miles in Seven Days: The Final Leg

We’re here. We made it… 2,750 miles in seven days. Coast to Coast with the Holy Ghost. A lot of miles, a lot of driving, a lot of close-quarters family time… and every second of it being grateful to the Great God of Creation for allowing me to experience it. Thank You Jesus. Thank You for my wife and sons; thank You for supportive believers who are friends that pray. Thank You Jesus for the blessing of Yourself in our lives. We are grateful for all that You do, O Lord, to You alone we give our praise and thanksgiving.

All 330 miles were spent traveling the breadth of Washington State yesterday. Starting in Spokane Valley we forged on westward through the high desert plains of Eastern Washington. This was mostly farmland and tundra…very barren and flat. About two-thirds of the way to Olympia we hit one of the most beautiful places of the entire trip; the Snoqualmie Pass, between the Snoqualmie National Forest and the Wanatchee National Forest was breathtakingly spectacular in its beauty. I have had the privilege of traveling quite a bit and have seen some marvelous examples of God’s awesome creation… this ranks up there with the best. I look forward to having the opportunity to go back and spend some time hiking and really spending time in the midst of that beauty.

Nevertheless I am always with you: for you hold me by my right hand…  (Psalm 73:23)

We took in a few other awesome views along the way; the Columbia River Valley and Gorge were pretty impressive too. I was able to stop and get a few pics with my Canon DSLR at this stop. I haven’t even had the chance to look at the photos taken with my Canon yet; I can’t wait to see what I got along the way…

We hit I-5 just north of Tacoma around the rush hour. Although I was pretty tired from seven days of taming Ole Yeller, God’s Spirit gave me peace and patience. The ride through Tacoma and into Olympia was a “bumper-to-bumper” breeze. We arrived at our new home around 6:30pm PST and gave it a quick walk-through… everything was ready for move in plus there was an awesome loaf of banana bread just begging to be loved on as well. We ended the evening with dinner at our friend’s (Dan and Cassie) home enjoying an awesome lasagna and great conversation. (Thanks Dan and Cassie for the hospitality to us road-weary travelers).

One act is required — and that is all: for this one act pulls everything together and keeps everything in order… This one act is to stand with attention in your heart. (Theophan the Recluse)

Today we unpack Ole Yeller and make a new home. Your continued prayers for us are cherished. I’ll continue to update you frequently during the next few days of settling in. Blessings and Love to you all!

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Mountains, Valleys, Rivers, & Streams [Day 6]

390 Miles of Mountains, Valleys, Rivers, and Streams… [Day 6]

Wow. Six days (starting the seventh now…) on the road in about 30 square feet of living space shared by three people; this is what we call “quality” family time. For some folks this might seem like a nightmare, but it has been an experience that we will recall fondly for the remainder of our lives… hopefully I’m not just speaking for myself. We have enjoyed breathtaking beauty that could only have been created and sustained by the Hand of God, shared prayers together, made new memories together, and talked excitedly and expectantly of what our new future holds. We are grateful to God who has called us and welcome freely His Hand to work in us and through us. We are thankful for the friends and family who have upheld our journey with prayer and loving communication for the past week. We know that it is the faithful prayers of those wonderful people that has buoyed our spirit and helped us to remain riveted upon the Presence that never leaves or forsakes us. All Praise to God and may He bless those who have been a blessing to us. Amen.

Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way: the love of Christ must come before all else. You are not to act in anger or nurse a grudge. Rid your heart of all deceit. Never give a hollow greeting of peace or turn away when someone needs your love. (Rule of St Benedict 4:20-26)

Additional Shout Outs

Gotta give some serious props to a few people…

Truckers; man O man… These guys and gals don’t get enough credit. They provide much of the backbone support for keeping America running and probably don’t get near enough respect for the job they do or the logistical support they provide. So, here’s to you Truckers! You people rock. You are also much more generous and kind over the road than I have given you credit for in the past. Now that I have had the “small” experience of walking a little bit in your shoes, I understand a bit more of what you go through on a daily basis. I have a new found and deep respect for what you do and what you must endure in the course of doing your job. May God Bless you in your work and may He keep you safe as you do it.

Roadside Rest workers; you deserve a pat on the back. Thanks for keeping them clean and a pleasant oasis for us tired and bladder stretched travelers. These little outposts along the way of a long journey are often taken for granted… not by me; never again. Thank you people who work to keep them clean and welcoming.

People who keep the GPS Satellites working; thank you. I love my Garmin GPS, but without the Satellites and the people who keep them running and streaming data back to it… well, it wouldn’t be worth anything… so, you people who invent the technology and keep the stuff running to make my little Garmin so happy, THANK YOU! I’d be lost without you.

“A man who, while remembering God, respects every man, by a hidden movement of God’s hand himself receives help from every man. A man who protects the injured has God as his helper; a man who stretches his hand to aid his brother has God’s arm to support him.” (Issac of Syria)

About our travel yesterday…

On a more solemn note, we were sorrowful to miss another opportunity that we weren’t in the “know” about. As we passed through Clinton, Montana we realized it is the home of the Testicle Festival. This is certainly a grandiose affair that every person should experience at least once in a lifetime. Sadly, we won’t be in the area when the festival convenes this year. Maybe we’ll make it some other time for the delight that is lamb frys and mountain oysters (ewww).

We experienced much more of the same beauty; more majestic mountains, valleys, rivers, and streams. The view and landscape continues to change and provide us with variety for our viewing pleasure. Words do not describe the grandeur and splendor that our eyes have beheld. We have often heard how beautiful this particular area of the country is and we have not been disappointed. I only wish the photos we provide in the slideshow were a better representation of what we have seen with our own eyes.

Today will end our trip across America as we expect to pull into the port of Olympia sometime late this afternoon. We’ll update you again soon… Keep praying for us! God Bless You!

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BBQ, Fireworks, and the 4th of July [Day 5]

446 Miles, BBQ, Fireworks, and the Fourth of July [Day 5]

We departed Sundance, Wyoming with a steady drizzling rain pushing us down the road and had in mind to make Belgrade, Montana (just outside of Bozeman, MT) our goal for the day/evening. There was no real agenda or itinerary for stops or sightseeing for this day. Since it was the Fourth of July, we figured we’d make distance our holiday and push as many miles behind us as we could…I was counting on most people doing parties and cookouts and not being on the road with us. My plan worked; the road was rather barren of travelers and there wasn’t much in the way of attractions along our way for this leg of the journey.

Beautiful Panoramic Landscapes

“Lord how glorious are your works…” (Psalm 92:5)

The journey between Sundance and Belgrade was an interesting mix; there were hills, mountains, high desert, and plains. The views were incredible. We also traveled through the Crow Indian Reservation… not so majestic (sad face). We have traveled (over the years) through a number of American Indian Reservations and the ones we have experienced (Northeast, Mid-South, Southwest, and Alaska) have all been a very depressing to me. I don’t want to get all “soapboxy” about the subject, but I personally feel that we have committed atrocities and disservice to the Native Americans more than any other people group on the planet. I was especially keen to this feeling of depression as I observed the figurative juxtaposition of our own 4th of July celebration against the witness of a people without a lot of freedom, liberty, and justice. I was also reminded of some of the horrendous atrocities of the “Indian Wars” as we traveled through Little Big Horn, Custer’s Last Stand, and a few other notable battle sites. (sigh).

“Know that the Lord he is God: it is he who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people.” (Psalm 100:2)


Not much to recall on this day’s journey… One thing I can say is that my upper body and shoulders are getting extremely fatigued. It’s been five days on the road for daylight to dark and my upper body is Ti – red. I need a break or a serious massage. Fortunately, I think we will finish the drive in a couple more outings. Of course, I have to unload and unpack then, but I’m hoping for an adrenaline rush to get me through that (smile).

Ok, so here’s the highlight of the day …and it didn’t come to us until the very end of the trip.

We decided to eat in Bozeman, Montana (the choices were better according to the Garmin). We arrived around 8pm and I’m pretty whipped; my arms and shoulders are in knots and I’m pretty “flat-lined” of the brain. Seeing an Applebees Restaurant and a Famous Dave’s BBQ close together with a huge strip mall parking lot between them, I decided to pull in and park the Big Ole Yeller Truck. I pulled into an open spot in front of a Camero not noticing (at the time) there was a man sitting in the car. I wasn’t close mind you… I pulled into a spot with yellow lines on both sides of me. The Camero was pulled in perpendicular to the “lined spots” actually taking up three parking spots with his car. Fast-forward… I turned off the engine and opened up the door and Camero-man was out of his car and scowling at me. He says; “You have this whole parking lot and you have to pull up right in front of me???” This was said with little veins bulging in his temples and big veins bulging in his neck. I’m like, (calmly)… “I’m sorry, would you like me to move?” He scowled more and said “no” and then complained a bit more about my choice of parking spot… and I apologized again and asked once more if he’d like me to move the truck… this time jumping back into the seat and making motion to start the engine. He declined my offer again and hopped into his car and moved to the other side of Ole Yeller, still parking perpendicular to the lines and pointing to the strip mall.

Chapter Two

We decided to eat BBQ and had a delightful meal. We took our time and it was close to 10:00pm when we finished and just getting fully dark outside. Remember this was the 4th of July… and we were in Bozeman, MT. When we stepped outside, heading back to the truck and ready to make Belgrade, MT for the evening and our Holiday Inn Express, we were greeted to fireworks in the sky at every point of the compass. They were being shot in several locations filling the “big night sky” of Bozeman. And… The parking lot, streets, curbs, and sidewalks were FULL of People and I mean FULL. This was Camero Man’s reason for fussing at us. We had parked in an area that would obscure his view of the fireworks. Of course, being interlopers into the land of “Big Sky” and all things Bozeman, we had no clue. We get an “F” in local protocol, but Laurie said I had the attitude of Jesus when I was accosted by “Wanting-to-watch-fireworks-camero-man,” so all in all I think we were able to score a passing grade of C+ as missionaries on this evening.

Chapter Three and Epilogue

It wasn’t easy getting Ole Yeller out from the sea of people and from under the “pyrotechnic big sky of Bozeman” and we got a little twisted around to boot. The Garmin doesn’t like getting turned around in parking lots and starts freaking out like “Rainman” repeating “recalculating, recalculating, turn left then left, then.. recalculating, turn right then left, recalculating…” so, I got kinda lost and had to go about 5 miles into the gunpowder and sulfur smelling crowds of Bozeman before I could find a “recalculated route” around the congregations paying homage to the “technicolor fire gods of the sky.” In the end, we found Belgrade… the Holiday Inn Express… and a great night’s rest. I’m ready to press on to Spokane, Washington today. Pray for us as we take on the Bitterroot and Swan Mountains. God Bless!

A Certain philosopher asked St Anthony: Father, how can you be so happy when you are deprived of the consolation of books? Anthony replied: My book, O philosopher, is the nature of created things, and any time I want to read the words of God, the book is before me. (Desert Fathers: CIII)

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Forging West & National Treasures [Day 4]

Forging West & National Treasures [Day 4]

We had some stops and sightseeing detours planned for this day, so we left Oacoma, South Dakota with excitement and anticipation for what we might experience. On our agenda was Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Monument, and hopefully a much awaited change in scenery-landscape-topography (all the flatness was somewhat boring and dreary…especially when you’re trying to stay alert driving).

As we drove through these immense grassy plains I couldn’t help but wonder about the early settlers and cowboys traveling through this area… how tiny they must have felt and how lonesome it must have been; especially when they may have been traveling alone or in very small groups.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it previously, but we started seeing these road signs and billboards telling us of all the great and glorious things that could be found in the Wall Drug Store in Wall, South Dakota. To say the least, we were intrigued considering they were announcing the store’s location to us some 400 miles or more before we would arrive! We determined this MUST be a stop for us. We had to check out the Wall Drug Store (and we did).

A Change in Topography

Just West of Kadoka, South Dakota the landscape began to sprout a mesa and a rolling hill or two… I was encouraged by this little tease from Mother Nature, but it wasn’t until we got closer to Wall, SD that the topography really started to change. The grasslands turned more rocky and hilly as we entered the outer perimeter of the Badlands. I would have loved to travel the more scenic highway routes through the Badlands, but driving megaton Ole Yeller doused those thoughts and wishes putting them to rest. I refocused my attentions on the road ahead and forged on toward Mt. Rushmore. Our detour to the national landmarks of Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial did take us off the interstate and onto a more scenic drive right into the heart of the Black Hills. It was beautiful; although I was a little tight fisted driving through the twists and turns of the mountain roads… Ole Yeller straining its diesel engine to make it to the top of the peaks and then the weight of her momentum pushing us down the other sides. I was alert factor 4 during this drive…

Monumental Sights

The monuments were very cool to see and I got some (I think) good pictures with my Canon DSLR (pics in the slideshow are from my little Fuji point and shoot cam). As soon as we arrived at the Mt. Rushmore Park we were drenched in a downpour. Not to be deterred, we used the rainstorm for a lunch break and ravenously attacked a few PBJ’s courteously provided for us by our “Johnson-Girl Friends” (Thanks Meg and Nicole). The rain ended almost as quickly as it started and we were able to check out the monument and get our photos. We said our goodbyes to the stoned presidents and headed southwest for Custer, SD and the Crazy Horse Memorial. Sixteen miles later we arrived at Crazy Horse. I was a little bit bummed, because I did not realize how incomplete the work was on the monument. It is a work in progress, but I had not understood that it wasn’t further along than I had thought it might be. Nonetheless, it was cool and there was lots of interesting stuff to see in the museum areas. Our time was short here, so we took our photos…checked out a few displays, and hit the trail once again with Sturgis, SD and Sundance, Wyoming in our sights.

Sturgis was a drive-through as it just happened to be along the way. Sturgis is home of the largest motorcycle rally in North America, or so it boasts. Fortunately, it was  not scheduled during our pass through the town. We forged on with Sundance, WY as our final destination. Sundance is the place that the Sundance Kid got his name (the Sundance Kid that hung out with Butch Cassidy…). It’s a pretty little town, but there’s not much here…but it’s pretty. Little. Not much here, but pretty…

Today we’ll try to make it to Bozeman, Montana. I’ve done some mapquesting and figure we’ll be able to make Olympia by Tuesday if everything continues to progress as it has up to this point. Keep on following us and keep on praying for us. I promise your prayers are being felt as we travel. God’s Presence is heavy and we are in great spirits as we continue the journey. God Bless You!

“Continue to keep a warm love for me… I cannot be with you physically but my heart is always with you. Like me make efforts to win friends everywhere… Do not think you will ever have enough. Be bound to all, whether rich or poor, in brotherly sympathy.” (St Anselm)

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Flatlands and Farms… [Day 3]

Flatlands and Farms…

We hit the road again traveling west through the remainder of Wisconsin on our way to Minnesota planning to land in South Dakota for the evening; we had another 400+ mile day planned for our travels. The primary topography was flatlands and farmlands (agriculture, dairy, and beef). Although it was pretty, it was for the most part rather boring. There were several highlights though; as we crossed into Minnesota we saw some awesome landscapes of lakes and islands. These views were short-lived as we quickly entered the farmland territories… this would be our world for the majority of the day.

Points of Interest

I thought when we passed the MH/RV Hall of Fame Museum two days ago we might not be able to top that missed opportunity. Oh how sadly mistaken I was… we entered Minnesota and one of the first towns we encountered was Austin. “Austin” you say??? What’s so special about Austin, Minnesota? Only the Spam© capitol of the planet… that’s right, Spamtown, USA baby. And yes, we missed the chance to check out the Spam© museum. My heart is broken, but there is comfort knowing I have at least passed through this Mecca for mystery meat lovers.

Continuing our journey west we started to feel a little hungry, especially after having our taste buds teased by the lingering memories of Spamtown. We thought we’d stop off for a quick sandwich or sub and decided the next populated area would receive our patronage (no small feat in the middle of Farmville MN). We started to see signs announcing Blue Earth, MN was the next outpost of civilization, so we made preparations to exit the interstate and grab a bite to eat. What we encountered was of Giant © proportion… I didn’t know it, but we had slipped through a rift in the space-time continuum and arrived in the land of the Jolly Green Giant… no wonder there are so many farms, a dude that big has to have some kind of appetite (see pics in the slideshow below).

Flat, flat, and more flat…

The rest of the ride was without event… no other delightful points of interest, just flat, flat, and more flat straight, very straight highway. We stopped off in Mitchell, South Dakota for supper and pressed on another hour after our meal to land in Oacoma, SD for our evening layover.

Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse

Today we plan to do a little sightseeing. I want to stop off at Mt. Rushmore and take some pictures, I would also like to check out the Crazy Horse Monument too, but don’t know if I can fit that in. If we were traveling by auto, I wouldn’t hesitate, but “Big Yellow” isn’t the most road happy rider I’ve been in… so, we’ll have to play Crazy Horse by ear. Our goal to end the evening is Sundance, Wyoming. This is a pretty aggressive goal considering our plans to sightsee, but we’ll give it a shot. As always, keep us in your prayers as we keep you in ours. God Bless!

Love takes to itself the life of the loved one. The greater the love, the greater the suffering of the soul. The fuller the love, the fuller the knowledge of God. The more ardent the love, the more fervent the prayer. The more perfect the love, the holier the life.  (Staretz Silouan)

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