Tag Archives: Glacier_National_Park

the things we cannot see will last forever

“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.  For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!  So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”  2 Corinthians 4:16-18


The sunrise image below of the sports facility at Eastern Oregon University is a definite stretch, but I thought, wow, God’s light in the darkness, whether in a sunrise or in a light shining in the darkness, does last forever.  The scene below will disappear, and yet—What a wonderful reminder Paul gives us that there is so much more beyond the temporary, transient lives we live now. I pray we do recognize  our spirits are being renewed daily!
Eastern Oregon University, Quinn Coliseum

Lake McDonald from Sperry Chalet, Glacier National Park

The mystery of forgiveness

“I believe with all my heart that the mystery of forgiveness is the entire Gospel.  When you ‘get’ forgiveness, you get it.  We use the phrase ‘falling in love.’ I think forgiveness is almost the same thing.  It is a mystery we fall into: the mystery is God.  God forgives all for being imperfect, broken, and poor.  When we know God, we meet  a lover, not a dictator. God is never found to be an abusive father or a tyrannical mother, but always a lover who  is more than we dared hope for.  How different than the ‘account manager’ that most  people seem to worship.”  Fr Richard Rohr

Bird Woman Falls, Glacier National Park

On the way to Sperry Glacier


Some deep thoughts about forgiveness from Father Thomas Keating

“Vulnerability means to be hurt over and over again without seeking to love less, but more. Divine love is sheer vulnerability–sheer openness to giving.  Being vulnerable means loving one another as Christ loved us.  If we did not have to forgive people, we would have no way of manifesting God’s forgiveness toward us.  We pass on the mercy we ourselves have received. The best way to receive divine love is to give it away, and the more we pass it on, the more we increase our capacity to receive.”  Father Thomas Keating

Feather Woman Falls near Sperry Chalet

Hells Canyon and the Seven Devils Mts


Close encounters of the goat kind

As you know from a previous post, Meg and I enjoyed an excellent day hike from the Sperry Chalet to the Sperry Glacier. The hike climbed steadily through four levels of waterfalls and lakes, before reaching a high snow field that led the Sperry Glacier.

To reach this last level, Meg and I had to climb up through Comeau Pass, a cleft in the rock wall that had been widened to create steps.  A plastic covered steel cable provided protection and balance.  Meg was ahead a me, when she stopped and said, “Eric, there is a mountain goat looking down at me.  Who has the right of way?” Fortunately the goat was merely curious and allowed Meg to continue upwards.  I did get some memorable shots, including the last one of a young goat kid.

Moving beyond our narrow circles

“Love is like the mustard seed that grows into the tree. As the love of a married couple can shelter children and family, the love of friends can reach out to others. Prayer is a time when we can ask the Lord that our love grows and that our concern for others and for the world reaches out beyond the narrow circles of ‘our’ people.”

Feather Woman Falls, Sperry Chalet

Wallowa Lake, NE Oregon


Sperry Chalet and Sperry Glacier, Glacier National Park

Enjoy the pictures first and then the description

Feather Woman Falls

Sperry Glacier

Meg and I enjoyed an exceptional two day stay at the Sperry Chalet, nestled in a glacial cirque, 6.7 miles and 3200 feet above Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park. Here is 

a description from the Chalet’s website:
“Sperry Chalet was built in 1913 by James J. and son Louis Hill of the Great Northern Railway, the prime developer of Glacier National Park. Listed as an Historic Landmark, these rustic buildings, built of native rock, have survived their rugged environment relatively unchanged for over 90 years.

“Opened in 1914 the main buildings consist of a two story hotel building and a kitchen/dining room building. A maintenance building and a new restroom building are located between hotel and dining room buildings. Other than a modernized kitchen and the new composting restroom facility, the interiors and exteriors are much as they were built. It is a short 400 foot stroll between the dining room and the hotel building. The private guest rooms are without lights, heat or water. Flashlights are used at night as no candles or fueled lights are allowed. The dining room has a wood stove and propane lights for your comfort.”
The stay was like putting on a completely different persona. Far from the crowds, we relaxed in the quiet and gentle breezes (and noisy, active mosquitoes 🙂  Waterfalls plummeted off in the distance, sharp peaks created a shangri-la environment, and we enjoyed letting the responsibilities of home slip away.
We reveled in the most spectacular day hike we have made in all our years of hiking and backpacking.  The four and half mile trail to the Sperry Glacier rose through six levels of colorful rock and water. The geologic forces that shaped these levels of metamorphic rock and mudstone invited the eye to admire both the symmetry and the discontinuity of the layers, as well as the water that flowed from all heights and angles. 

Glacier National Park

Designated a National Park in 1910, Glacier’s million acres of pristine ecosystem is the crown jewel of the American Rockies–although its Canadian counterpart is equally spectacular. From NE Oregon, the drive takes a long day.  Meg and I arrived in the early evening.  After checking into the KOA at West Glacier, we traveled into the park, and were rewarded with rich light on McDonald Lake, and intense alpen glow on the high peaks as the sun set.  The next day was drizzling, but the overcast created its own saturated colors as we drove the Going to the Sun highway.

Most of the native plants and animals still exist here, and the vast array is overwhelming to contemplate–more than a thousand species of plants and hundreds of mammals, birds, and other animals. Sadly, with climate change, the original one hundred and fifty glaciers have diminished to twenty five, with some scientists predicting the end of this era by 2020.  Still, the rugged, glacial peaks and valleys, flowers and streams will endure, challenging the mind with their grandeur and their subtleties. 

One God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all

As Meg and I travel eastward, we have seen the landscape change from the rugged, verdant vertical of Glacier National Park, to the brown fruitful wheat flats of eastern Montana, to the hay and green dairy land on North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, the lakes of Wisconsin, and now Niagara Fall.. We see so much more variety than when we fly over this country in one brief day. Yet, we are still in the enclosed confines of a piece of machinery, lacking the intensity of times when we hike through a variety of landscapes and breathe, feel, absorb the scenery into ourselves.

And always, no matter where or how we are, the wonder remains: we are created by a living God, one who lives through us and calls us to be loving and compassionate as He is. He is indeed our peace–when we choose to accept Him fully.