Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Canadian Bears: Day 4

I spent ten days backpacking through the back-country of Banff and Jasper with my good friend, Jared, and the only bear we saw was a speck on the horizon.  Today we woke up early with fairy dust in the air; our destination: the Columbia Icefield.  We stopped to see Peyto Lake which was well worth the short hike.  Afterward we spotted our first black bear.  Tonya was screaming and we were all frantic trying to find our cameras.  He was walking along the road and walked within a few feet of the car, needless to say we were fumbling around.  Soon a large crowd gathered to watch him.  The bear was only feet away and fortunately for the cows (crowds) it was busy eating dandelions.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Banff National Park, Canada: Day 3

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park

We met a traveler from Scotland that told us that if we wanted to find bears we had to "stop looking for them and just look for the cows", which later we identified as "crowds".  We were determined to find a bear and despite our futile effort not to look, our minds became more focused on finding one.  Today we toured the lakes, popular tourist destinations but we took the back roads between lake sites in search of wildlife.  The last sketch of road along our journey, Grandma suggested we say a prayer.  I know it sounds ridiculous but I believe in a loving God who takes interest in our trite concerns.  Almost instantly we spotted the cows or crowds that is.  Foraging in woods were two grizzly bears.  We were able to watch them from a safe distance as they overturned rocks and logs while feeding on grass.  It was a beautiful site.  After awhile we all piled into the car and I mentioned that now all we needed to see was a wolf or badger.  Incredibly a half mile down the road an elusive wolf softly trotted across the road and into the brush.  That was incredible too.  We offered a prayer of gratitude, the importance of which I learned from my Grandpa Golden.  I think we all fell asleep with smiles on our faces that night.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Yoho & Banff National Park, Canada: Day 2

After a small detour to visit Thai On The Fly (five stars) in the outskirts of Salmon [sal-muhn] Arm, we arrived in Revelstoke to our small overprice room at the Swiss Chalet Motel (two star).  It was so small that it became comical.  We had to climb over each other to move around.  Sunday morning, we drove to church in Golden.  We pulled in right in time, only to discover that we had neglected the time zone change, which made us an hour late.  The LDS Church in Golden is small, only five members. The branch President was very nice and allowed us to partake of the sacrament.  Taylor bore a fine testimony and that was church in nutshell. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Into Canada: Day 1

The first day of our road trip we crossed over a bridge and off Whidbey Island and headed north into Canada.  Even the air seemed cleaner in Canada, yet we didn't hear a single "aye" or "cheers", that didn't happen until day two.  After a few hours into Canada we stopped in the little town of Hope to see the Othello Tunnels, where we learn about Canada's effort to thwart the aggressive Americans from monopolizing the railroad  across the Northern Continent. The tunnels are now a walking trail but back in-the-day trains past through them transporting goods and people into British Columbia.  Passenger trains would run through the gorge at night to avoid overlooking the twist and turns of deep gorge of the Othello Tunnels.

While we were off exploring the tunnels our car was ticketed.  I guess in Canada they ticket for good behavior because it was only a notice to let us know that our stuff was stashed away and locked up properly.  We received excellent marks in protecting our car from theft, which as unfortunately has become a problem in the area.  Anyway, it was my first ticket for good behavior!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Taya's Graduation

Taya graduated with honors from Coupeville High. It was my first visit to the island since she moved there. Whidbey Island is beautiful especially the town of Coupeville. The graduating class was small. It was really cool to see the attention given to each student. Before the ceremony they projected two images of each student, one childhood photo and one senior picture. They also paired each student with there best friend, so Taya got walk the procession with her best friend, Tess.  How many graduating classes can do that? Anyway, I am really proud of her and I am glad we made it... speaking of which... we walked in only seconds before the ceremony started, we almost felt like dignitaries because it seemed like the town had been waited for us. Jenny had save us seats on the front row, so we quickly walked to the front with all eyes upon us and took our seats and then ceremonies started. It was surreal.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Maggie and Payton

I really dislike taking pictures in full sunlight.  I only do it when I am forced.  Michelle asked, so I pulled out my camera shot two-hundred pictures in-full-sunlight. I thought these images captured our hour in heat of the day.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Henry's Blessing

I really have a great family.  We were sad not everyone could make it but we are grateful for everyone who made the long journey.  Henry made it through his baby blessing without screaming, which constitutes a celebration.  We had pulled pork with homemade rolls by Sara.  Michelle provided a delicious pasta salad.  Costco provide chopped fruit.  Grandma Torgerson provided yummy cookies.  We also celebrate Uncle Blake's birthday.  It was a worthy celebration.  I only wish I had more pictures.

The group minus Maggie, who wandered off

babies sleeping

Henry with Mom

Blake's birthday cake, by Sara

The Donovan boys

Maggie with Aunt and Uncles

Maggie with Mom

Thursday, June 2, 2011

First month

Henry is a month old... and we are looking forward to when he gets on a regular schedule. He enjoys being held as a remedy for his tears but when he is hungry no amount of soothing will comfort him. Maggie enjoys singing to him and giving him kisses and hugs, so much so that we have to regulate her affection. If he cries too long, she is quick to remind us that Henry is crying. The best is when they are both crying and screaming, I don't think we could have handled that a year ago but now it just seems comical.

The second child is a lot more enjoyable because we are less stressed and more relaxed. We both find ourselves laughing more at things that should be upsetting. Although, Maggie did drop Henry on his head from the couch and Sara was extremely worried, but he bounced back without anything more than a small bump.

Despite feeling slightly more experienced, we often feel exhausted and wonder what we are getting into. I don't know how anyone has more than one child.  Certainly after the first you know about the difficulties. But we ignored ours fears and dismissed logic and just did what seemed right.

“Who of us is mature enough for offspring before offspring themselves arrive? The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults.” Peter De Vries

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Okay, Henry isn't always sleeping these days. Lately he has been restless and with cold. I must say, there is nothing more beautiful than a sleeping child... especially to sleep deprived parents.