Aug 28 2012

Day 1235: The Whirlwind Heads East

by andrew

I have probably overused this word picture, but a vocabularic laziness compels me to to search no further than the characterization of our time in Colorado as a whirlwind. And it is coming to an abrupt close – sooner than we originally anticipated – as Father YHWH has laid it on our hearts to head east to Pennsylvania within a particular timing. Actually, in many ways the return east is long overdue and we have missed our friends and family in Messiah there tremendously. It’s hard to believe that it has basically been 2 years since we were last there. So much has changed. It will be difficult in ways and a joy in so many others. There is grief mingled with triumph. Unanswerable questions mixed hope. We have not been back since dear friends lost their young adult son just over a year ago, and since other dear friends have been struggling with cancer in the family. It is sobering. Humbling. In many ways I feel inadequate for whatever awaits, but I cling to the hope that Abba YHWH will somehow be able to communicate some small portion of His vast love through us.

We are also eager to visit and reconnect with a few dear friends along the way in the process… time will be so short, so the visits will be regrettably brief, but it will be wonderful to see some faces that it has literally been years since last we met.

And now for the scribal tasks at hand, I suppose it is important to set down at least some of the highlights from our amazing and incredibly full time near Denver, CO for the record.

Actually, there are a few things I’d first like to remember about the trip down from Manitoba to Colorado. I’m sure some of the memories already grow dull, but it was at once glorious and trying to be back on the road. We had an amazing time with our family in Messiah in southern Manitoba before finally leaving Canada. We swam in the river, enjoyed amazing Shabbat fellowship, and Bennah had his first mikveh. Once we hit the road there were other things like the familiar wal-mart sleep overs and brutal hot weather inspiring failed attempts to recharge the AC in the truck eating into travel cash that was already extremely (as in harrowingly) tight. The campground we found the night before we reached Denver with the swimming pool and diving board and the fun we had there. Not knowing where we would stay once we reached Denver and by all appearances the options were non-existent, but on arrival day finding an opening at the first campground close enough to the city to be worth stopping at. Having no money left, but little projects coming in and paying out just in time for us to cover gas or groceries or campground fees by YHWH’s provision.

We arrived in early July, just in time for Kenn’s bachelor weekend which was the goal of pushing so hard on the drive down in the first place. We arrived on Jul 5th (Thurs) and that same night I headed up to the mountains near Breckenridge with Kenn and two of his closest buddies. I had been having an internal debate about whether to head up so soon or go up the next night to settle a little more with my family first. But I was soon very thankful and blessed to have that extra time with those three awesome guys. Father gave us some amazing conversations and experiences before the others headed up. Overall it was an amazing weekend that I quasi-documented in imagery here (this is in Kenn’s Photo Album on Facebook, but I’ll eventually get those and more uploaded to my smugmug account too).

After that everything is a blur:

  • Building a new company (still in process) – Never Settle
  • Working freelance projects to keep the bills paid
  • Catching up with friends and family
  • Hot afternoon swims in a local river
    Bennah and Zach racing in the river
  • An amazing new friendship that sprung out of getting our truck worked on at a particular shop after some biking and flat tire adventures with Bennah
  • Hopping around multiple campgrounds and discovering Clear Creek RV Park in Golden, CO that became our easy favorite in the entire area… they don’t take reservations, are always full, and have a 14-day max stay at a time, so there’s a system and and a few tricks to getting in and returning – but so worth it (even with the minor inconvenience of early morning registrations and spending a couple days on an electric only site waiting for a full-hookup site to open up).
  • Tubing down the creek
  • Late night photo and video adventures

    Panorama of Golden, Denver, and surrounding areas

    Panorama of Golden, Denver, and surrounding areas

  • Replacing the right rear leaf springs on the trailer the day we were supposed to leave the Clear Creek RV campground after our 14 day max

    Replacing the rear leafs

    Replacing the rear leafs

  • Having class year grade graduation

    School Year Class / Grade Graduations

    School Year Class / Grade Graduations

  • Exploring some Colorado mining areas

    Old Mineshaft

    Old Mineshaft

  • Of course, Kenn and Megan’s wedding – which was one of the huge reasons for our time here this summer, with the bonus of celebrating our 12th anniversary overnight in Loveland, CO after the wedding festivities which were amazing. It was a unique and beautiful privilege I had to officiate the wedding and observe all the preparation, excitement, and ceremony from that vantage point. What a powerful picture and reminder of our coming bridegroom, Messiah, and King and the Wedding Feast that is to come. I enjoyed the celebration aspects all the more having walked through the “birthing” of the ceremony with the incredible couple. It was a joy to participate and also a relief when it was over – rejoicing in the reflection of Kenn & Megan’s hearts and personalities manifested in the public expression  of their covenants to YHWH their Creator and commitments to each other in their beautiful vows.
  • And all the other photographic moments:

Apr 7 2012

Feasting in Winnipegosis

by renee

I’m sitting here with a coffee and a leftover brownie, basking in the sleepiness from a very late night and memories from a wonderful Passover last night shared with family and friends.

One of the advantages of being in an actual house, is being able to host dinners and events. I really enjoy hosting and love serving people. To see full bellies and lots of smiles is the reward for me. Living in a trailer has hindered the ability to host. Although we have attempted with success on occasion. Of course, hosting comfortably while in a trailer generally has to be done outside (we have done it inside and our guests have been very accommodating even though they didn’t have much elbow room). We have had another family of 5 over for a sleepover and it worked. We have had rotisserie over a campfire for a large group, and even with my small kitchen, have fed large groups of people. I just have to be creative. Oh, those were the days. We’ve been in this house for 5 months now and I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to live on the road.

We are still planning to move back into our trailer, but are waiting to save up a little money first before we hit the road again. We’ve not sure how long that will take since we haven’t had any extra to save lately. We’re trusting that when we’re supposed to leave, we’ll have the funds to do so. In the meantime, we are really enjoying the house, the town, the people and Yahweh’s plan. Yah’s plans are more often than not, different than our own plans. I’ve been stretched personally and challenged many times to just rely on His purposes and timing and just let my own expectations go.

But, back to last night. 🙂 We had 4 other families over to share in passover with us. The lamb took a bit longer to cook than I anticipated so, we began later than I had hoped (another challenge to let go of my own expectations) but trusted in Yah’s timing for everything. We started off the night by mounting a mazuzah on our doorpost. Yes, this is just a traditional jewish way of interpreting the scripture to “write His word on your doorpost.” We had this mazuzah for years and never used it. It was a handmade gift and is very beautiful but I had reservations about using it since it is “jewish tradition.” I had wanted to literally write scripture on my doorpost, but have never gotten around to it. This year, the idea of mounting the Mazuzah seemed cool. Contained in this little decorative wooden box, is a small paper scroll with the “Shema” passage (Deuteronomy 6:4-9), in which Yah commands us to keep His words constantly in our minds and in our hearts. The scroll also contains another passage (Deuteronomy 11:13). It is not a superstition but is simply a decorative way to obey Deuteronomy, 6:9 (And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house, and on your gates). We broke bread and drank wine in remembrance of What Yahweh’s son did for us, and shared a wonderful meal together. Andrew read some scripture and we had some good discussion and people shared some of their personal testimonies and experiences. The discussion got late and although it didn’t really feel that late, after everyone left, it felt really good to go to bed.

Thank you to everyone who was able to come and share in this very special feast with us. To the rest of our spiritual family, we remembered you last night, we love and miss you and are so thankful for you and your friendship and encouragement. Blessings and Happy Feast!

Jan 30 2012


by andrew

Time is a funny thing. Take for instance the time that I am spending to write this when perhaps I should be sleeping. From a certain vantage point this time could be better spent. And from another, this is the best way to spend it.

For some reason this day culminated in a peculiar sequence of events and observations that might have otherwise gone unnoticed if it hadn’t been for the curious case of Benjamin Button. Do you ever notice that? How some days more than others just seem to be trying to communicate a particular message all their own. Maybe every day should be like that and it is only certain days that we’re actually listening carefully enough to catch it. And then again maybe some days just shout their message more loudly than others.

So much time has passed since last I wrote. That must be some sort of psychological hurdle that ironically prevents me from writing more frequently until finally some sort of unavoidable inspiration overcomes the inertia of all the things that have passed unrecorded and I have no choice but to but to let it all come flowing out in a colorful outburst laden with weightier harmonies than any routine life-stenography could carry.

Today was dripping violently with Time saturation as though the last few months have been soaking in it and someone finally decided to raise it high with discovery’s expectation for how much It held and how long it would take to drip out.

I have been driving myself hard the last few months particularly with work. It’s easy to do as I love what I’m good at and there’s no shortage of things to demand my particular zeal for stubborn problem solving. But in the middle of that seemingly inescapable and delightful storm also comes the burden of feeling like my other priorities – some of them like family, which are far more important – are just getting the left-overs of me at best. And while I know that the blessings of my work at home situation afford me much greater flexibility and more time with my wife and kids than most, it still doesn’t feel like enough – it feels like I should have more for them and less for work. What do we allow to devour our time?

We were clearly past due for a vacation and what better way to spend it than a weekend-long prophecy seminar about the End Times, some time catching up with family and friends, and a solid day of shopping in Winnipeg? Yes, when we returned home after almost a week I knew that we had a great vacation because we needed another. Time.

But the healthiest part was going (nearly) cold turkey on work for a bit. Of course this means that I’m having to drag myself past some reluctance to build up steam again, but I think that this is a good thing too and will hopefully help me strike a fresh and more stable balance as things settle out once more.

And then there are video games. Ah how quickly dormant passions resurface when the right conditions conspire to release them: the placebo of an outlet that involves problem solving of a very different sort than the routine, a new facilitator (iPad ironically purchased solely for work at the first), and the excuse of vacation time. If you don’t understand how I can connect the concepts of Passion and Gaming, then you have somewhat to learn about the authentically male heart. In perfect Eldredge-ian philosophy (most of which I believe is very very truthful) I can recognize that hours and hours poured into colonizing planets, designing and commanding fleets of ships, and taking over the universe one star system at a time Is really nothing more than my male heart seeking a visceral kingdom building experience. And yet that is Time that completely evaporates, and there is a real Kingdom to build, and the mind knows this even as the spirit knows that Kingdom is far more real and adventurous than even the most cleverly crafted game. Ah but we we like our instant gratification don’t we? There’s nothing quite like starting with only one planet and no technology and in the span of a few near-all-nighters defeating 4 other alien species for domination of the universe.

There is nothing like the innocent disappointment of a child who missed out on some enjoyment of an incredible moment in life because it didn’t match their expectations of how it was going to or should unfold to drive home the lesson that every moment in Time is precious and if we are constantly requiring them to fit our preconceptions of how they ought to play out then we will be constantly let down. Today reminded me that Time is not something we can place demands upon, but that we will also have a far superior experience within its confines if we decide to make the most of it and savor. This was essentially the encouragement and warning I gave Reayah. It was also the wisdom shared by Renee’s grandmother at the girl’s Tea Party that Renee and the girls hosted here while the boys and I holed up upstairs and did guy things.

Then today my laptop power supply fried out. It was the oddest thing. The failure caused a fluctuation in the power of other things plugged into the same power supply, accompanied by a faint pop and the smell of toasted electronics though it took me a minute or two to figure out what had happened. (Almost) nothing lasts forever and Time claims many things. In the instance that I figured out what had happened, the implications threatened to choke me. Thankfully the power supply for my old laptop turned out to have the same exact watts, amps, and plug size, and I can use that until the new one arrives.

As if attempting to tie all those threads into a final tapestry from the day, Renee decided she was going to watch a movie tonight and it was going to be The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. For all it’s shortcomings it’s still an excellent thought-provoker and I found one thing in particular resonating quite deeply: “when it comes to the end [of a particular plan, of a day, of a season, of a life], you have to let it go.”

How true. Seems like there was more I had intended to write, but coming to the end of this post I am discovering that my brain is using Time less and less efficiently the longer I keep at this and I too have to let it go.

Nov 13 2011

Life in Winnipegosis

by renee

So, we’ve been in one place since April. That’s hard to believe. We have had a couple little weekend and a 2 week-long trips during that time but always returned to our little spot in front of Leon’s work shop and beside the barn where Lewis the Llama and Pixie the horse are always wondering around. Last week, as Andrew wrote, we moved from our trailer into an old, but warm 3 bedroom house in town. We loved being at Leon & Jenn’s but it was getting too cold and instead of heading south for the winter this year, we felt we were supposed to stick around. This week, it became winter officially. The temperatures have dropped (and will keep dropping) and the snow is here to stay. Being in a cozy house with lots of room for the kids to frolic makes me almost welcome the cold winter weather. For after playing a while in the snow, or a long walk to the library and back, we can leisurely take off our boots and coats with plenty of elbow room and enjoy the rest of the day indoors, sipping hot cocoa, playing games and doing more school (winter is a great time to get more school done-less time outside)!

I can say that I have become a country girl. I really love it here. I loved the spring when the snow was melting and people starting riding their quads, and the town got together to work to sandbag around the lake again. After it dried up a bit, we’d pass the tractors and other farm vehicles along the highway and wave to the farmers as they started planting. The summer was a blur, gardening and enjoying the sun. The fields were golden yellow and comforting. Fall brought out the big combines that took up the whole shoulder and your lane and some of the far lane, but around here, there was never any traffic so it was always easy to pass them and the kids made sure to wave as we were going by.

Now, winter is here. After this season is over, we’ll have stayed here a full year. One whole year in one spot. Nice. We’ll see how anxious we are to start traveling again in the spring. Andrew wants to be in Colorado for the spring/summer next year, which will be nice, although I can say already that I’ll miss this place.

I love Winnipegosis. I love the size. Even in such a small town (630), there are many stores here where you can find almost anything you’re looking for without having to drive to the large town 30 minutes away. There are two grocery stores, a hardware store, a Chinese restaurant, a hospital, a hotel, 2 banks, a pharmacy, service shops, real estate, salons, and a fire station with the only pink fire truck in Canada! I love the little library, which is as big as our living room but Zach thinks it’s the best library ever, since we did some cool crafts and played a few games there in the summer and he can take home a new bookmark and stickers after every visit. They can also order in any book I request.

I love the way people wave you when you pass them, whether they know you or not. I love the feeling of community. Even though we might not know many people here yet, many people know of us and have heard of us. Yes, people talk and gossip, but it seems to me so far that it’s more of just talking about what’s going on around town, and not malicious. I feel that if anything ever happened to us or if we really needed help, we would have lots of people come and help. We’ve felt that with many of the places we’ve visited and groups we’ve become a part of. We are so blessed and thankful to have so many people in our lives who we can love and trust like family and who love us. Many of them are not near us and are missed.

After a week of being in the house, we still need to move a few things from the trailer yet, and then do a thorough cleaning and winterizing. I’m planning to paint a few rooms in the house, just to make it more personal. Andrew rolls his eyes at me and smiles when I tell him what I’d like to do and try to explain to him, from an artist’s perspective he importance of colour in our lives.

I’ve used about half the tomatoes we harvested for sauce but still have many more to can or freeze. I need to can my beets as well. They are getting soft. We have a lot of storage space in the basement for food supplies that will come in handy and be important especially during the winter when blizzards and electrical outages and other inconveniences could prevent or limit our access to outside supplies.

Have a blessed weekend! oxoxo

Jul 15 2011

The last 3 months in Winnipegosis

by renee

I started writing this about a month ago. It takes me a while to finish anything lately. I have many projects waiting to be completed and goals to accomplish. One of the biggest goals I had this spring, was to have a garden. We planted 3 gardens this year. Or, I should say, we are sharing 3 gaardens. My grandparents just recently moved into an assisted living complex so I was offered the use of their garden. I planted some things for myself, but I started it mostly for my aunt and her family who live in Churchill, Manitoba but spend the summer in Winnipegosis. They have since mostly taken over the job of weeding and watering. They leave end of August and while they can enjoy some things while they’re here, I really hope they have at least some squash to take back with them. Another of my aunts, a veteran gardener is graciously sharing her enormous and delicious garden with us. We are also sharing Leon & Jen’s wonderful garden as well. The kids have worked very hard this year planting and now weeding. It has been rewarding for me to share in their excitement at seeing the corn growing almost as tall as them already, the little carrot tops finally poking up through the soil and being able to nibble the lettuce and beet leaves while they work. This year we planted herbs, carrots, lettuce, spinach, kale, beets, tomatoes, potatoes, a few varieties of squash, cucumbers, beans, peas and onions. Between the three gardens, we are hoping for an abundance of food to store, share and save for seeds. We spent a couple of weeks in Winnipeg, at the end of June, visiting with my family. We wanted to stay longer, but I wanted to get back to the gardens. Two weeks is a long time for weeds to grow! I ended up having to replant the lettuce, spinach and carrots in my aunt’s garden, but everything else survived.

We’ve had many adventures already in the three months we’ve been here. Since we arrived in April, we’ve experienced a blizzard, cool spring weather, thunderstorms, flooding, ticks, mosquitos, and now the heat of the summer. The hot temperatures have killed off most of the mosquitos (yay!) and persuaded the kids to cool off in the pool pretty much every day. The evenings are almost always cool and pleasant.

Last month we had friends come and visit and just enjoy the day, fellowshipping  together. The women went on a quad ride led by Jen, the veteran quad-er. Knowing all the paths and deep water holes to take us through, she led us in and around their property and across the highway along the river. I wasn’t sure how I was going to like it, but ending up really enjoying it, even though I did run right into a barbed wire fence. The shiny new quad got a scratch and I was a little embarrassed but got over it. It’s such a different way to enjoy the wide open country, and darned if I’m not turning into a bit of a red-neck!

We love our family and friends that are here have really started to enjoy the “Village on the Lake”, even though the lake has almost taken over the poor village this spring. Bible camp was cancelled this year on account of flooding, which was a big disappointment for the kids but with the almost limitless possibilities for them here already, they got over it. We (or mostly they) swim in the pool, go for walks in the pasture, explore the junkyard, build forts, go for quad rides, jump on the trampoline, drive to town for treats and visit family and friends.

We are still doing school nearly every day but only one subject a day, math or writing, just to keep their mind from turning to mush over the summer. We have taken the summer off in the past only to discover that they have forgotten almost everything they have learned in the previous year and I’ve had to teach them some things over again, or it takes them way too long to adjust to school schedule again. If we continue through the summer, it’s not so difficult to start again in the fall.

Well, I have now finally, after 3 months, accomplished another goal tonight: finishing a blog! My next goal will be to not wait so long before I write the next one.


May 23 2011

Three Weeks Later

by andrew

Well, in the 3 weeks that have elapsed since my back became a confounding component of every day life, adventure has still managed to hunt me down from time to time. I’ve usually paid for it the next day, but am still figuring out how quickly (or not) I can force a return to normality. Daily lower back yoga stretches (thanks again brother D for the recommendations) and natural bromelain / turmeric capsules have been helping quite a bit. Never fast enough, but definitely progress.

I can summarize the last few weeks by the events that my back has not appreciated.

Leon and I thought we’d head out for a leisurely evening of knocking down trees along what will become our driveway. As many a good tractor adventure has wound up, we broke through a soft patch and got quite stuck. The mud pit got the better of our heroic attempts for an hour or so to rescue the thing. So, we were doomed to head back the next rainy evening to pull it out with an even bigger tractor.

This worked out to be a blessing because the only way to get the big tractor out was directly through the woods along the path where the bigger trees were. With the soft ground it pushed them right down no problem and the driveway was officially carved.

Once the weather cleared up and everything started drying out rapidly from the warm, sunny weather I made several trips back there to start limbing and chopping up all the trees. We’ll have to get an estimate on what it will take to build up the driveway and dig the substantial drainage ditches that will have to go in. But here’s a few shots of the lot and the path we carved, and the beginning of the clearing effort:

Overall view facing east. The gap in the trees will be the driveway.

The highlighted greenish patch is the building site and the gap again is the future drive.

The chopping and clearing project.

And on top of all that I have edited and uploaded Episode 11 of Journeys and created dated posts for every previous episode, AND updated The Movie page to list them all out for quick reference.

Apr 11 2011

Day 730: The End is the Beginning

by andrew

I wish I could convey the immense import behind the (humanly) unplanned, colossal culmination of crossing the border back into Canada on April 11th upon completing our family mission to visit all 4 corners of the United States exactly 2 years to the day after we originally departed Virginia on April 11th 2009.


YHWH our Father in the heavens has without fail secured our path on every mile of this amazing Journey. For the last several weeks – despite continual rains on the west coast and some more dicey weather in parts – we have had sunny weather every single departure day. We’ve hit some weather on the road, but always way milder than forecasted. And the Provisions along the way have been even more specific and personal than just the weather on every given day.

Today we drove northward up through beautiful BC. Jasper tomorrow perhaps. Eastward to Manitoba. A new season begins, and with it many uncertainties and questions that we know will find doors opening in their time.


2 years. I am feeling inordinately sentimental at the moment. Or maybe it’s just too warm here in the 24-hr Denny’s with wifi that I walked to from the Wal-Mart next door here in Quesnel (“Que-nel” for all you tourists) BC.

Joy was a baby when we left. This is the only life she knows and has no context for what life in a “house” is like. Now she thinks she’s 4. And it’s hard to prove she’s not. Jaiden barely had a vocabulary, but his laugh is the same. Zach still jumps off of everything despite our futile efforts to extend the life of our trailer interior, but he has started school and grown up in so many other ways during this time. Reayah and Bennah have blossomed in numerous areas. They’ve mastered bike-riding, scrambled up scree cliffs, built forts throughout the continent… I better not start lest I spend the rest of the night listing.  It’s hard to imagine them 2 years ago.

I almost can’t remember what normal used to be. This is normal now, and it will keep changing, just the way I like it. I feel like we are discovering a life story that was written for us from the beginning of time. Rather than muting our free-will it intensifies it. All of our decisions – especially the second-guessed or uncertain or even less than ideal ones – are met with plot twists that keep the story interesting. It is a wonderful epic treasure hunt where the hidden prizes and rewards are things that haven’t even occurred to our searching imaginations: new relationships, breathtaking geographies, self-discovery, family bonding to a degree that’s hard even for us to realize and appreciate consciously much less express to others, memories whose imagery fades but which pull our spiritual roots deeper and deeper, anticipation, letting go, learning… to keep moving.

Life is moving. Whether across the continent physically or in your own personal development, perspective, and spiritual universe. Growth. Why do we crave new things? How can we be quenched?

Life is a quest for the elusive infinite.

Journey is a verb too after all.

Mar 26 2011

Day 714: Sabbath from Adventure

by andrew

I should have known we were in for an awesome and eventful trip when it took us 2 hours to dig and push and back our truck and trailer out of the mud hole that had formed over the several rainy days that led up to our departure. We were finally able to back out through a meticulous method that involved rotating 4 large scrap pieces of plywood, mulch, and 4 lo.

We had an amazing few weeks parked at friends southeast of Fresno, CA. Thanks again for everything! It was an incredible blessing to get to know you and participate in the fellowship there. We so enjoyed the area and the kids were right at home with enough country to receive their energy.

There was a beautiful break in the weather on the day we had decided to leave. It was warm and sunny despite days of rain before and days of rain forecasted for after. Even so it was 6pm by the time we finally pulled away, and it looked like we’d be driving for days in the rain. It was mostly cloudy for the next few days, and we did drive through some rain, but for the most part everywhere we went it had either  stopped raining or waited to start until we were settled for the night. Roads were clear and traffic was mild.

This was a really busy business week with lots of work and phone conferences and such, but it worked out perfectly every time. One morning we found a mall for Renee and the kids to stay occupied while I hopped on the internet at Starbucks in Barnes & Noble to do my calls and emails. Another morning there happened to be a Starbucks across the street from the Wal-Mart we parked at for the night, which let me get on some other scheduled calls. The children were amazing through it all. In fact, I think this was by far the best 4-day stretch of travelling where all of us stayed more or less in the Shalom Zone. Maybe it helped that all the kids were at various stages of being sick which blunted their normal energy levels.

We had been praying that the rig would make it without too much trouble through the mountains of northern California on I-5. We didn’t know how bad the climbs would be, but have had issues with the turbo in the past so it was an unknown. Everything mechanical functioned beautifully.

I had checked roads and chain restrictions a couple days before and everything looked clear, but the night before we got there a major storm blew in just north of Redding and dropped a bunch of snow and triggered not only a chain requirement but check point as well. And there was another storm system blowing in that night that was going to drop more ice and snow in the mountains we had to cross. We had a narrow window.

But we didn’t have chains. Seeing the signs we stopped in Redding and started looking. I had called around a few weeks earlier looking for some before because we might have needed them to go see the sequoias (we didn’t) but no one had our size. So, it was a small miracle when we found a Wal-Mart near by in Redding that had some even though they had been selling them all day. Thus acquired, we went along our merry way only to run into a 6-mile long line waiting to go through the check-point.

There was a sign that said cars left lane trucks and trailers right lane. So, we sweated it out a bit with the commercial trucks while other cars flew past us on the left. After an hour went by and we had only covered 2 miles it was closing in on 5pm and we had several hours of crossing mountains and it was going to get dark and dangerous. I decided that trucks and trailers meant commercial vehicles and broke out of the mold onto the left lane. We cruised on past the 3-4 mile long, unbroken line of semis with their cargo, and got to the check-point where everything was down to 1 lane anyway. It was really an inefficient and poorly and handled operation.

With that we were on our way and into some interesting driving. We hit some rain, but the roads were ok. We got over the worst of the I-5 CA mountains and tucked in for the night at about 3000 ft. I pulled almost an all-nighter working, and when I went to bed at 5am it had started snowing massive beautiful flakes in torrents. Interesting.

We got going about noon, and it was still snowing even though it had warmed up to the high 30s. Roads were slushy. We knew this was a big travel day. We had over 300 miles to go including the steepest and highest parts of I-5 and most of Oregon to drive across. It was a pretty intense day but YHWH protected us as we cautiously tackled the mountains through southern OR at times in heavy snow (though the roads were staying fairly clear). When we crossed the highest point along I-5 which runs the whole length of the west coast from Seattle to San Diego we were elated. Downhill was tougher in a lot ways, so I kept it slow.

We even found a Chipotle – a family favorite that we miss in areas which don’t have them – as we got close to Portland. We pulled into our reserved site about 9pm… tired, but extremely thankful. We’re having a lo-key weekend, catching up on rest and, now that Sabbath has ended, a bit of chores and work. We’re looking forward to spending some time with family in Portland and are glad we could be here to attend my Granny’s memorial service on Friday as we head further north shortly after that.

Having written all this it feels like I’ve just captured the emotionless details of our travels somewhat like an historian might have written about the ancient Greeks. But I wish I could convey to you the sublime experience of living through so many little miracles every day – all the things we need along the road whether we’ve planned for them or not – Father YHWH provides in perfect timing. It was painfully hard to get moving again after being at our friends for 6 weeks, and while I’m thankful to be parked again for a short bit, nothing compares to the wilderness of the journey.