06 February 2014

the last few...

We are in our last days here in the incredible United States. Nostalgia aside, we have had some amazing experiences and since Christmas have left Tucson, traveled to MN, flew to Phoenix, traveled to Rapid City and then west through Oregon and south through California, where we will leave from on Sunday. SUNDAY.

Just a preview of the tons of pictures you're about to see...and yes, we were totally into selfies. Timed, walk-away selfies and hold-the-camera-out selfies. I'm not even going to feel guilty about it.

We drove through Arches National Park and saw the beauty in the rock formations and distant mountains. The park is huge and after spending an hour and driving and walking to see about 7 arches, called it good. On the way out we read in the brochure there are over 2000 arches in the whole park!!

We then met our niece in Rapid City and got to love on her for a few days and spend time with family and friends there. We got chased by winter weather on our drive to Bozeman and instead detoured to Casper, WY and then continued on to Boise, where we stayed with a dear friend and her charming children and saw my cousin, Patrick. 
From Boise we drove to central Oregon, and immediately fell in love with the quaint city of Bend, where we spent a couple of days (where all the hiking pictures are from). On our drive out of Oregon we were fortunate to be able to see stunning Crater Lake (and in the winter, even luckier!) Standing on the edge of that sure was nerve wracking!

Then we stayed in Crescent City, CA - right on the coast - and saw the jaw-dropping redwoods for the first time. And boy, will we not soon forget those! Nothing like a million pound tree to make one feel so small.

We were able to drive down the coast for a large part of our drive to Sonoma and loved the rocky views of the ocean. There were few sandy beaches and even fewer people, which made it seem like we weren't in California at all. We stopped in Sonoma as a budget-friendly alternative to Napa Valley and got to taste some wine and see a good friend from Sheppard!

From there, I dropped Tyler off at the airport in San Francisco for him to do training in FL this week and then drove north again (this time inland) and saw Misty for a night and now am enjoying staying with my friend, Buddy, and her adorable family.  
It's hard to fathom the kind of love and hospitality we have been shown the past few weeks. We have experienced so many amazing places around the Western US and reconnected with many old friends. We have been shown great kindness by old friends, and new friends we haven't even met who are preparing for our arrival in South Korea. God has shown us His love through many ways and I am so thankful I can't even find the words. 


meghan b. said...

Loved your pics! So fun to get a glimpse into your travels.

Courtney said...

Oh the Northwest. That's my neck of the woods. Now I am feeling homesick!! Such beautiful pictures. I'm so glad you got to soak up lots of time with loved ones. We are looking forward to seeing you guys on this side of the globe =)