Weary Feet and a Happy Heart

This is going to be a segmented note because I’ve been traveling for nearly 3 weeks and you haven’t heard much of anything.

Leaving North Dakota

My first true day of unemployment ended up being spent at an amusement park with family. It seemed like an ironic way to be spending it, but it was great to spend some time with the Schipulls’. After that the chaos of trying to empty the house ensued. After 4 years in the house, I had stuff in every little cubby hole and corner. Every item had to be moved to somewhere, be it storage, to a new buyer, to a donation site, to the garbage, or to my car. In the midst of this chaos I wanted to be spending time with people. There were so many goodbyes, or really, “see you laters”. I’ve made a lot of good friends in my time in Fargo/Moorhead, and I’m expecting to pass through someday. The see you laters continued through Grand Forks, Minot, and Williston. My first true exploration came in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It is really a neat park. I took my bike out on a little of the Mah Dah Hay Trail and the little bit I did was fantastic. The next day was actually a race over the fully 100 miles. I contemplated it momentarily, but I am really not a good mountain biker, so I explored a few of the area forts instead.

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The next day I ventured into Montana, driving as far a Fort Peck along Highway 2. I stopped at a campground there and spent a day exploring the lake and the hydroelectric Dam. I also learned quite a bit about the dinosaurs that used to live in the area.

On Sunday I took off for Glacier. I thought I’d have a better chance of getting a campsite, but by the time I arrived they were already full. The next morning I got up early just to get a spot in the Two Medicines campground. They have this silly system where in a super busy campground you just drive around and wait for someone to leave, then grab the site. I drove around for nearly 30min and was almost ready to give up when I came across the camp host. She was amazing, she was sweet and encouraging. She convinced me that I would get a spot with patience. She was right and I got a great spot overlooking the mountains.

The next 3 days were filled with hikes to great overlooks and sweet waterfalls. The best was an 18 mile hike around Pitamakan pass and Dawson Pass. It spent about 3 miles at high elevation overlooking fantastic views. I ventured up to Many Glaciers for a day as well, but decided not to fight the campgrounds again. Instead I did a long hike to Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg Lake. Along the way I met a cool old lady named Linda. She was 70yrs old and I could hardly keep up with her. She had come down with a group of old ladies from Alberta who hike every Thursday, but none of them wanted to go as far as Linda. It was great to have company for the day. Iceberg Lake was also pretty cool as it had chunks of ice floating in it. After the hike I drove the going to the sun road at sunset.

Next I started heading toward Canada. I decided I wanted to stay another night in the USA because I had heard it was cheaper, plus I thought I’d get cell service one more time. As I was driving I passed by a beautiful lake, and there was a sign for camping. The next sign said the campground was full, but I decided to ask anyway. Right at the entrance I met the hosts, and sure enough there was 1 site remaining. I took it, went for a short hike then sat by the lake watching people play in the lake, wishing I could waterski. Later that evening I was talking to the hosts again and they actually connected me with some Canadians for a ski the next day. It was wonderful, I started the day with the best ski of the season for me. I spent all day out in the boat with them, saw sit ski in use for the first time, and gave wake surfing a try. I am extremely grateful to these new friends for allowing me to spend a day with them, and also for the camp hosts for making the connection. That evening I was sitting by the water looking at the nearly full moon reflecting on the day and the host had to yell at some people messing around on the dock. Afterwards she came over and sat with me for a couple minutes and I commented that that was the bad part of the job, and thanked her again for making my day possible. Her response was, but this is the good part of the job. The hosts were truly a sweet couple.

My campsite at Two Medicines

My campsite at Two Medicines

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Iceberg Lake

Iceberg Lake

Canadian Rockies

This section may not be fully complete since I’m still here, but so far the mountains are wonderful. I’ve been all the way from Banff to Jasper and back again. The highlight so far was definitely my little 3 day back country venture. I had given up on the concept of back country because I couldn’t get passes in Glacier, but they were available here. The gal at the info desk hooked me up with a nice low key (8-18 km/day) hike through popular campgrounds. I packed up my stuff and started off on the trek. There’s something wonderful about heading off into the woods away from civilization. There were lots of great views, but the biggest excitement came as I was approaching the first campground.

I was along the north shore of Baker Lake, not being as loud as I probably should have been when something caught my eye up to the left. I looked over and about 40 yards away was a bear. My heart started racing and my mind started running through all the instructions for bear encounters. I pulled out my bear spray, put my sunglasses on, started talking softly to him and backing away. He didn’t seem to care that I was there and cut right in front of my path to take a dip in the lake. This whole time I was backing up slowly debating what to do next, he was between me and the campground, and frankly, quite close to the campground. I was definitely praying for guidance. He didn’t swim for long before he hopped out of the water and started up my trail, coming right toward me. Now my heart was really pumping, but he still didn’t seem to care that I was there. He got within about 15 yards of me before cutting off the trail and heading off into the woods behind me. I turned around and backed slowly in the other direction. So for me, Baker Lake is known as Bear Lake. I made my way to camp and there were 4 women there whom I recounted my story to. Even in the backcountry it’s good to have people around.

A thought from the encounter; how often do you think that we are scared silly about something, when the other side doesn’t even really care that we exist? That bear was just going about his business, he didn’t care the slightest about me.

The campsite along Baker Lake was absolutely beautiful. I spent the evening reading a book by the bank, fantastic!! The next day I continued to Merlin Meadows where I connected with a couple gentlemen who were also Christians. It was an instant topic because when I came across them I was practicing my Bible memory verses to be make noise. I hiked most of the way to the Merlin Lake with them. We also wandered to around the lake and touched some snow that may or may not have been very old snow. On my last day I hiked out over deception pass which was an absolutely amazing view. I almost had a hard time hiking out because I really didn’t want to leave the area.


Another Campsite

Another Campsite

Beautiful Flowers

Beautiful Flowers


Lake Louise

Lake Louise


Do you see the bear??

Do you see the bear??


A fork in the road...

A fork in the road…

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Columbia Icefield

Columbia Icefield


Random thought

While talking to myself, as a bear deterrent, along the trail I’ve worked on memory verses, made up songs, prayed, talked to the bears, and simply talked to myself. One particular song I made up was about weary feet and a happy heart. It was a good one, I just wish I remembered how it went… This first came up at the end of my long hike in Glacier. I was thinking about how fortunate I am and how wonderful the hike was, but also how sore my feet were. This idea of weary feet and a happy heart has been recurring on additional hikes. I started thinking about the disciples walking all over the countryside with Jesus. I was thinking that they may have had similar thoughts. Can you image the excitement, joy, and amazement of seeing Jesus perform miracles and listening to his teaching on a daily basis? It also made me wonder about all of the miles between the stories that are recorded in the Bible. How many more lessons and parables do you think the disciples head? Weary feet and a happy heart, have you ever experienced this?

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5 Responses to Weary Feet and a Happy Heart

  1. Lorrie Lendvoy says:

    Great blog Kristi! Love the incredible pics. Also loving hear how God is sending kind people your way. I was thinking of you when reading the following verses recently:
    Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.~~~Ephesians 3:20-21

    Looking forward to hearing what God is telling you along this journey.


  2. Jan Hanson says:

    Kristi, your story had me mesmerized. By the time your random thought rolled around I was IN your story imaging how worn out but happy I’d be to be seeing those breathtaking, glorious vistas! Keep writing–I am looking forward to the next chapter!


  3. Abbj says:

    Thank you for sharing your adventure, I really like the “tired feet, happy heart”. Thanks for giving me good thoughts to think on. Take care!


  4. Sue Ellingson says:

    Thanks for the blog link. So glad to hear things are going so well. Your pictures are amazing!


  5. Karen Hansen says:

    Kristi, you are really a gifted writer! I love hearing about your experiences, and how God is revealing his beautiful Creation to you! Is it ok if I share your link with others? It is so uplifting, thank you for sharing this with us!!


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