Glacier National Park – McDonald and Avalanche Lakes

After a beautiful drive from Idaho up to northern Montana…

We landed in Kalispell with so much excitement and anticipation for our adventures in Glacier National Park! Sunday, we got up bright and early to beat the crowds at Glacier! I love this national park!!!

Glacier is sort of split up into 4 separate areas and for our first day, we hung around McDonald Lake, which is the southern part and closest to Kalispell.

Up first was the Trail of the Cedars. Trees! Trees! Trees! Oh how I’ve missed you.

(It felt like we experienced all 4 seasons in our 8 hours at the park! Here’s winter haha.)

Ohhh green!!! I have about 250 pictures of just moss lol!

I never knew moss was so gorgeous! I love it. After Trail of the Cedars we moved onto Avalanche Creek Trail….

E loved this tree bark and all its colors:

And then I want you to know that I could literally hear the Hallelujah chorus when we came upon this beautiful rainforest-like oasis! After all that desert-life ….. I can’t even express what this view did for me πŸ™‚

Can you even believe those colors!? Can you see my smile from where you are !? I’m still smiling about it. The water is sooo pretty! So blue and aqua and clear… and how about that beautiful neon moss in contrast?!

I feel like we got the tiniest glimpse of what it’s like when a soul passes from the thirst and longing of this world…. to the nourishment, refreshment and satisfaction to be in Jesus’ presence and our perfect eternal home we were made for. Psalm 63 has been a long time favorite of mine and I really felt the parallel.

Oh God you are my God, Earnestly I seek you; My soul thirsts for you, My body longs for you in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Although it has been a theme of mine for the last few years to “live well-loved” … to live “nourished”… I also am very aware that the level we can live that out on earth is nothing compared to what’s ahead!!!

Our friend Sara gave us this flag and I love the verse she chose as well:

These verses are so encouraging to me. Refreshment will always come. Dry or harsh seasons will eventually turn into a season of beautiful nourishment and restoration and rejuvenation. And until it comes…. He promises to provide each and every day, no matter the season.

This all points to the FULL restoration and satisfaction we will experience someday!… where all the things of this world that seem so important now are simply burned up and forgotten. And true life can begin!

I’m learning that to “live well-loved” here on our walk home to the Lord feels and looks different in different seasons. We can always trust that God’s love doesn’t change even though life is full of changing seasons.

Would we really appreciate refreshment if we never experienced the thirst and dryness and longing of the desert?

After a year of 100 inches of rain… and water flooding 7 feet into our home…. I was so grateful for the reprieve from rain and moisture during these months of dryness and desert living!!! But I gotta tell you I felt like a paper towel as we walked through the dank forest and I could almost hear my dry lips, skin, and hair soaking up all that moisture!!!! Balance / both are needed…. rainy seasons and dry seasons.

I love water!

Poor AB got stung by a nasty wasp while on the trail. Entomologist RR thinks it was a mud wasp. But the Lord in His perfect way sent love right away. Exactly when it happened we “happened” to be around a gentleman who had ice cubes in his bag and we put one on the sting immediately. Another hiker had a sting relief pad that worked so well! Later on, we had a 3rd hiker offer us more sting relief spray at the perfect time. AB howled for most of the hike… so forget the bear bell…. we had our own “bear Belle” and I’m sure the bears were terrified to come near. I heard her muttering “why why why”. But like the Native American speaker reminded us last night… in life there always exists a marriage of opposites. When there’s loss, there’s always gain. When there’s heartache, there will be joy and love. We certainly experienced that marriage of opposites through the flood. And I pray the kids are learning this more and more…. nothing will ever be perfect…. we can focus on why why why, we can focus on what’s not good enough…. or we can cling to the Lords promises, count all our blessings, look at what we do have, and constantly seek His love.

As we continue on the road and the trailer life “newness” has worn off… and the kids start to have yearnings of what they don’t have or what was “lost”…. we are practicing daily: focus on the now, focus on what you do have, count your blessings, seek the Lord’s love.

After AB’s sting….. look at what awaited us.

Is your jaw on the floor like mine was ?

I see the Lords love. I even see His care and light literally shining down on us!!!

Life will be full of stings… and in those times especially we must look for His care and provision… like all the helpers at just the right place… and this ice-cold water just waiting for AB’s ankle:

I’m learning to accept that we will never have a perfect day… there will never be a perfect hike…. there will never be a perfect place…. there will always be misbehavior to have to confront…. or accidents… or bickering… or bad attitudes…. but that isn’t depressing to me anymore. It’s just an acceptance of the marriage of opposites. I can focus on trying to control things toward perfection…. or I can simply stop fighting it, accept each hour, count my blessings and seek His hand and heart in everything. I must say my children are SUCH good great children and our family is a loving and happy family πŸ™‚ . I just have to remember it during the hard moments.

We are all working on this moment by moment choosing of joy and thankfulness – and accepting that God is in control, we are not God…He is good and He loves us!

I’m so grateful for how the Lord is leading us and what He’s letting us practice!

On the hike back, the Lord stopped AB’s whining with this beautiful Doe and Fawn:

By the time we headed back to Lake McDonald we were in summer and loved stopping at these beautiful falls.

RR tried to edge-in but his feet went numb almost instantly ha

We just love the colors at Lake McDonald so much!! They change constantly depending on the water depth, how the sun is shining, and which direction you’re facing. It was so peaceful and gorgeous.

I have way too many pictures of the lake! These are my fave fave colors! It made me want to go back to the Caribbean!!

Was it a “perfect” day ??? No. But it was FULL of Gods beauty, love and care.

I’m so thankful for this amazing journey!

6 thoughts on “Glacier National Park – McDonald and Avalanche Lakes

  1. Beautiful place! I was just there a month ago! I loved it as it looks like you and your family did as well! Great job capturing the place in photo! And the trail of the cedars was awesome!

  2. Wendy L. Hemphill

    Loved this word of encouragement.
    And that verse in Thess…. His will isn’t complicated. So beautiful.
    Loved praying with you today. So grateful it worked out.

  3. Pam Mullen

    Such a pretty place. It’s so funny to watch you travel around the country and go from swimsuits to coats and toboggans and back to tee shirts. Sort of like our whiplash weather in eastern NC!

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