Montana again - Tinus (Sunday night, 7 June '09)

I am really content.

No, I am really, really, really content.

Why? Well, a steaming cup of especially strong coffee is close at hand. My family is all close by also: each silently busy. I know God is happy with me, smiles over me and feasts on my pure delight. The intimate presence of the Holy Spirit (one of my 3 best friends…guess who the others are) adorns every inch (the USA is still on the imperial system) in and around me. And…I have just come home from the most wonderful day in Glacier National Park.

An awe inspiringly beautiful road – the "Going-to-the-sun road" – runs through the park from East to West Glacier. The middle portions of the road, are however at such altitudes that they are all but destroyed during winter. Early every summer, that part of the road is thus closed for repairs. But, bicycles are still allowed to travel to a section of the road called "the Loop," which is almost at the very center of the park, just West of the continental divide. (The continental divide is the imaginary line that runs along the Rocky mountains from North to South, from where rivers start flowing either East or West. It thus divides the North American Continent into East and West.)

So, today we took the two bikes we have (along with a third on which only Dawie can ride) and headed out for Glacier after church (which was amazingly blessed in itself!) Since there are four of us and only two bikes, Charlie and I took the first mounted shift and my parents and Dawie came walking behind. The two lane road, exclusive to cyclists this time of year, took us through paradise, beside a crystal clear river and amidst the most majestic mountains I have ever seen (and I have been to the Spitskoppe, Brandberg, Western Cape Mountain ranges and Drakensberge). We (the eldest Fourie brothers) turned around after 5 miles (exactly, about 28 minutes), having only really been on the part of the road that starts to climb for about a mile. The slight elevation we gained and the relative flatland beyond translated into a return journey to my parents of a 3.5 miles.

Then they took the bikes and we did not see them for 50 minutes. By that time, our feet had carried us to where the road starts ascending. From there, we cycled all the way up to the Loop (3 miles and 30 minutes), having gained around 350m. Sure, this doesn’t sound so hard, but for runners (I haven’t ridden a bicycle in a very long time), it is an effort worth mentioning. This entire scenic bi-athlone, took us a total of 2 hours 50 minutes. But, oh! I would do it again and again and again, even if just for the view!

So, with a tired and slightly sore, but healthy and currently comfortable body, I am content.

I am really, really, really content!

Praise the Lord!

The last time I felt like this was on the Alaska cruise…

P.S. My mother had our camera with her, so for photos, you'll have to wait for her post. Sorry.

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