Whitefish, Montana - 24 May - 12 June 2009 (Chrisna)

For the first time on this trip, I was quite sad to leave. Every time we clean, pack and go, I do feel somewhat sad, but also satisfied, content and ready to leave, because it is time to move on. This time however it was different: I experienced an unsuspected sadness and slowness in my packing, a feeling of "I'm not so ready to leave yet." I was most definitely satisfied and content, but it was such a special time and place, that I almost wished it could go on and on and on... I at one stage told Dawie that I can stay in Whitefish - like permanently, and he wisely pointed out that I won't make it , it's way too cold. That of course is true, because we were there when summer started already, schools closed for the summer holidays (for 3 whole months!) and our temperatures in the middle of the day every day were colder than the temperatures in early evening in Windhoek, Namibia - and it is winter there (and a cold one they say!) So yes, Dawie was right, I will not survive there (unless I pad myself to look like a Michellen tyre Man daily and stay inside the centrally heated house). But still, I was sad to leave. Why?

Because it was so "nice" being there. Oh that word says so little, but it seems the right word. For now it is a summary of the natural beauty of the place, the relaxed atmosphere of the town, the quietness, the peace, the town being so small- you can walk anywhere, the special church we've attended, the friends we made, the beautiful sunsets at 21h30 over the lake, the slow life, even going there along the scenic train ride... I can go on, but I will stick to it was very nice.

With Some input of Wisdom in the beginning of our stay, we all had to give in goals/commitments as to what must be finished/done in our time in Whitefish. That was good, because the danger exists that one can think there is plenty of time and not so much to do, that at the end you do nothing! So, we all had goals and we had (as in all other places) our list of "things to see/visit" . I am glad to report that (almost) everything was accomplished. This prove that unfinished lists was not my reason for not being ready to leave. The reason was purely because it was so nice, and I wanted to have more of it! (I have snapped out of it by now, but it was still very special)

So, what did we do? Mostly walked slowly through the days- soaking in each other's company , God's Presense and the beauty of nature surrounding us, (and of course working on our "to do lists") AND then we also walked -literally I mean! Or in American dialect, we hiked. We hiked a lot...

I've decided that if any one will ask me in future how we travel around the world, I will tell them "we walked". I do think that we (almost) have covered the distance that a circle around the earth will be. If I look at our shoes and feel my legs at times, I'm pretty sure that we are close to completing that circle. Long distances have been covered in Switzerland, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and especially in America (mostly because in other places we could still afford other tourist excursions as well, but here we do the only thing that is free: we hike) And I must add: we enjoy it!

We thoroughly enjoyed and feasted our eyes in National Glacier Park. It is in the same category of the Grand Canyon, but completely the opposite. Very high mountains, snow covered mountain tops, water everywhere: streams, rivers, waterfalls, lakes and green, all shades of it: trees, plants and wildflowers. We did not only see this from a comfortable car seat, but from ground level, as we hiked. We went up mountains to heights of 3000 ft(right to the Continental Divide) and down valleys. We walked over rocky roads and through ice cold water, we even hiked on snow covered footpaths(or let me rater say, where we thought the path to be) and in pinetree forests, but where ever we went, it was always upwards, higher and higher. I absolutely agree with the wall plague we saw in a shop: "When you see a man on the top of a mountain, remember, he did not fall there." That is true both literally and symbolically. Only persistent, hard work gets you to the top!

We went twice to the Four Square Gospel Church and had very special meetings there. We were also blessed by being invited for dinner at the pastor's (Paul and Angelita Ogle's) house the 1st Wednesday evening and again for breakfast the next Wednesday. It was a BIG spoil and times of blessed fellowship. It is so precious to experience true friendship in such a short period of time, and the reason because of the Unity we have in Christ.

Montana calls themselves "Big sky country" and "The best kept secret in USA", and both are true. May it remain that way, so that so many more brave and adventurous individuals can enjoy the overwhelming beauty.

This was truely a gift out of the Hand of our Loving Father (like all the other places before...)
Thank you for being blessed in abundance.

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