Monday, August 12, 2013

Washington Trip~Day Nine, Sunday, July 28th~

We all met together again, but switched vans.
The men and boys would lead in the white van, and the ladies would follow in the black van.
Stephanie was driving this time, so I sat back to enjoy the ride!  :)  : )
Stephanie, Lynette & I were in the middle of  conversation, when we followed the men into Glacier Public Service Center. We planned to go hiking on some trails after visiting Nooksack Falls, but needed more information.
Stephanie pulled into a parking spot next to the men's van, and turned off the engine.
Someone from the men's van said, "You've got a flat tire!"
What?? We all got out to see. Sure enough- Matt & Stephanie's rental van had a flat!
 Stephanie said she hadn't felt anything unusual while driving ... what to do?!

We were in Glacier, the last town before the mountains, so having no cell phone coverage was to be expected.
Matt debated what to do. If he called Roadside Assistance using the Service Center's phone, it would take a long time to reach us.
He made the decision to change the tire himself.
A mad hunt ensued for the spare tire, but at first no one could find it. Did the rental van not have a spare?
Matt finally found it- under the van!
See how perfectly we had parked from each other?
Don't tell me there isn't a God!   :)
We could have parked opposite positions, to where the men wouldn't have noticed the flat (we sure wouldn't have). Things could have been much worse- like being stranded on the side of a mountain road.
Richard and Matt worked hard to get the spare tire out from under the van- but couldn't!
Since our rentals were 2013 vehicles... we needed directions! 
However, neither van had a manual.   :(
Matt eventually disappeared inside the Public Service Center to call Roadside Assistance.
When he returned, he said it would be about an hour before help would arrive.

.The children appeared oblivious to what was going on. They were playing among the trees, using their imaginations God blessed them with (thank you, God!).  :)
We had all the time in the world to count rings on a cut Douglas Fir (733 years old) .... and play with cousins.  :)
... or appreciate a poetic tree with moss!!

Look! No screens, because there weren't any bugs outside!
While outside, we noticed one lone mosquito every once in awhile, but that was it.

We were so grateful the Service Center had a picnic area!
 The children ate their lunches near big boulders, while the adults sat at a picnic table some distance away.
Kaysha soon came over to our picnic table to inform us that Antonin had a bad "owie" on his leg- so bad that she thought she could see his bone.
Seeing how I was right in the middle of eating my lunch, I moaned and put my head in my hands.
I have a nauseating weakness with blood and wounds ...
Also, I wasn't sure if my going to Antonin would make the situation worse. He's one most likely to pass out over a wound (like his mother, perhaps?).
"Will you check what's wrong with Antonin?" I asked Richard.
Richard tried to hold and see our son's leg, and I could tell Antonin was in immense pain. I kept praying from where I sat at the picnic table, "Don't pass out, Antonin ... please, don't pass out."
Lynette went to see if she could help, and then let me know that Antonin had a puncture wound (besides other bad scratches around it).  We couldn't believe one could get such a bad wound simply jumping onto a boulder- there must have been a sharp protrusion!
Lynette found a helpful ranger from inside the Public Service Center. The ranger cleansed Antonin's wound as best she could, using our water bottle and her first aid kit. I had joined Antonin & Richard by then (told myself not to look at the wound), and helped comfort my son. I felt so bad for him- ouch!!   :(
.A passerby said she was a nurse, and suggested Antonin soak his leg in Epsom salts later, to make sure the wound was completely cleaned out.

*Whew*, I was relieved & thankful Antonin was alright (and did not pass out)! :)
While Antonin received First Aid, the other children discovered a place to explore in the trees, right behind the picnic area.
We were stranded with a flat tire, had an injured child .... BUT GOD supplied everything we needed (including restrooms!), and kept the kiddos entertained, too!  :)
That said, there was a road and a river not too far from the trees, so we constantly checked on them!   :)
Matt still waited for Roadside Assistance.
Since our white van was in working order, Richard planned to take us- a group at a time- to Nooksack Falls.
The first to go were Lynette, Paul, Richard, Matt, and the boys.
Stephanie, Kendra & I stayed at the Service Center with the little girls.   :)

Kendra read "Kisses from Kate" ... on the plush, mossy grass.

The little girls made themselves at home among the mossy trees ....
and then enjoyed coloring, thanks to some freebies!   :)
[that must be a good book, Kendra]
We had no idea what time it was ... and I decided that I needed a hammock to sleep between the trees! Yawn ... the ultimate relaxation (except when checking on the girls; being vigilant).   :)

Approximately an hour went by before Richard returned to get us.
Matt was with him, so he could wait for the Roadside people. :)
We waved goodbye to Matt, and rode toward Nooksack Falls.
 The forest scenery was like being inside a storybook- perhaps one could find a Hobbit or two. :)

Looking down on Nooksack River from the short trail

Amazing views of Nooksack Falls!

Again, the girls found tree stumps they liked.  :)

The Nooksack Rapids
Just beyond the bridge was the Nooksack Falls (in photo below). You can see why Stephanie, Lynette & I could not keep our eyes off the kids! We were thankful for the sand that the children could play in, instead of climbing rocks and bridges. Yes, again God provided something for the kids to do!  :)  [seconds after this photo was snapped, we informed Caleb & Winston they were not allowed so close to the Rapids].
The scenery was magnificent and amazing .... but the ladies' nerves were on edge.
We were to stay put until Matt joined us with his fixed vehicle.
I reminded myself that God provided and protected at the Service Center, so surely He would here, too. :) Just no broken bones, please!

Then ... Matt arrived!!!!   Woohoo!!!   :)  :)
Because of the 2-3 hour delay, and not wanting to risk flat tires on gravel roads that led to trails ..... we decided to forego the hiking.
We eagerly continued up a mountain road for some incredible views (in vehicles)!  :)
We were able to see both Mt Shuksan and Mt Baker at different points along the way.

We found some snow, and stopped for a quick snowball fight.

We arrived at a place called "Heather Meadows", which looked so much like Switzerland. Or perhaps I should say how I imagined Switzerland to look.

Our family!
The children loved sliding and playing on this mound of snow. The ladies were concerned they might slide right into the lake, however ... so they chose another spot without a body of water.   :)

We climbed higher on the mountain road and found MORE snow!  :)
The children had a ball!  :)

As we went back down the mountain, I had to sometimes close my eyes and trust my husband's driving abilities. There were no guardrails!!!

 I breathed a little easier, once we reached the main road (off the tops of the mountains).
After such a long, nerve-wracking day, we thought Pizza Hut was in order.  :)
It had been our last day together in Washington with Richard's family, and would go separate ways in the morning.

We all reflected on God's goodness to us. The flat tire, the Service Center, The ranger who helped with Antonin's wound, the children staying occupied, no one falling off the side of a mountain (haha!) .... we were very blessed.  
The Sovereign God who created magnificent mountain scenery, cared enough to provide everything needed for daily challenges.
I applied this concept to my life ... which gave me the goosebumps.
I was concerned about the approaching new school year, and some changes that were taking place (including my taking a class).
God's peace enveloped my heart, and I knew there wasn't a thing to worry about.    :)

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