Wednesday, July 29, 2015


one of the things we love most about summer is get-togethers at the decker family cabin. even when it's crazy and crowded, it's fun to be with everyone's little ones, playing games and eating loads of food. we spent some time at the cabin with both sides of our family, and it was fun to laugh about completely different things and talk about totally different topics. i love that no two families are alike, but somehow we were lucky enough to land into two great ones.

we enjoyed eating and hiking and canoeing and partying...but mostly it was just nice to enjoy time with family and to savor the sweet smell of pine. these experiences are the ones that help keep us taking the next steps, and counting our many blessings.

Sunday, July 5, 2015


we are still unpacking all of our clothes, and cleaning the crumbs out of the car after our trip to two gorgeous national parks- glacier (montana) and banff (alberta, canada). we had such an amazing time- i don't know where to begin!

it was an incredibly refreshing opportunity to enjoy the mountains and wildlife, but i do have to say it was also abnormally warm with the highs even reaching the mid 90s. in the early 20th century, glacier national park had 150 glaciers, 150 has now dwindle down to 25 which will likely disappear completely in the next few decades due to climate change. if you are going to see these beautiful views, now is the time to get out there before they melt away.

glacier was our first stop along the long drive through the rockies. once we got there, we were lucky enough to find a camping spot right on a clear glacier lake at sprague campgrounds. after we pitched our tent, we were free to slip and slide down glaciers, hike through beautiful mountain meadows, float on icebergs at iceberg lake, and drink from natural springs (one of jared's favorite activities was pulling out his lifestraw and drinking from every river, lake, and stream). there is so much beauty in this world- so so grateful we were able to see more of it this week.

iceberg lake was unreal. what better way to cool off on a hot summer day, than dipping your feet into a pristine mountain lake, filled with glacier water and icebergs? we hadn't heard anything about this trail before we started walking, and sorta picked it based on the length, difficulty, and how it fit into our plans. so glad we did, because this trail into the "heart of glacier" ended up being one of our favorites of the entire trip. 

did i mention we got to watch baby mountain goats hop along the trails while we hiked? they were all over the logan pass area and cute enough to kiss. 

i've probably shared this before, but i am ridiculously afraid of heights...which might seem odd because i love to hike. i can handle roller coasters, probably because i'm strapped in, but i get so nervous on steep cliffs. i always think i'd be one of the few klutzy people who trips or stumbles on a little stone and falls over the edge. i try not to let it stop me from doing things i want to do, but while i 'm clutching the metal chain (see above) and trying to avoid looking down, jared's wandering around checking out the view and hanging his feet off the edge (see below). while part of me is just plain jealous, his lack of fear is actually really comforting for me. it helps me see my nervousness as fear, not danger. plus, he goes slow, holds my hand, and and tells me it'll be okay. 

and in the end, the views are always worth it.

Saturday, July 4, 2015


after spending a few days in glacier national park, we were finally on our way to banff, beautiful banff. driving into the park, it was hard to believe how large and spread out everything was. what looked like a 5 minute drive on the map, was usually an hour roadtrip through the rockies. a drive filled with towering mountains topped with white glaciers and spilling waterfalls. i think i have a new favorite place!

after checking availability at a few other campgrounds, we camped at two jack main. two jack main is a large and, in our experience, uncrowded campground near the town of banff...and unfortunately one of the few campgrounds without showers. the park ranger recommend cleaning off in a lake or hot spring and, just so we know, there had been "recent bear sightings in the campsites." welcome to the wild. 

with our sleeping bags in place, we started driving through the bow valley towards jasper and within our first hour exploring the park, we saw our first shiny golden grizzly bear (surprisingly pretty/handsome), and made our way out to the trails.

check out how clear the water is!  

over the next few days we hiked around 30(ish) miles of trails in banff. mostly around the famous lake louise and ten peaks areas- which are even prettier than they look in pictures. can you believe this place is real? i'm still trying to wrap my head around it.

Friday, July 3, 2015


the next few days were my favorite of the whole trip. we got to celebrate canada day (july 1st) by hiking up to the plain of six glaciers and lake agnes, drinking local herbal tea at a mountain teahouse, listening to live local musicians, and cheering for mounties in the parade...uh-mazing, canada.

here's a few photos from our time around lake louise...

hiking up this rocky trail is nonstop goodness. with views of both lake louise and glaciers along the way, how can you go wrong? 

plus, right at the top of the treeline, before you reach the glacier covered peaks, you come to a little swiss tea house decorated with buddhist prayer flags and miniature canadian flags. we ordered some local herbal teas and fresh handmade biscuits and enjoyed the gorgeous glacier views while sipping our warm sweet tea. yum.

we also stopped over at lake agnes, where a fancier (aka more expensive) tea house sits on the lake overlooking a waterfall. this tea house was a little less rustic and bohemian but it still had amazing views and if you're looking for a shorter hike in the rockies above a gorgeous turquoise lake, this one is only around 4 miles round trip.

^the lovely chateau at lake louise^

^the famous fairmont banff hotel. for those not interested in showering in the lake or camping with bears.^

running into big horned sheep at lake minnewanka before our cleansing swim in the ice cold water. 

yay for canada day!

still so many trails i wish we would have had time to travel. wish we could have stayed for another week or two, but i guess we'll just have lots of things planned for next time! :) still feeling crazy happy about our adventure to the canadian rockies.