Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back to the Forest

It’s been a bit of a stressful week honestly.  It took several calls and several trips back to the pharmacist to get the drugs we need for Africa.  It really burns me that such things are treated this way.  These are strong drugs that need to be prescribed and if we don’t get enough the threat for malaria is something I don’t even want to think about.  These drugs need to be taken even after we get back to protect us from possible exposure while in Ghana.  It never bothered me as much when it was just me but when my children’s lives are at stake I find it maddening that the medical personnel don’t seem the least bit concerned.  Our doctor seemed to be simply reading the labels because they don’t usually deal with that.  Even our overseas department seems woefully unfamiliar with this stuff.  I’m thankful for my past experience with this stuff because it’s helped me check dosages and amounts of pills on things…God be with us.  Now we head out on Saturday for five days.  These are the last pictures from our last trip which is just in time for our next one that should have pictures of Yellowstone…that is still one of the most beautiful places on the planet…a must see at least once in your life and we live fairly close to it!

Our last day or two at our last cabin adventure were spent walking near where we were and there was plenty to see!  The glory of the rolling plains has never ceased to captivate me and the sound of woodpeckers pecking trees and the screech of Red Tail Hawks could be heard everywhere There were many roads which I would say are strictly fair weather but that doesn’t matter if there’s no rain and you intend to walk Wildflowers are a particularly classic photographic subject I know but I just can’t resist This year the blue bells were having a particularly good year I noticed I had to laugh at the irony of government need to label roads…really…just now you noticed these roads are rough There’s no such thing as a common flower to me.  A windswept brown eyed Susan is a treat to me no matter how common it’s said to be Climbing the top of some of these hills made me think of bears I have to admit…nobody wants to come over a hill and run into trouble like that but with things this beautiful it’s hard not to go ahead and risk it Purple, blue, white and yellow seemed to be the dominating colors but I still didn’t ever get enough of any of these colors What I like about this countryside in particular is that it has it all:  mountains, plains, forests all in a wonderful panoramaHere you can find farms right next to federal land and both have a beauty all their own There’s nothing in all the world like seeing and hearing the wind play across the tall me on that

Our last walk took us to a remote area where few had gone before No vehicles were allowed and it was free of any other people that we could see and I admit that I did think of bears again.  Mom and dad saw one not far away when they had been driving earlier in the trip.  These thoughts went to the background as I began to enjoy the surroundings.  Soon the forest became thicker and it became quite quiet aside from the buzzing of busy bees and the flutter of butterfly wings The rest of the family were up ahead with mom and dad and I began to realize that of us all I’m the only with a weapon and a sense of unease began to grow in meas we began to near a rather striking peak I began to see some signs that bothered me greatly There were many stones…not one or two but ten or more overturned…if you know bear country you know this is a sign of a bear looking for grubs and other insects.  I then saw some not too old scat on the path ahead and I knew it was time to for us to get out of there.  Dad being his usual self went ahead some but I brought mom, Love and the kids back down the trail with me.  The tension started to thicken and then I heard a sound that I never wanted to hear in the wild on a remote trail…listen to the last sound on this page…the black bear cub call  I knew immediately what it was and drew my .45.  It was a very thick forested area so we only knew the general direction of this bear or bears.  We walked quickly…not panicking or running and fortunately made it back to where we had parked.  Tension eased and I found myself appreciating the irony of this butterfly on the sign near the trailhead I know that I know…God kept us safe as He always had.  we didn’t have tragedy for bear or person and that my friends is a good ending!  My last shot is of the moon rising over the hill near our cabin on the last night.  It was a wonderful sense of peace we all left with and I look forward to the same from our next adventure.  I can’t wait to share it all!


  1. I am so glad you were packin heat my friend! I listened to the sound and to think the mom was near by. I played your video twice as once was too short. I really like the photo of the forest ahead, a panorama. I am so glad you all are safe. It's frustrating when you have to school a doctor in his own field. Have fun and be safe my friend on your second trip. Can't wait to see the photos!

  2. I am so glad you are all safe Joe. It is good that you are so vigilant about the meds so that there is no mixup. The pictures are beautiful.

  3. I have lost some faith in Doctors and its good you know what to look for. My hubby had a cousin that worked in Oil overseas. He came home after being there for months and got sick. They said he had a flu. He was getting sicker and sicker . It was finally so bad they checked him into a hospital here and a Doctor from Indai found out in not long he had Malaria. He was then Air Vac. to Edmonton where he died on Route . He didnt make it.
    Not sure if he took all the meds.
    Glad your educated Joe. Wow.
    Excellent photos . Love the Wildrose. It is one of my favs and is on the Alberta Flower.
    Be careful and there are lots of Buffalo . They are wild too dont forget and will think nothing of taking you out. Not a chance do you get near any. Maybe you know. Even in a park or pen they are Wild. Again Loved your view though you lens and cant wait to see what you bring back from your travels.
    Take Care

  4. hi joe, enjoyed your pictures, your adventure story, wow, I would be scared, and the sounds of nature on your video. can well understand your thoughts on malaria and medication, pray god you will all be kept safe and sound. thank you for your visits and comments and how you keep in touch with me. take care _ nita

  5. Glad you were able to avoid the bears. I know, it is dicier to go hiking in the fall, as the bears are out looking for more food to tide them over for the winter---so one REALLY needs to watch their steps. Glad you thought to have a gun along, just in case! Do you guys wear "bear bells" at all when you hike? I hear they really do keep the bears at bay. Hope you get all the meds straightened around before your trip. Malaria is nothing to mess with...

  6. I loved every line in here and certainly each photograph. They are professional looking. I think I have seldom seen better.

    I can imagine your frustration in a way via one of my boys who had to dose up before he went to more primitive parts last Fall. For me, mine were standard shots and so not hard to get. You however are all in a dangerous situation.

    You are all in my prayers.

  7. I knew if I didn't borrow Miss Catt's account while on her..I might not look at the dashboard later..she said it's ok. She agrees with what I said to you.

  8. It's a shame we have to check up after the Doctor's, pays to. I hope and pray it's all sorted out before your trip. I so enjoyed this journey through this wilderness, so beautiful and dangerous. So glad y'all were kept safe. The butterfly blended right in with the same colors as the sign post.

  9. Hi Joe,
    I am very thankful that you know what you know and can stay ahead of the medical profession..we all need to gain some knowledege in that department..
    I am so excitted for you to see West Yellowstone, and even more so to see what you have catpured and experienced.. I lived in West for 4 years.
    Your photos of your lastest trip makes me love this weather we have had this year.. I know its been very different.. but its been good for the earth.. and how beautifully you have captured God's canvas.. and I had to smile a little smile when I saw the butterfly upon the sign..
    love those little messeges given.. hold on to them.. and do be careful.. Yellowstone bears are on the prowl..
    keeping you in prayer.

  10. we have in Brussels Tropics Institute
    and u can g there for all the questions of the world concerning traveling to those areas Joe.
    and a friend of ours came back from Gambia some years back with a in institute helped him what no other could
    i can understand ur concerned abt ur kids
    be well and enjoy

  11. Know you are out there today having a wonderful time and GOD is keeping you safe til you get back home. Wonderful post here and sad it took me so long to get here and read it. LOVED it all! So glad that you have the knowledge that you do about those meds. Stay safe : )

  12. Thinking about you and your family this Sunday moring Joe. Hope your having fun and capturing natures finest. Stay safe. Come back to us safe and un scratched or bitten by bugs or what not.

  13. Nice choice with Enya also Joe. Its relaxing.

  14. that brown eyed susan is my favorite pic...nature in motion...lovely!!! hope things are well, Joe....headed up to Idaho this weekend to see my son...and go to Pete's retirement ceremony...haven't been to Idaho since I was 16...(3 I am excited...we are suppose to go on a picnic in the mountains..maybe I will have some of these kinds of hope I do as well!
    grace to you

  15. Wow! What a wonderful trip filled with Breathtaking Views and adventure. I enjoyed reading your story and your photos are magnificant Joe. Love them all, including the cool photo of the wind tossed Black Eyed Sue.What a shot, Joe. It is good that you have a gun for protection, and yes the Lord had His hand of protection on you as well.
    Hope and pray you all are having a wonderful time away and I am sure the stress is gone for the mean time.
    It is good that you have some knowledge concerning these drugs and sad that sometimes the Drs. just aren't up to par on things that are so crucial. It really is an advantage to have some medical knowledge these days.
    Looking forward to your next adventure Joe.
    God Bless and keep you all safe.
    Dianne :)

  16. Interesting about the drugs. Could it be that the people in authority really don't want you to travel to forgien countries? Maybe... I mean, it is about control. And, what's the best way to make you not want to leave? Make the going so tedious and difficult that you change your mind. :-D
    If you think I'm just going conspiracy theory on you, think again. Your government would be perfectly happy if you never set foot on the African continent.

  17. What beautiful country and you have captured it well. I love that road going up the valley and the wildflowers.. But Joe I have to laugh about the bear. I am sorry but they are all around me and I walk all by myself without even a dog now and don't really worry about them. I make so much noise most are long gone before I arrive. The only time I do get scared is when I am trying to sneak up on one. then suddenly I come over a hill or it does and there we are maybe 50 ft apart. There was one she had cubs. I ran like crazy to the car. She didn't even follow. The next one I knew didn't have cubs. So when we confronted I almost ran then stood my ground and made a sound and it looked for a minute then ran. I know it stupid, but without a good zoom I am always trying to get close for a good photo. You are just as much in danger every time you get in your car. From out of no where someone could slam into you killing or mameing you. Do you drive with fear of that all the time. Or worse yet a moose could run in front of your car. Fear not for when its your time, it will come weather in the forests or in the city, one can only place their faith in God. But a good scare makes for a good story... Thanks for sharing.. Hugs Carrie