DIY Adult Seat Belt Pillow

How to make your own seat belt pillow - it really works well!

How to make your own seat belt pillow – it really works well!

I’ve added a new favorite item to my “must pack” list for traveling!  It’s what I’d call a “seat belt pillow” or maybe “one pillow you can actually use in the car and won’t get lost”.  It’s a simple sewing project that doesn’t take oodles of materials (except filling, which it uses a lot of).  The best part is that it really is comfortable, even in our van, which doesn’t seem to usually fit with normal car accessories.  Another great thing is that I can leave it tied to the seatbelt, so it doesn’t have to find a home when I’m not using it!

The finished seat belt pillow

The finished seat belt pillow

 

 

Here’s what you need to make your own Seat Belt Pillow

What you'll need to make the seat belt pillow

What you’ll need to make the seat belt pillow

Two pieces of cloth, cut to 22.25”x5”, or whatever works best to you – this is a bit flexible.  I made a pattern, then cut out the two pieces of fabric.  The fabric should be soft, durable, and comfortable for sleeping on.

Four pieces of …Read More

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Sinks Canyon – Better in August

The Sink in August, Sinks Canyon State Park, Wyoming

The Sink in August

I’ve discovered something: Sinks Canyon – where the river literally disappears underground and reappears, two hours and about a quarter mile later – is much more interesting in August than in June.

Peaceful water after the Rise, Sinks Canyon State Park, Wyoming

Peaceful water after the Rise

‘Way back in June 2003, we stopped at Sinks Canyon State Park, on the very edge of the Wind River Range of Wyoming, not too far from the town of Lander.  To say it wasn’t my favorite stop on the trip would have been a bit of an understatement; I really did not enjoy standing next to a raging, boiling river with a whole bunch of little kids, and the river disappearing into a cave not 20ft. away.  In fact, I was just a wee bit terrified.

High water at the Sinks, Sinks Canyon State Park, Wyoming

High water at the Sinks

Fast forward to August 2015, and we were driving toward Lander after hiking Roaring Fork Mountain.  In the very early morning sunlight, we saw the signs for the state park – visiting was going to be as easy as pulling off the highway into the visitor center parking lot.  It seemed a pity to waste such a good opportunity, so we …Read More

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Creation Waits in Eager Expectation

Alaska Basin, Jedediah Smith Wilderness and Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Creation waits…

I was reading Romans the other day, and ran across these verses:

 

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved.” (Romans 8:18-24a)

 

It really got me thinking.  Here is creation, what we might call the wilderness or nature or something like that, waiting in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.  Eager expectation.  It knows the promise is sure, and it absolutely can’t wait.  It longs for the children of God to be revealed so it can be brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

 

What will that look like?  What will it take for …Read More

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10 Places to Go Exploring in the Western US

Bonneville Pass is another great place to go exploring, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming

Bonneville Pass is another great place to go exploring!

Trails are nice, trails are great.  I like trails (especially trails that lead to and through spectacular views!)  But there comes a time when the inner anti-establishment in us all decides it would like a bit of freedom – and that’s when it’s time to find a place where you can go exploring.  Where trails don’t hold you back, and there’s nothing keeping you from going further except your energy, water supply, and that nagging thought in the back of your mind that you’ll need to find your way back to the parking area at the end of the day…

 

 

The Castle Trail in Badlands National Park also offers some options for exploration.

The Castle Trail in Badlands National Park also offers some options for exploration.

At any rate, anti-establishment leanings or simply kids who like to crawl all over boulders, these are places to hike and explore, without trails and without knowing exactly where you’ll end up or what you’ll see along the way! …Read More

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Holden Beach House Review: Blue Heaven, 108 Raleigh Street

Blue Heaven, 108 Raleigh Street on Holden Beach, North Carolina

Blue Heaven, 108 Raleigh Street on Holden Beach, North Carolina

Well, we visited Holden Beach, North Carolina again (in case you missed the post a few weeks ago with a whole lot of pictures I took during our stay)!  Because we ended up renting last minute (really, we called up a week before we would arrive), and because we needed internet for a group member who was still taking an online class, we rented a house we’ve never been to before: Blue Heaven, not quite midway down the island, at 108 Raleigh Street.

Sign assuring us that this really is Blue Heaven, 108 Raleigh Street, Holden Beach, North Carolina

Sign assuring us that this really is Blue Heaven

Actually, we stayed (twice!) in the house right next to Blue Heaven – so we already knew that the neighborhood was nice and the walk to the beach was minimal.

View from the back deck of Blue Heaven 108 Raleigh Street, Holden Beach, North Carolina

View from the back deck (which I somehow manage to not get a picture of – it’s spacious, uncovered, and a nice place to sit)

That’s Blue Heaven’s best quality – location …Read More

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A Leap of Faith

Sometimes, when we go to take a Leap of Faith, we find a Grassy Hillside, not a Sheer Cliff. -AW

Sometimes, when we go to take a Leap of Faith, we find a Grassy Hillside, not a Sheer Cliff. -AW

 

“Sometimes… when we got to take a Leap of Faith, we find a Grassy Hillside, not a Sheer Cliff. -AW”

(Picture: Atop Sahale Arm, North Cascades National Park in Washington)

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Jesus Sees the Wilderness

Dancing in the sunset at Holden Beach, North Carolina

Dancing in the sunset at Holden Beach, North Carolina

So we’re going to try something a little different on the blog.  It won’t take the place of the weekly posts about hiking to some of America’s best views (and other interesting and inexpensive attractions).  Those will still be coming out as normal.  But I thought I’d like to expand a bit by posting some Christian stuff as well.

 

Yes, I’m a Christian, or at least, I love Jesus passionately.  (“Christian” has gotten a bad name in recent years by people acting not very much like Jesus.)  So this part of the blog will center around Him and what He’s doing; His nature, the way He sees things, things I’m learning about Him and through Him.

 

A few months back, I started to realize, dimly at first, then more clearly, that God actually likes the wilderness.  He loves the natural world.  It makes since; He created it, after all.  And I’m coming to see more and more that He enjoys it when we enjoy His handiwork.  When our hearts are awed by a stunning view over a mountain range, our eyes tickled by the rushing of a stream, our minds boggled by how a rock formation could stand like that, God doesn’t take offence at it; in fact, He enjoys our awe at His handiwork.  Sometimes I think when we’re moved, so is He, again, over the work of His hands.  It’s simple, but profound.

 

So as I walk this journey of discovering what Jesus sees in the wilderness, what God is saying in the wild places, and the Holy Spirit’s take on it all, I’ll try to chronical it here on the blog.  Go ahead and comment on the posts (realize that all comments are moderated and I only let through posts that are courteous and non-spammy); we can go through this journey together.

 

If you want to see only the posts about this topic, click “Jesus Sees the Wilderness” in the upper right of the page.

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Table Mountain – Up and Down the Face Trail

The view of the Tetons from Table Mountain - the pictures don't do it justice! Jedediah Smith Wilderness / Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

The view of the Tetons from Table Mountain – the pictures don’t do it justice!

Table Mountain, on the “non-tourist” west side of Grand Teton National Park, has got to be one of our favorite views ever – and I mean that seriously.  If you interviewed everyone in the group, they’d probably list that single view as one of the best we’ve ever done.  And considering we’ve visited 48 states and a number of Canadian provinces (not to mention a bit of non-North American travel), that’s saying something!

 

 

Views to the north of Table Mountain, Jedediah Smith Wilderness / Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Views to the north of Table Mountain

Why does the view from Table Mountain trump so many other views we’ve seen?  Well, part of it is variety – you’ve got everything from craggy cliffs to striking mountains (not quite snow-capped peaks, but close), Colorado-Rockies-type scenery to lovely green …Read More

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10 of the Best Trails In and Around North Cascades National Park

Views toward Mt. Baker from Hidden Lake Pass in North Cascades National Park, Washington

Views toward Mt. Baker from Hidden Lake Pass in North Cascades National Park

I absolutely love North Cascades National Park when the weather is nice.  It’s filled with that wild wilderness that makes you feel like you’ve really left it all behind, not to mention peak upon peak and tranquil valley after alpine lake after glacier-studded cliff that absolutely takes your breath away.

 

 

So I thought I’d put together a list of my 10 favorite day hikes in and near North Cascades National Park.

Glacier lilies along Skyline Divide, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington

Glacier lilies along Skyline Divide

Realize, I’m coming at this with a view junkie’s perspective …Read More

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Pictures from Holden Beach – May 2016

Enjoying the sunset on Holden Beach, North Carolina

Enjoying the sunset on Holden Beach, North Carolina

So I just spent a week and a half at peaceful Holden Beach, North Carolina…

Walking around the fishing pier... I think the photographer got a little artsy...Holden Beach, North Carolina

Walking around the fishing pier… I think the photographer got a little artsy…

 

 

We rented a house (review coming soon!), rode bikes, walked the beach …Read More

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