Sunday, July 31, 2016

Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral

We decided to attend Mass at The Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes.  Since it was Sunday, we wanted to go to church and we wanted to visit the Cathedral so we just combined the two.  We arrived early and found a place in the back of the church.  Although I was raised in the Catholic Church, I don't really feel comfortable any more.  For one thing with my new knee, kneeling is just impossible so I have to sit that part out.  For another since the Catholic Church doesn't have Open Communion, I always feel bad when we don't go up to Communion.  Aside from that, it was nice to attend the Mass and especially since at this Cathedral they really do all the pomp and ceremony.  

Unfortunately, we weren't able to get a good picture of the front of the Cathedral because the front of the church is too close to the street and there are trees in the boulevard. 

 The doors at the front of the Cathedral and just beautiful.

 The Bishop's Chair

 The Baptismal Font at the front of the Cathedral

 The front altar

 The old baptismal font which is on a side altar

 Prior to the service starting - the Cathedral did get pretty much filled and that is wonderful because we've visited a lot of churches that just don't have many members that attend.

One of the side altars where I lit a candle for my Mom.  Didn't need candles here.  You pressed a button to light the candle.  It didn't seem quite the same but I suppose it is safer.

 The side alter for Joseph

 Beautiful stained glass windows

 One of the Stations of the Cross

According to the Cathedral's website ". . . the church was remodeled in 1971, there is a mixture of old and new: Italian Romanesque style arches span the interior spaces while a square baldachino amplifies prayer and song for the congregation. The original Italian marble altar depicting the sacrifice of Calvary supplies a stunning symbolic and artistic backdrop to the new altar -- the gathering table where the community of faithful share the Eucharist. The sweet tones of the original W. W. Kimball organ in the loft complement the clear resonant notes of the Druffel Memorial organ in the transept. The crowning beauty of the Cathedral is the Bavarian stained glass windows which create a panorama of Judeo-Christian history and tradition."

Another of the gorgeous doors in the Cathedral

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Visiting Linda Hopkins, a friend for life

Today we spent the day with my long-time girlfriend, Linda Hopkins.  She and I met when we both worked at Iowa Electric Light and Power Company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  It is now Alliant Energy Company.  I left the company in 1997 and Linda stayed a few more years to get her retirement and then moved to Spokane.  She is one of the friends that no matter how long we are apart, it just seems like no time has passed.  I really enjoyed the day.

Wishing Linda good luck as she has some foot surgery coming up in a couple of days!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Two Medicine Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana

After our Sun Tour of Logan Pass, we set off for Two Medicine Lake.  Before the Going To The Sun Road was built, this was a very busy section of the park.  Now it is a place to when you are trying to escape the crowds and it is a beautiful place.

Tour with Sun Tours of West Side of Glacier National Park

We took a Sun Tours trip to Logan Pass today and really enjoyed it.  We had tried to take the park shuttle to the pass and gave up.  The shuttles were so crowded with not even standing room left and the wait lines were long to get back.  We decided since our truck couldn't go up to the pass, that we'd take a tour with Red Bus or Sun Tours.  We were able to get on the Sun Tour bus and were glad of it.  We met Red Bus tour buses at a couple of stops along the way.  The top was open and the people were complaining of getting sun burned.  They also sit 4 or 5 people across and it looked really uncomfortable.  We had lots of leg room and air conditioning and we needed it today.

Our first stop was at McDonald Creek which feeds into Lake McDonald (seen in the distance).

McDonald Falls is just upstream from the  bridge

We met this Red Bus on the bridge over the McDonald Creek.  

Our second stop was a McDonald Creek overlook just below these falls.

This glassy pool is below the falls.

These shots are from one of the numerous turnout viewpoints along the Going To The Sun Road. This one is just up the road from the weeping wall.

These shots are from a turnout a little further up the mountain.

A seasonal falls is still running a lot of water for July.

These shots were taken from the last stop we made before Logan Pass.  We're in the nose-bleed section.

A Marmot

Yes, that's snow on the mountain in late July!

Look at all the snow yet along the side of the road as we neared Logan Pass

We have arrived at Logan Pass, elevation 6,646 feet above sea level.

There were just mobs of people up here and the parking lot was just totally full.  Lots of the people standing in front of the Visitor Center were waiting for another shuttle to get down the mountain.  It was quite a wait today.

This is the Visitor Center's backyard. Amazing view!

The last time we were here (2007), we wanted to get a picture of a pika and didn't see a one although we did see mountain goats and big horn sheep.  This time we saw a lot of pikas but none of the other animals at Logan Pass.

We had 45 minutes at the Pass which is definitely not long enough but the trails were so crowded that it wouldn't have made a difference anyway in seeing any wildlife.  So, we got back on our bus and headed back down the mountain.

Although we didn't see any goats at Logan Pass itself,  we finally saw one as we were leaving the pass.  This guy was over the top of our heads in the bus.  Our driver came to a stop so we could get a picture of him.

We saw some crazy people getting their picture taken under this mountain of snow.  The bus driver said that if it fell which it could at any time, they would be crushed under the weight of it.  People are so nuts!  You can see some feet under the snow pile if you look hard.