Thursday, September 05, 2013

Happy New Year! (Last Trump, anyone?)

Happy New Years!
Or putting it as Jesus would have:
L'Shanah Tovah!
We did some celebrating of the future return of our Lord at our house last night.
Sliced apples were dipped in honey, a tasty honey cake was whipped up in about ten minutes, and Bernie scored a New Year's Challah at the grocery store. 
In case you didn't know (and we didn't until lately) challah is baked in a crown shape for Rosh Hashanah instead of the traditional braid.

There is a reason for that bread shaping...more on that later...but see if you can figure it out.
(Hint: Who is the Bread? and What is His status upon His return?)
Few Christians and even fewer non-Jewish  non-religious people have any grasp of what Rosh Hashanah is all about.
Other than perhaps knowing it is Jewish New Years, and a curious New Years Day at that, celebrated in the SEVENTH month of the year, (what is up with that? Shouldn't it be the first month of the year?) by Jewish folk, little is grasped about this Biblical Feast day.
The actually Biblical passage about it is found in Leviticus 23-24:

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.
The trumpet blowing went on and on...100 blows, and then a final blow was to be sounded, a long blow, which the Jewish people called "The Last Trump", and all the Chosen People were gathered together.
Let me see if I can ring some mental bells for you from the New Testament:
"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. "
- I Cor. 15:51-52
In our household, that last trump is something we look forward to!
In fact, we celebrate that it will come!
(The sooner the better actually...)
So when would be a good time to celebrate this future event?
For many reasons...we celebrate on Rosh Hashanah.
Rather than muddle through my own explanation of why, let me just copy below what another writer wrote.

Throughout Scripture, we find many important prophecies fulfilled on Jewish Biblical feast days. Looking back we see God's fulfillments in Passover, First Fruits (Christ's Resurrection), Pentecost, etc.
Those were referred to as the Spring Feasts.
The Fall Feasts appear to also line up as further fulfillment, with the next Feast event being the Feast of Trumpets and the prophetic event of the Rapture.
We will learn shortly why and how Christ can fulfill this prophetic event on this day when we do not know the day nor the hour; but, first, we need some background.
Biblically, the Feast of Trumpets (also known as Rosh Hashanah or Yom Teruah) celebrates the Jewish New Year.
The word means "Day of Blowing", referring to the shofar horn being blown one hundred times. There is a set pattern of different sounds that are repeated eleven times, with one single final blast referred to as the "Last Trump".
Rosh Hashanah is a unique celebration in that it is actually two days referred to as one day, and called Yoma Arichtah in Aramaic: "one long day".
This is because (unlike all the other feasts) it is marked not by a day, date, or time - it is traditionally marked as when two witnesses reported to the Sanhedrin that the new moon had been spotted.
What makes it impossible to assign a day or hour to this event (which the Jewish people were commanded to observe) is that the timing would be relative and different depending on where in the world you were. Although it was officially done at Jerusalem.
Historically, this is why it is celebrated over two days as one - when the sighting was made official in Jerusalem, fires on mountains would be lit to spread the word to far off areas and nations that it had officially started.
However, if you were Jewish and were part of those who still lived in Babylon and other nations after the dispersion, then you might not find out till a whole day later!
This is why the holiday is spread over two days.
It was a common idiom in Christ's day to refer to Rosh Hashanah as not knowing what day it would be on, or what hour; but, you would still have a very close idea of the period of week by watching the signs in the moon phases.
Even in our modern times, we use common idioms to refer to time frames.
For example, people generally refer to the time and events around December 25th - January 1st as "The Best Time of the Year."
It is not a day-specific idiom, but everyone knows generally the season you are talking about.
For some it's December 24th and 25th, others it the 25th only, and for others it might be 24th through 1st.
 Likewise, when Jesus referenced that no one would know the day or the hour, it would have rung some mental bells in His disciples' heads, since Rosh Hashanah was commonly known as "the feast where no one knew the day nor the hour".
One reason to strongly think that Christ was 'speaking their language' by referencing a common idiom is that He repeats this phrase with the two points of day and hour; He does not simply state that we will not know the day - that should have been enough if it was just going to be only random day of the year.
The fact that He makes extra emphasis on a particular saying seems to be a 'Hint, Hint' to the timeframe (one of the Feast of Trumpets) yet at the same time without being able to give a specific chronological marker.
In the following verses, you will see several repeating idioms and illustrations overlapping.
Let's examine the Scriptures and see if Christ was using what would be a common and familiar Jewish idiom when He spoke with His disciples:
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." - Matthew 24:36The thought of "but my Father only [knows]" is also another Jewish idiom. It comes from the Jewish wedding tradition where the engaged groom would be working on his future place for his bride under the auspices of the groom's father - the one who arranged the marriage. The groom would not come for his bride until his father checked off that everything was ready at home. Hence, when people would ask the groom-to-be if he was ready, he would respond "only my father knows..." The groom may have a very close idea, though. (See also John 3:16, John 14:2-3).
"Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." - Matthew 25:13Notice how He tells us to "Watch" right before He (supposedly) tells us we wouldn't know what to look for. If we replace the idiom (bolded) with the words "Feast of Trumpets" the verse takes on a whole new meaning - a double meaning, in which both are true. He is telling us to look for something, and gives them a strong hint of what it is.
"But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch."
- Mark 13:32-37
Again, references the Jewish wedding concept, and that we should be watching. Remember, in ancient times, the official word about the start of Rosh Hashanah was signaled by lighting signal fires. If you were not watching for them, you would miss or sleep through most of a feast day that you were commanded to observe!
Notice how He makes reference to the fact that His coming will literally be at different times of the day. People all around the world will be in different time zones and activities when He returns.
He warns against spiritual sleep, or apathy, and urgently commands us to watch. Watch for what? - the signs of His coming, and the time and season He repeated to His disciples.
"The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers." - Luke 12:46Here He uses a variation of the idiom to emphasize that some will not be looking for Him, even though He told them to watch and be faithful stewards.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."
- I Thess. 4:16-18; 5:1-3
It shouldn't surprise us that if Christ is coming back on the Feast of Trumpets (a day which also celebrates crowning God as King of the world, hence the round Challah bread used in Jewish observances) that God will also sound a trumpet. Yom Teru'ah (Rosh Hashanah) literally means "Day [of] blowing [the horn]".
Paul remarks (and clues us in) that he didn't need to rehearse all the Jewish seasons (festivals) because of his audience - they already knew the background and that Christ gave strong indication of when He would return.
The phrase "as a thief in the night" is another ancient Jewish idiom referencing how the captain of the Temple guard (some say the High Priest) would sneak around the Temple at night checking on the Levites who guarded the Temple to see if they were sleeping on the job. If he found one sleeping, he would use his torch and singh their garments. This captain of the guard had the common nickname of "Thief in the Night."
This is an important distinction because Christ's return will not surprise those who are watching for Him - only those who are spiritually asleep and apathetic will be surprised. The guards who were alert and watching were not ashamed or surprised at the coming of "the thief in the night."
"Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame." - Rev. 16:15Again, Christ uses this familiar Jewish idiom in warning the churches. Some Christians will be caught unawares, and their garments will be spotted and wrinkled by living in sin and apathy. Their 'singed garments' will be an embarrassment to them on that day.
"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. "
- I Cor. 15:51-52
The last blast of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah is referred to as the "Last Trump". Symbolically, the sound of the shofar is intended to awaken the listeners from their "slumbers" and alert them to the coming judgment. One day soon, the trump of God will sound as He comes for His Bride - but it will also signal the start of judgment of the nations of the world.

 When is Rosh Hashanah in 2013?
While the Julian/Gregorian Calendar marks it as starting on the evening of September 4th and going through Friday, technically (depending on where on planet Earth you are, and going by the confirmed appearance of the new moon) it will be more toward starting (technically in America) early Thursday morning and going through Saturday.
However, it has been pointed out that due to the proximity of the sun to the moon during the 5-6th, it most likely will not be observeable (which is what traditionally makes it official) till the 7th, Saturday.
You can roughly check this with stellarium software.
Because of the 8 hour time difference, here is a chart to help you better understand when Yom Teruah starts in America.
It is shown as two-days (traditional Rosh Hashanah), even though Biblical Yom Teruah really is just one day (Lev. 23:34).
Yom Teruah:IsraelUS (CDT)
Calendar Date:Sept. 4th-6th, Wed evening - Friday evening.Sept. 4th (Wed. noon) - 6th ( Fri. noon)
Astronomical (Technical New Moon) Date:Sept. 5th-7th, Thurs evening - Saturday evening.Sept. 5th (Thurs. noon) - 7th (Sat. noon)
Observed Timeframe (from Jerusalem) :Sept. 7th-9th, Saturday evening - Monday evening.Sept. 7th (Sat. noon) - Sept. 9th (Mon. noon)

Keep in mind that the observing of the new moon only signals the official start of Yom Teruah - Christ tells us that He will leave us guessing as to the time of His arrival after that.

"Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not." - Luke 12:37-40
 Are You Ready?
  • Are your sins forgiven?
    • If not, admit you are a sinner: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." - Romans 3:23
    • Believe the Christ can save you: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." - Romans 6:23
    • "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." - John 3:15-16
    • Call on Him to save you: "...if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." - Romans 10:9
  • Have you been baptized? The ordinance of baptism is not required for salvation, but is an outward sign that you have been saved. Acts 8:36-38; 10:47; 18:8.
  • Are your household affairs in order?
  • Do your friends and family know your clear testimony and where you would be if Christ returned this Feast of Trumpets?
  • Are you reconciled with your brothers and sisters (Matthew 5:24)?
  • Is your house and life purged of uncleanness (2 Timothy 2:20-21; I John 3:3)?
 Suggestions (only if you have the above settled first):
  • If possible, request time off for Wednesday-Saturday so you can observe 'a religious holiday'.
  • Clear your schedule as much as possible to avoid being distracted by matters that do not matter.
  • Write up a note to those who will come looking for you IF Christ should come back THIS Feast of Trumpets.
  • Have some instructions, keys, etc. out for those who may first come looking for you. Instructions and directions on how to best use what you've left behind or charitable use suggestions (with a clear presentation of the Gospel).
  • If you have books or resources regarding end times, prophecy, etc. that others may be interested in, considering the circumstances, make them easily findable as well.
  • Also, if you have books related to preparedness, survival, etc. have those findable, but not as prominent. The time of Tribulation will be a literal tribulation. You may want to intersperse Gospel tracts in the pages of your books that people may thumb through.
  • If you have animals (pets, livestock, etc.), have clear instructions and supplies for others to be able to provide for them in your sudden absence (Proverbs 12:10, Proverbs 27:23).
  • Have your house neat and clean - it will be part of your evidence and testimony when you are gone.
  • Make the day leading up to Rosh Hashanah a time of celebration and anticipation. Have some traditional Jewish feast foods, but don't go overboard.
  • Observe the Lord's Supper, whether as a church body or in family fellowship. Write out and share your testimony of what Christ has done in your life.

Please Keep in Mind:

Rosh Hashanah, the Feast of Trumpets, is a celebration and a rehearsal. Christ's Return might not be this particular Feast of Trumpets, but we can still celebrate and commemorate it, and live in light that He may return this one. So in other words, don't do anything stupid, don't burn your bridges, and keep your attitude and heart right! Watch!

Back to me now:

If you think you might want to get in on this celebration, (and you have plenty of can celebrate this year right up until Saturday if you want) it can be as easy as the dipping an apple slice in honey and eating it, to express sweetness in the New Year (which as you can see refers more to the "new" after Christ returns.)  

One thing I really like about the Jewish Feasts are how simple they are and how they all teach something that relates to both Jewish history and Christ's fulfillment. 

The Feast of Trumps with all that trumpet blowing was a wake up call each year to the Jewish people.
A few days afterwards they celebrated Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

Hmmm....imagine that.
If Jesus does return on the Festival of Trumpets, can the Judgement day be far behind?
Could sharing some honey dipped apples and honey cake with a neighbor perhaps be a way to start an interesting conversation about salvation?

Just a thought.

Wish my blogging buddies were honey cake came out really good and I would have plenty to share with all of you!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Labor Day 2013: Floating in (the) Great Salt Lake

As I mentioned in my previous post:

We had trout for lunch on Labor Day, a 14 incher caught the day before at Hoop Lake.
If you look carefully, you will see that the ash tree outside our kitchen window is flirting with turning gold

The deck flower pots are still in summer party mode though.

And our son's tomato garden is still pumping out heritage tomatoes like crazy!
Ahhh...Labor Day!
We started a Labor Day tradition here five years ago.
We had moved from Houston to Salt Lake in mid August.
Moving, (in case you have never done a move yourself) is stressful.
I had heard that one floats like a cork in the salty waters of (the) Great Salt Lake, and wanted to experience that kind of floating personally.
What could be a better way to celebrate Labor than floating, which requires NO labor at all.
Something that is bound to relieve stress.
You can see a post about our first float HERE.
It was so great relaxing and beautiful that we decided then and there that floating in (the) Great Salt Lake on Labor Day would be our new tradition.
(You are probably wondering why I keep putting "the" in brackets.  Recently I read a scold in our local newspaper about adding a "the" in front of "Great Salt Lake".  Apparently it is as improper to do saying "we are going swimming in the Lake Michigan".  Try as I may, I can't quite break the "the" habit; it sound weird to me to say "We're going swimming in Great Salt Lake"...
  I will keep adding the brackets until I get used to the idea of dropping the "the".)
So off we go, driving about 45 minutes from home to Antelope Island in Great Salt Lake.
The island is reached by driving over a causeway.
Usually the causeway is bordered by water on both sides; we were shocked there was dry land for quite a distance instead.
Still it was quite beautiful.
I shot photos as we drove along.

Magical isn't it?

Breath taking beauty.
(What you thankfully can't see is the breath taking stench created by shorebirds and brine shrimp scents.  Which is why I try to get my shots through a rolled up car window as we drive along.)

The drive to Antelope Island is my transition from ordinary life to another more peaceful world.

Each time we go to Great Salt Lake I ask what is causing the smoke on the far shore.
Some year I will find out what it is...
This how the water level looked during our first visit here five years ago.

And how it looked on Labor Day 2013.
Quite a change!
We park and change in the bathrooms into our swim suits.
The water level here has receded greatly since our last visit.
It will be a long walk to the water; thankfully this year the sands are not blistering hot and we can walk barefooted most of the way.

The surrounding vegetation is not hording mayflies this years, nor do I see colonies of dragonflies as I have seen in other visits.
Each time here is both the same and different.
Our swim was far more buoyant than experienced in years past.
We attempted to tread water, but our feet keep floating up to the surface.
When we lay prone in the water our bodies are like islands without any top part submerged.
About twenty minutes into the float my body begins to relax and a mild euphoria occurs.
The magnesium content of the water is like an Epson salt soak times ten.
The water and air are at the exact same temperature.
The sky reflects in the water; am I floating in sky or sea?
Does it matter?
Perhaps it is both.
Eventually we swim back to shore, walk back to the outdoor shower and rinse the glittering salt brine from our bodies.
We change in the bathrooms, meet up again by the car, and decide to have dinner at the Buffalo Grill about a mile up the road.
Buffalo Burgers sound good...and very American on our National Labor Day holiday.
The tables are long and bench seating add to the picnic like feeling of the day.
Another couple about our age orders buffalo burgers too and then asks if they can join us at our end of the otherwise empty table.
They are locals, and they too love the beauty of Antelope Island.
We chuckle at how many photos we have taken of this place and how we can't stop from taking more every time we come.
We agree: every visit is the same and different.
We chat about family and places; the husband notes Bernie is wearing an Oregon State U. tee shirt.
He attended the school for a couple of years himself.
It was great to chat with friendly folks over burgers.
The only thing we had felt was missing from our day was friends to share the fun.
Sometimes friends can come in the form of strangers who just happen to crave a buffalo burger at the end of a day.

And speaking of buffalo...
Antelope Island has a good sized herd.
We had to laugh at the sign and the buffalo obediently standing here where the arrow was pointing.

Is this not just too cool?
"Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam..."

"...and the deer and the antelope play...."
Yes, that is an antelope standing between the buffalo!

Gasping at the beauty...
We had pulled over to for the sign shot, then pulled over again, and again.

Then the antelope "played" on the other side of the road.

At one point we were pulled up right behind our new friends from the Buffalo grill.
I ran over to the open car door to squeal at the wife while the husband was shooting pictures beside their car.
"One time we saw antelope crossing the road right in front of us" he shared.
That must have been amazing.

And then...

Whaddah know?
Right in front of us...the antelope crossed the road!

Why does an antelope cross the road?

To get to the other side...duh!

When the second one approached the road side I was thrilled!

(Are you ready?  Get your camera ready, I'm gonna cross too...)

They don't call it Antelope Island for nuthin'!

Meanwhile the area continued to provide "ohhs" and "ahhs".

On our way home.
It was a Labor Day weekend extraordinaire!

Monday, September 02, 2013

Anything Green (or Got To The Party Too Early).

We are aiming for a full blown All American weekend around here.
I'm posting the Friday, Saturday and Sunday adventures.
Monday's adventures are still to come!
Friday night we took in a baseball game, and I was nearly killed.
(How's that for an attention getting line?)
Bernie got game tickets a few hours before game time, and we headed over to our beautiful ballpark that is surrounded by soaring mountains.
We got the traditional ball park hot dogs and settled in to watch.
Bernie warned me that as we were seated just seven rows above the away team's dug out, I should be watchful for pop fly balls when left handed batters were at the plate..
I nodded, munched my hot dog and wondered which way the batter faced if he was a lefty.
(You can tell I really know a lot about baseball, huh?)
We were quite settled and slouching in our chairs when suddenly I heard a crack and slack jawed watched as the foul ball rocketed towards me.
It was like watching a movie in slo-mo.
My brain was saying "that ball is heading our way".
(It was, at about 60 mile per hour.)
When my brain registered that the ball was about 12 inches from my FACE...I saw Bernie's arm extend and his hand slid smoothly in front of my face.
The ball smacked his hand as he swatted it away.
The guy in front of us was hit by the bounce and another guy actually caught the ball.
The whole thing happened so fast I hardly had time to register it all.
The next day Bernie's hand was showing black and blue bruising.
When I consider what would of happened if the ball had hit me square in the face, or on my glasses...
I imagine an ambulance ride would have been part of the evening, and hospitalization and surgery might also have come into play.
Bernie played a lot of baseball all the way through school.
I am SO thankful his hand-eye coordination is still at championship level.
And I am not so sure I want to sit so close to home plate ever again.

We had dithered about whether we wanted to go to the ball game or go camping.
As often happens when we are faced with two equally appealing choices, we figure out a way to do both.
Saturday morning we loafed around until ten when we finally decided that yeah, we did want to go camp.
We backed out of the driveway at 12 noon, sharp.
We headed to Wyoming, passing by Fort Bridger on the way.
The roadway was packed with people on their way to  Ft. Bridger yearly Rendezvous.
Tee Pees and cover wagons could be seen side by side.

It was awfully hot, and there were an awful lot of people so we just peered at the goings on as we drove by.

It was fun seeing folks dressed like mountain men, Indians, settlers and so forth.
Maybe some year we will go and take a cheerful kid along for a look-see.

We arrived at Hoop Lake around 3ish.
Bernie went fishing, I stayed in camp reading a book of short stories about women anglers.
Short stories are so much fun to read...

Bernie launching his Fish CatII.
(Notice all the sad pine beetle damaged forests on the hills.)
Saturday night we dined on three huge rainbow trout.
Cooked some s'mores over the camp fire.
Perfect All American holiday weekend fare, don't you think?

After Sunday breakfast, where we realized that our fast exit meant a few items had been left behind, we were back at the lake.
He fished, I explored.
A flash of yellow in the trees called my name.
It was, after all, September 1st.
Which is STILL summer of course.
But the forests were definitely planning a party soon.

A tentative bit of color here...

Would the green hold out much longer?

A few leaves had donned their fancy clothes and were ready to get the party started.

The browning fields seemed resigned to relinquishing any last summer wild flowers.

The aspen...they surrounded me in white with green leaf jewels scattered about.
(It is almost impossible to take anything but a great picture of aspen in any season. They are like the cover girls of the forests.)

Bits and pieces of tentative color change.

One flower left in bloom, like a guest from a previous party that hadn't quite left, who didn't want her party to be over.

It was still summer warm; no crisp in the air at all.
A humid haze was hanging on the mountainsides.

Ever gotten to a wedding early?
Like before the flowers and trimmings arrive to make the ordinary space look special?
That's how it felt to be surrounded by aspens just flashing a bit of fall color.

The decorations go up, little by little.
Still it is hard to picture just how it will all look once every thing is up and the guests in their finery arrive.

(I still don't understand why sometimes aspen turns red instead of yellow...)

Or why just one branch will turn color while the rest of the tree stays stubbornly green.

Or why one leaf will sport all the possible colors, and be finished before the other leaves have even begun to turn.

As I looked across the yellowing shore grasses and to the deep green aspen groves, I felt like the guest who had come to the party before it was all set up.
This same scene in two, three weeks will be astonishing.

I can see the trees that are ready to be gold standing in drifts among those reluctant to give up on summer.

A few butterflies still flitted about slowly.
Their summertime party is also drawing to an end.

The night before Bernie had asked another fisherman what kind of flies were the fish biting.
"Green" the man replied.
"Anything green."

Bernie took his advice and caught fish on nearly every cast.
He switched to a red fly just for fun.
Not a single fish even gave it a nibble.
Even the fish are in on the "hang on to summer" thinking.

(I love how the water has dashes when a breezes ripples the glass like surface.)

So as usual, he fished...

I watched, read, walked and took pictures.

We called back and forth from time to time.
We had the place to ourselves for quite awhile.

Then up pulled a few vans and trucks and a passel of men, kids and dogs erupted onto the shoreline.

I got good giggle as the big brown dog marked a shoreline rock.
"Seriously?"  I wanted to say to the dog.
You are going to OWN this whole lake?

When Bernie came ashore a young lad raced over to talk to him.
He had come up to me earlier to ask if my husband had caught anything yet.
I told him yes.
He asked how big was the fish.
I yelled the question to Bernie; he replied about 14".
The lad asked what he was fishing with.
"Anything green" Bernie said.
"They are biting anything green."

It made me smile when the lad ran to talk with Bernie as soon as he got back to shore.
I think the kid is going to be an avid fisherman too someday.

And I smiled at how he raced away to tell the other boys what he had learned from talking with the old guy who had just caught a big 'un.

All together now:
Two weeks from now this scene will be amazing when all the aspen turn gold.
Everything that is now green in the picture will soon be turning solid gold.
Hoop Lake didn't impress me much while we were there scenery wise.
It was like coming to a party before it got started and leaving just as the music started to play.

We left the campground after lunch on Sunday.
See the cute little hole in the side of the mountain?
(Some facts: Hoop Lake is at 9,000 ft in elevation, and let me do a bit of TMI about that fact:
 Being that high up makes one feel like one needs to pee constantly. 
Which means getting up several times during the night. 
If one doesn't drink a lot of water, one gets an altitude headache. 
If one drinks the proper amount of water, one will spend most of one's time walking back and forth from the toilet. 
This trip I didn't drink a lot because it was a dry camp ground (no tap water) and we forgot to pack Gatorade.

We stopped at the stream, which I think was Beaver Creek.

The summer roses were quickly shifting their wardrobe style to autumn shades.
Hard to imagine that was a scene of pink flowers and soft green leaves just a month ago.

The reason we stop at this stream...

was because...

on the way to the lake we had noticed the stream came from directly beneath a mountain!

How cool is that?

It was the mountain one over  and across the road from the mountain with the hole in its side.

(Looks like a smiling mouse being cheek kissed by a long nosed rat to me.)

So tempting to wade into the cavern to see what could be seen.
The adult in me says "no way!"
Oh to be a curious adventurous kid again.

So I took the best photo of inside the cavern that I could.
Then we drove on.

Just a bit down the road we could see another mountain top with a hole in it.

Then it was on to the flatlands.
The red mountains gave way to white mountains.

The goldenrod fluffed along the dirt road edges...were they leading away from summer or into autumn?

Fields had been mowed and the hay piled into huge mounts.

Our question:
Why was the hay being piled instead of baled in some manner?
We agreed we wanted to ask our Canadian Dairy Farmer/Expert Elmer as to why this was.
Judy...will you please go get Elmer and ask him for us?
Thank you!

Then the meadows and white mountains gave way to more stark visas.
The blue mountains that we had seen on our way to the Green River last spring still fascinated me.

I shot from the car window as we drove through the winding roadway.

Don't they look like paintings?

And isn't it amazing how many colors dirt can come in?

The turquoise color...against the red soil.

Add yellow flowers to the base.
Can it get any better than that?


I can not decide which view I like best!

Driving three hours for a one night camping trip may seem like a crazy idea.
But camping was just part of the whole adventure.
Seeing the beauty of Wyoming and Utah was as much of the adventure as the time around the campfire.
We hadn't seen this area at exactly this time of year before.
Reason enough for taking a three hour drive there and back.

Oh, and having one of the Hoop lake trout for lunch at home today...that was just an extra bit of treat.
(Next up...our traditional Labor Day float on the Great Salt Lake! Heading there right after I post this post!)