Rushmore/Devil’s Tower/Grand Tetons

CruzeAmerica wants to give a big thanks to my great aunt Sandy for being an awesome host in Deadwood. She was a great tour guide and an awesome lady!

I can’t think of a better place to be on the Fourth of July than Mount Rushmore. The mountain that idolizes the pioneers of freedom. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. These four men fought valiantly to preserve the great country they helped shape.

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After Mount Rushmore we spent one more night in Deadwood and then continued on to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming.

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From Devil’s Tower we continued our drive straight to Grand Teton National Park. We arrived around midnight and unsuccessfully searched for an open campsite. We drove to Jackson and slept in the car. In the morning we drove back to Jenny Lake and we discovered there was an open site! We claimed it and continued driving around the park.

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The rest of the day has been filled with rain and a massive amount of thunder and lightning. It even ruined our disc golf game in Jackson Hole!

Tomorrow we will hike around the Grand Tetons some more and then on Monday we move to Yellowstone National Park.

Blog Posts Delays

Hey everyone! Sorry for the lag in blog posts. The trip has been moving so fast but nonetheless it has been so amazing! We will update as soon as possible and right now we are in Chicago! Thanks everyone for following us and we hope you are enjoying it as much as we are!

The generosity of Tennessee

We took this ambitious road trip because we know our young lives allow for it now but most likely will not in the future. Our hopes for the trip were to gain experience in handling practical situations, gain perspective about the cultures and lifestyles within America, and to see places that we may never see otherwise. Each of those expectations has already been met, and frankly the proceedings of this trip have gone much smoother than we expected them to. A major factor in that smoothness has been the way we’ve been provided for in random ways. Most of the sweet provision has come from Drew’s relatives or family friends, all of which have been mentioned in earlier posts. Those have been sweet times and such blessings along the way. But it is the four guys from Tennessee that not only hiked but also forded a river with us, and then were willing to be fellow comrades in the hitch hiking process and go so far as to pray for us and then offer monetary provision that I want to extend even greater thanks to in this post.
It is always a great opportunity when we get to interact with locals. The conversations are memorable and always insightful. Our friends from Tennessee however were more than just fellow hikers and nice people. They were used by The Lord to be a source of provision and light. These men were bold enough to pray for three strangers, and then they did what is often the missing link in the Christian witness, they showed us love and genuine care by surprising us with a free meal. I want to thank Caleb and Nathan and the guys from Tennessee for truly living their lives for Jesus and in the process living for three random strangers.
I love seeing The Lord at work.

Wonderings.

Strange how one can live for 21 years, granted, in a place of beauty, yet be completely unaware of some of the worlds greatest natural phenomenons there are to see. Everywhere we go is as if in a different world from the last place. From granite cliffs and waterfalls, to sandstone and canyons, uniquely formed spires of rock, and trees that have petrified to stone, and finally our latest stop, the stalagmite and stalactite pinnacles within the Carlsbad caverns. And all this within 9 days. 9 days ago I didn’t so much as dream of such places. 9 days ago Cars Land at Disneyland was my reference for towering red rock and sandstone, and had someone told me that Carlsbad Caverns look like the inside of the line for Indiana Jones (x1000) I may have laughed at the idea that such a made up scene could ever be real. And those are the reflections that strike wonder in my brain. Wonderings like, what else have I not seen? what else have i not even heard of? how many more such places are yet to be discovered (at least under the earths surface)? and how many different worlds can there be within this one earth??
Their is variety of terrain and landscape on this planet that can only become real once you’ve stood before it in awe. The marvels we have witnessed have come to be by way of natural weather from the beginning of time. But the world in all it’s glory is not meant to bring the attention of men to weather patterns. Natural phenomenons are given to men by God, in grace. The grace I find in them is the reflection of his power, care and creativity. The sites we have seen are mans window to a God who loves all. A God who can take a shapeless planet and through natural causes create a vivid, unique, varied and awe inspiring one. This God is gracious enough to show man his love through creation so that man will be drawn to him. And once a man is, he then becomes the earth in the hands of God. An opportunity for redemption and beauty to sprout.
My wonderings lead me many places. My mind is ready to explore all that is put before it. I value science, I believe science. I would not deny the weathers hand in shaping these national parks. So yes, my wonderings lead me many places. But they always come to rest in one place. That place being the character of God and his willingness to work through natural causes in order to give man a reason to seek him.

Romans 1:20 “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.”

My wonderings are my own. If they strike wonder in you, well I hope it is wonder that benefits. If they cause feelings of disconcertment, well then your options are to ignore them, or talk to me about them. I don’t pretend that such a conclusion as I hold to is easy to accept. I welcome the struggle even in my own life. Jesus welcomes it too.

I hope to never stop wondering. If you have, go to a national park.