Monday, July 04, 2005

ballin with the best.

In our spare time here at Snow Mountain Ranch, we enjoy hiking, backpacking, falling out of river rafts, and generally enjoying God’s awesome creation. Sometimes, however, we are drawn to the great indoors. We spend a lot of time at the Kiva, SMR’s recreation building. A good pickup game of basketball or volleyball is great now and then. Last week our speaker was Aaron Winkle, Calvin’s Coordinator of Christian Formation for Athletes and Team Development. Aaron gave a great couple of talks, and we all had an awesome getting to know him and his family—but one of the most exciting parts of having Aaron (or ‘A-Wink,’ as he was affectionately known by the LCI gang) here, was the chance to play basketball with him. Now, Aaron wasn’t any ordinary student-athlete during his years at Calvin—he lead the Knights to the 2000 Men’s Basketball National Championship and earned the title of Player of the Year. So naturally, we viewed getting the chance to ball with this guy was a once in a lifetime opportunity. We took it to the floor and had an awesome night of friendly competition at the Kiva. Man, this guy was good.

During the rare times when we aren’t working, going to our LCI meetings, or hanging at the Kiva, we are outdoors a ton. From stargazing to hiking to walking to work, there are countless opportunities to experience God’s amazing creation out here. Photos barely do it justice, but here is a taste of what we are blessed to see on SMR property every day.

Columbine, Colorado’s famous state flower. These things just began blooming at SMR about a week and a half ago and they are stellar.

Now if you think the weather in Michigan changes a lot, try Colorado. 80 degrees and sunny is often found in the same day as raging rainstorms. This, however, has one beautiful benefit—rainbows.

It’s not often you find college kids willing to get up at 4:30am to do anything—but watching the sunrise here is so amazing that we’ve done it more than once.

Sunsets aren’t bad either…

The Continental Divide—what more needs to be said?

  O LORD, our Lord,     how majestic is your name in all the earth!     You have set your glory     above the heavens….     When I consider your heavens,     the work of your fingers,     the moon and the stars,     which you have set in place,     what is man that you are mindful of him,     the son of man that you care for him? O LORD, our Lord,     how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Posted by Jill D. on 07/04 at 03:51 PM
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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

mad adventures.

These days seem to go more quickly as we progress through the summer.  While all of us in the program seem to be adapting to our work environments with ease, we still find time to have fun on our days off.  In addition, the Colorado weather is finally warming up!  The weather decided to take a sudden turn for the best about two weeks ago.  I remember dodging through a hailstorm only two weeks ago—now it’s 75 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny almost every day.  With this enjoyable weather, we anticipated the day when we could go whitewater rafting.  Taking initiative, our amazing student leaders for the Leadership Challenge Institute, Kyle and Lydia, planned two trips to raft on Clear Creek.  One trip took place on June 22, and the majority of the Calvin group went on this date.  The other group, which I was a part of, went yesterday, June 28.  The rafting guides informed us that the rapids we were about to challenge consisted of class III and class IV’s.

After slipping into wetsuits and foot booties, life jackets, and splash-guards, we crammed into an 18 passenger van and drove a short distance to the creek.  Before departing, I was slightly confused as to why they called it Clear CREEK.  However, when we stood at the side of the creek, we quickly understood why.  It stood about as wide as four lanes of traffic at its widest part, and the water flowed fairly quickly.  Hearing a fair share of preliminary safety instructions, we headed down the chilly 38 degree water.  Through periods of intense rapids, our guide Paul shouted paddling commands.  He explained the unique names of each section of rapids:Cheerleader Rock, Big Horn drop, Mine Shaft.  As we battled the rapids, a huge grin never left any of our faces.  I had rafted a few times in the past, but these rapids blew all of those experiences out of the water.  Within two hours, our two boats ended the 12 mile section of Clear Creak, and we headed back to the main building of the rafting company.  I think that most of us would do it again in a heartbeat.  There is nothing quite like whitewater rafting class III and IV rapids, especially with a group like LCI. 

Posted by Jeremy V. on 06/29 at 06:15 PM
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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

mosh pit polka.

Last week our speaker, Mike VanDenend, invited us all to attend a concert in Fraser, a small town down the road from SMR. It sounded fun enough—then Mike went on to tell us that this was a “world beat/polka” band, which, to say the least, isn’t the genre in heavy rotation for most college students. But after doing a bit of research, I found that this band, Brave Combo, had won the 2005 Grammy for Best Polka Album. Even if polka wasn’t our style, we knew it had to at least be good polka. So a bunch of us went along to the Brave Combo show in the heart of “the Ice Box of the Nation,” aka, a playground in Fraser. All it took was a few minutes of fun-infused polka for us to be grooving on the dance floor. Between the Chicken Dance, an abnormally long Conga line, swing dancing, and so much more, the night turned out to be a blast. I mean, how many times can you say that you danced the Salsa to a Grammy-winning Polka band with a rainbow streaming over the Rocky Mountains in the background? Probably not too many ;) Fraser didn’t know what had hit them—and I guess we didn’t either.

Posted by Jill D. on 06/21 at 10:14 AM
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