Paws, and Enjoy Life

Hey! It’s me, Head of Ranch Security, again.. It’s been awhile since you’ve heard from me, I realize.. But I’ve been so crazy busy this summer.. Let me tell you about it:

So obviously you’ve picked up on the fact, by now that Kendra and Deborah rushed off for about  a month.. Leaving Emily at home as the lonely only. She thought with her schooling and the field work, that she was about snowed under- but she forgot about me..

Day in and Day out, I’ve fearlessly kept an eye on the property.. AND I’ve had to work alone too! Around the end of June, Rolo went into hiding. I knew where she was all along, but I can keep a secret.. Julia and Emily were about desperate trying to find my brown eared assistant. It didn’t help matters that Deb kept calling and texting every few hours to see how Rolo was.. The pressure was on.. So they looked everywhere- drove the four-wheeler over the entire farm, prayed frantically, called, begged, pleaded.. It broke my heart- but it wasn’t mine to tell. What did about push me over the edge was when they tried to con me into leading them to where she was.. And they said all kinds of stupid things like “So much for all the stories where the dog is the hero and leads you to the lost child..” HEY! I am the hero! Rolo needed space!


Eventually they found her, and her new family.. Black, Brown, and Yellow.. 3 females, and 5 males.. They are rather cute, but I must confess, a much lesser dog couldn’t handle all the attention those puppies are getting.. Sometimes it almost gets to me.. But then I have to realize they are leaving soon.. At least I hope..

But you know, Life has lessons for us, and I think it’s important we pay attention to them… Becoming “Uncle Detroit” has taught me a lot…

*no one is indispensable.. I thought this place couldn’t operate without Rolo’s help- but what do you know- peace has been maintained while she’s on maternity leave.. With no small thanks to yours truly

*there are things that are more important than work. I hope my family remembers this one- it’s good to be busy, but always take time out to connect with a much lesser, more inferior, younger canine.. (Or I can always use a good game of tug-of-war) Take time to live.


*not everyone is out to get you.. Our relationship with Kalila has been shaky at best.. But she loves to sit over top of the pen and just watch.. Like a pointy eared guardian angel.. And I’m becoming rather fond of her.. Our relationship has taken some time.. But it’s good to trust..


* be loyal.. I hope they remember this one too.. Have new dogs, but keep the old.. One is silver and the other gold.. But really just keep the old dogs- enough is enough

Life is learning. Maybe eventually, I’ll get to where I feel less awkward around these little roly poly balls of fur.. (You ever watch someone that hasn’t held a baby  in awhile, try to hold it in a way, that it won’t break? That’s the stage I’m in.. Not cool) But really- even if these aren’t related to me- (purebred is over-rated) I can say that they are trained by the best in their short little life.. So if you need a good dog-I know where you can find a pure bred lab or two.. or eight..


Ok, sales pitch, life lessons over with.. It’s back to work for me..

Yours truly,

Detroit Snappenbarker Mendoza

Bonus pic:


Deb had a birthday in Nicaragua.. So we took a pic as an e-card.. The bro-in-law quipped “If we just photo-shop Deborah in, we can use this as our Christmas pic..”  Happy Birthday Christmas everyone!! 🙂


Excited about our cover girl 😉

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Years ago, it was traditional for my dad’s Maryland family to brave the highway and spend a day in the Shenandoah Valley.. Thanks to those of you who were able to take time out to venture our way once again! ❤


The resident deer, Valiant, has been helping out with corn harvest.. After watching her strip ear after ear, Father said “How many does she NEED?!” We are learning not to ask Detroit, but we are suspicious she has a fawn near here..

East, West, Home is Best

The tiny mag light shone out into the darkness, creating an imagine that bounced onto the windows of the van and surrounded me.. “What are you doing?” I broke the silence.. “Marking our trail on my atlas” came the reply “I got a little bit ahead of where we actually are.. but I’m screaming across Pennsylvania, riding my pink highlighter home..”

Hallelujah! In no time- we were riding into the beautiful Valley on more than imagination and a highlighter… We are home!

We left Cabalas and the girls started riding like troopers, and so we just kept driving.. 1430+ miles.. Thank you, Lord. .

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We stopped by the place in Iowa that inspired “The Church in the Wildwood” and sang there.. That is quite the place! I could hardly believe when Juanita -with her eye for unique facts- read that in 2009, the 73,000th couple exchanged vows in “that little brown church in the Vale..” The church has been there since 1841, and it was really neat to see…

And last night coming across Illinois, we saw 2 more crop dusters feeding a field.. That is so neat! But weren’t able to increase the number of working combines past 103…

10,200 miles since the end of June.. Time moves so quickly.. Its seems like so long ago since we were heading west- with my head all full of that ABC game, but in another way it was only yesterday.. The best part was the look of surprise on the faces of our loved ones as we showed up, unannounced.. We have many a story to tell.. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by..  Please don’t be a stranger just because the trip is completed..  Hope to see you down the trail… Blessings, Kendra


“This Land Is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie

This Land Is Your Land
Words and Music by Woody Guthrie

This land is your land This land is my land
From California to the New York island;
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and Me.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway,
I saw above me that endless skyway:
I saw below me that golden valley:
This land was made for you and me.

I’ve roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts;
And all around me a voice was sounding:
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling,
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling,
As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting:
This land was made for you and me.


Prairie Ponderings

What is life?

It is the flash of a firefly in the night

It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime

It is a little shadow which runs across the grass

And loses itself in the sunset.

-Crowfoot, Blackfoot Warrior


Hello from South Dakota! This morn has opportunity to find part of our gang as ladies of leisure, as the other half of the crew fill up our meager remaining space with whatever goodies Cabelas can entice us with.. 🙂 (Personally I’m hoping to spend a little time in both camps..:) )

Yesterday was another fun day. All along Juanita has had a big idea on her wish list.. ‘I wish that we could just randomly run into someone we know..” Yesterday, we stopped at the only convenience store in about a 100 mile radius of Dayton,Wyoming. I was preparing to check out when one of our group came over and said “Umm there’s someone outside that wants to talk to you.” I wasn’t sure what what to take from her news, so I finished up wandering through the aisle of “nothing looks good” snacks (Yes, we’ve been on the road too long) and made my purchases. Then I took a deep breath and headed outside to see what was up.

And there, parked beside Coppertone, was a Virginia vehicle, with a couple and their son who had the most beautiful accents.. And would you believe-she worked with my sister, Deborah at the local Vet clinic? And he is part of the family that owns the concrete business that we use- whenever the need arises to make concrete plans..

They followed us for about an hour after that, and I had to laugh at myself, for how many times I looked in the mirror and smiled, knowing that we were traveling with some “home folks”..

Juan said that since they use the rival vet clinic, and she didn’t know these people, it doesn’t count as her wish. Sure does for me..:)

And to add another brightener to my cheery day, my phone rang last night with a really crazy number… My dear lil sister, Deb called from Nicaragua.. I hadn’t talked to her in almost a month.. It was wonderful to hear that she’s doing great.. I’m so excited to see you again the first of Aug.. I miss you, Deb!


The trail yesterday led us beside green pastures- past sheepherders and their horses and two intelligent collie dogs.. We stopped and listened to them “Yippie-ie-“ing to their animals as they moved them along. It was impressive.


We took the scenic route and checked out the progress of Crazy Horse- from the road.


Mount Rushmore also charmed us. It’s hard to imagine the mental process that would accompany the idea of taking a sheer granite mountain and carving faces into it..

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I’d never actually been to Badlands National Park before. I drove through the area on different occasions, but never visited the park. I was impressed on the way in- the wheat fields that went right to the edge and then dropped off into barren wasteland. The Badlands are incredible! And my van thermometer read 120 degrees.. I’m pretty sure it was only 100, and got confused by a stop, but I was impressed that it went that high..

And so- that’s enough from me, this morn.. Hope all is well with you and yours.

See ya down the trail, Lord willing.

Blessings on your week, Kendra




We are back into wheat harvest area again.. I’m excited! I’ve been keeping tally of how many machines we’ve seen in the field.. And while that number isn’t as impressive as I thought it was gonna be..stay tuned- I’ll divulge the info eventually.. Until then- I’m sure you’ll wait with bated breath.. ha ha 🙂

And we saw multiple grouse families yesterday.. And our travel weary brains ask the question.. What is multiple grouse? Grice? Such deep things to ponder on a Monday morn..



Tales from the Trail

The World looks like something God imagined for His own pleasure..” -Anne of Green Gables

Tonight my thoughts are running in all different directions, and unfortunately, I’m not sure there’s any rhythm or reason to them.. So therefore, dear reader, it’s impossible for me to come up with one beautiful theme and tie everything from the last few days into that.. So I guess we’ll break it down- one subject at a time:

Montana: Last time I posted, we weren’t really sure what to do with our trip, but after a lot of prayer and consulting with our support teams at home and realizing that there was no way we could pull of 40 hours of driving time unhindered without risking our own lives, we felt at peace to continue on with our schedule.. I hate it that I couldn’t get these ladies home to grieve with their church community, but I flat couldn’t.. Bless them for being understanding.. So we headed out. Montana once again “wowed” me.. The road ran beside the most unique aqua colored river, twisting as it went.. On different occasions, Bald Eagles would circle overhead.. The bright red Sun slipped silently-like a big red ball- behind the mountains, leaving the world in a hushed silence.. It was beautiful! Apparently there are a number of forest fires in the Northwest States as well as Canada, and that threw a haze over the mountains hindering visibility a little.. But we still sang “Meet me in Montana.. I wanna see the mountains in your eyes..” God imagined something amazing when he created Montana..


Glacier was beautiful, the haze still was a problem, but it was ok.. All along, we have enjoyed a the splash of color along the trail from the wildflowers. It was fun to take a little bit of time to watch the girls put a handful of bouquets together..

Wyoming: I’m honestly not sure which place I’m the most enamored with as these two states run neck and neck- in my rating.. We spent yesterday in Yellowstone, being thrilled by another unique National Park.. The variety of color in the hot springs..

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..The fact that Old Faithful erupted the very minute they said she would, seeing our first wild buffalo (and eating Bison Chili for lunch) Standing in awe at the base of the Tetons, and watching them point majestically into the heavens.. Fearlessly towering over the land..

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And shopping in Jackson, and the grand finale to our day was  Bar J Chuckwagon… (This is a cowboy supper that is a MUST if you’re in the area)


We’ve been filling a few hours as we travel with book on CD.. “Hank the Cowdog” has given us a few new phrases “I reached for the microphone in my mind and announced..”  “Where the Red Fern Grows” made us cry.. Currently we are enjoying the roller coaster ride with drama queen  “Anne of Green Gables”..  One minute she’s on top of the world, with her “scope of imagination” , and the next- her “life is a graveyard of buried hopes”.. We laugh, I love her enthusiasm..

Tidbits: We’ve had a few girls faithfully checking license plates, keeping track of which state they are from.. AND- we finally have seen all 50 states.. Any guesses which the last two were? No- we saw Alaska in Colorado, and Hawaii as we were heading into San Diego.. Delaware and Rhode Island..

I’ve been on a quest for the perfect barn.. I tried multiple times, but each barn had something wrong with it.. “too close to that house” “not the right type of weatherboarding”


Finally, we found a barn that we all agree is about as close to perfect as we’ve found.. Fun things to pass the time..


And turkeys.. Where I come from- wild turkeys are a rare sight.. This family was right outside my window, the other morning..


We have seen so much unique variety in Creation.. Everyday, we go from opposites, green lush field, to dry sage and desolation.. Each stop comes up with something different.. We’ve packed 21 days full of various adventures.. It’s hard to imagine exactly how there continues to be exciting things unlike anything we’ve seen- everyday.. And that blesses me. God spoke and the world “became”. I realize that over the course of time- the landscape has changed. But just like that-He created this fantastic place we are exploring.. I like Anne’s comments.. “God imagined for His own pleasure..”

And  another song from my childhood.. “He’s still working on me.. To make me what I ought to be.. It took Him just a week to make the moon and the stars, the sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars, how loving and patient He must be-cause He’s still working on me..”

See you down the trail. Good night, Kendra



Lesson from Mount Saint Helens

“Often , what appears to be the end, becomes the beginning of something new…” The postcard at Mt Saint Helens jumped out at me.. Mt Saint Helens erupted 1980, devastating the surrounding area, ending the lives of 150+ people, sending homes and jobs into oblivion,  sending a column of smoke and ash 10 miles into the air, complicating things for people around the world.  Devastating.

And yet, immediately, life sprung forth again, flowers poked their heads through the ash, people moved back into the area to recover, restore, and rebuild.. And years later, all is a lush green, and beautiful. Hope.


So I picked up a card, and wondered who I’d send it too. That quote applies to so much in life. Little did I know..

Yesterday afternoon, in our beautiful Shenandoah Valley, a friend,  former student, fellow ball player, harvest enthusiastic   was called home.  So we feel far away. Our heart breaks, but we know God has a plan..

And yet in the midst of the pain and sorrow, there is the a tinge of excitement.. This is the time of something new.. Renewed awareness of the Goodness of our loving Heavenly Father, appreciation for the support of family at home as we attempt to decide what this means for our trip.. A time to look at ourselves and our lives and goals and dreams and ambitions, and take inventory..

Thank you,Loren, for this reminder. Life is so short.. Your friendly smile will be a memory I carry with me, always..

Oh, God, please comfort the grieving..



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Crater Lake

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Most unlikely activity for a July birthday celebration

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Oregon Coast- 60 degrees and so windy..


A trip into Oregon wouldn’t be complete without stopping at one of their amazing drive through Expresso Shops and experiencing..


Multnomah Falls

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Lake Hayden, ID

On a very shallow note- passed a milk truck in Washington and read on the back of his tanker “Haveamugofmilkameal” try saying that out loud 5 times.. J

Lesson in Trust

Four little bolts with a nut on each end.. It’s a simple thing. I didn’t even notice the ones on my last van.. But as always, when I’m away on the far shore, it seems, I struggle.. These bolts are seemingly insignificant.. But are very important! You see, they bolt the receiver hitches to the frame of my van and hold my luggage box securely in place. A luggage box is an awesome invention.. We have enjoyed many a shopping trip knowing that we have PLENTY of space to carry our purchases..

So I’d been noticing that my box was, indeed, moving. I mentioned it to my mechanic (aka my Father) who attempted to calm my fears from 2,000 miles away.. “It’ll be ok, Kendra, We’ll deal with it when we get home..”

Well, the first stop outside of our Canyon trek, It was very obvious something was wrong. My aching muscles protested as I slid under Coppertone to have a look. One of the bolts was missing. Funny that the nut was laying there. A man in a Freightliner dealership truck stopped immediately and asked if we needed help. I sure did, so he directed down the road to the place of business owned by his parents, and said “Oh, and tell them to bill Larry..” What an angel. Within 30 mins, we were on our way rejoicing..

But as I drove along, I watched the box in my mirror.. Was that extra movement? I became very concerned.. So we stopped and I again called my mechanic.. I’m not sure why I’m admitting all this to you, dear reader, but please bear with me- there’s a punch line coming here.. My dad made me laugh.. He said exactly what I needed to hear.. “Kendra, are the bolts in place?’  “Yes” “And the welds-did you check the welds?” “I did, they look fine” “Then quit looking at that thing-You’re fine, we’ll deal with it once you get home!”

So, I relaxed and continued on.. Rejoicing in my Dad’s wisdom…

But, I’ll admit that at every stop, I check to make sure all bolts are accounted for.. And at the Sequoia’s, would you believe another one was missing.. 60 miles from our hotel.. I knew what needed to happen and that I was carrying a spare nut, but didn’t have an adjustable wrench with me.. This time, I unloaded on my Heavenly Father, instead of calling my earthly one.. Because, after all, My dad WAS 2,500 miles away and what could he do- I’d diagnosed the problem already, I could handle this myself..

So I told God that He knew that if I were home that I could fix this one easily by myself. But I wasn’t. And so I was relying on Him to take care of us. I knew He would.

The road into town was really bumpy which made me really pray hard, because that extra motion on the 3 remaining stressed bolts was not a good deal.. We had different options for the motel, and I was amazed when we pulled off the interstate to see our motel was surrounded by car dealerships!  How random is that? A motel in car country?

So the next morning, bright and early, I took Coppertone-directly across the street- to Pep Boys, and stood there praising God as the little Hispanic man slip under my van and had my issue solved in less than 2 minutes..

And it seemed like I heard a voice say, “Kendra, I love taking care of you..”

So, I’m reveling in that reminder.. It is wonderful having my Dad take help me deal with whatever. I need that. It is such a blessing.. But what is even better is to have my Heavenly Father not only helping work through things, but He’s going ahead of me, working out the details before I even blunder upon it..

How about you? Is there something that isn’t how you wish it was? Give it to God.. Remember He “loves taking care of you!!”

See you down the trail, (Hopefully with a little more secure luggage department 🙂 ) Good night, Kendra


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Yosemite National Park and the Phantom Bridal Veil Falls (CA must really be in a drought)

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Golden Gate Bridge and an amazing Bull Elk

The Redwoods

Joseph B. Strauss

Here, sown by the Creator’s hand.
In serried ranks, the Redwoods stand:
No other clime is honored so,
No other lands their glory know.

The greatest of Earth’s living forms,
Tall conquerors that laugh at storms;
Their challenge still unanswered rings,
Through fifty centuries of kings.

This is their temple, vaulted high,
And here, we pause with reverent eye,
With silent tongue and awestruck soul;
For here we sense life’s proper goal:

To be like these, straight, true and fine,
to make our world like theirs, a shrine;
Sink down, Oh, traveler, on your knees,
God stands before you in these trees.

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Notice the little tiny girls standing in the middle of the road.. Somehow standing beside 300 ft tall tree puts you in your place.. And yet- to realize that God is looking out for ME…

And one more brief story and then I’ll quit rambling.. This morn, as I went down for the standard complimentary breakfast- THERE on the breakfast bar, was actual factual coffee mugs.. And drinking from that luxurious mug made my morning.. Little things that you take for granted.. So sip from that ceramic mug today and think of your travelling friends who are back to disposable coffee cups…








We have had such a wide variety of experiences since last post.. It’s been great! We are enjoying life in CA.. I came across a bookmark at Sequoia National Park today.. Advice.. Which got me thinking. Nature does have advice for us, if we just stop and listen. It’s everywhere, reminders that God is in control.. I’ve been thinking recently about Jesus in the Mount of Olives, listening to his disciples praising God, and someone asked Him to silence them.. And he replied “If they become silent, even the rocks would cry out..” That to me is an incredible thought.. If we don’t confess through our worship, all of creation will cry out in worship to the Son of God.. Creation does have a wonderful way of helping us commune with the Father..

So on a much lighter note… I have some things that MAY be advice from what we’ve seen lately.. I’m sure there are deep spiritual parallels to be drawn here.. But those will have to come later.. Thanks to my travel companions for their help here.. 🙂

Advice from the Ocean: (Pacific Coast)

Things may be rocky, but eventually the tide will turn and gently wash away your troubles

Take time to wave

Go around the obstacles

Stay current

Go with the flow

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Advice from a Train (Tehachapi Loop)

Stay on track

It’s okay to blow your own whistle at appropriate times

Slow and steady wins the race


Advice from the Sequoia Trees

Stand tall and proud

Sink your roots deep into the earth

Be content with your natural beauty

Drink plenty of water

Enjoy the view

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(Trivia question from the last pic- which pinecone do you suppose is from the Giant Sequoia? 🙂 )

I love that last bit of advice. Wherever you are- enjoy the view..  That reminds me of a quote my mom recites often.. “I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now, let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again..” – Grellet

This is a one way trip.. Enjoy the view, do what you can.. “For we shall not pass this way again..”

See you down the trail.. Good night, Kendra

Bonus Pic:


Advice from SeaWorld: wear sunscreen 😉

10,000 Reasons

The morning started quietly. Matt Redman’s “10,000 Reasons” woke our room up.. 3:30 a.m… “Bless the Lord Oh my soul, oh my soul, worship His holy name..” We checked out and quickly divided out the 4 packed early riser breakfasts the motel provided, and with the receptionist’s “watch out for animals” ringing in my ear, we were off. The girls settled in for our 70 mile drive to the trail head right away.. I’m not sure how many of them even saw the cow elk that was preparing to step on the road in front of us.. Or the actual bovine cows, bedded down by the road. I laughed to myself. If that isn’t the typical cow.. 10,000 acres (approximately, this may just be a wild Kendra guess) to roam over, and they bed down practically on top of the road..

The sun is starting to rise the closer we get to the Grand Canyon West Trailhead.. I’m amazed by the almost 180 degree sunrise.. The light stretches clear around us.. “The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning, it’s time to sing Your song again, whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes..”

So we park the van and stand breathlessly at the edge of the Canyon. It is beautiful and the trail looks nothing like it does at Grand Canyon South.. Those among us who were extremely apprehensive, take a deep breath and feel much better.. We load our back packs down with a gallon of water and Gatorade, a prayer, and, optimistically, we are off.

The trek is downhill. Really rocky, but there is a wonderful cloud cover and it’s 62 degrees. This isn’t at all bad.. We sure are thankful to think we’ll be riding horses out of here, though.

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Mile 1.5: we are going strong. We weren’t sure how compatible our hiking speeds would be, but we stay together.. Marching along single file.. a strand of “on and on we walk together..” or “marching on, with our flag unfurled, marching on we are marching on..” and the occasional cowboy melody.. “all day I faced the barren rays, without a trace of water..” rings through the canyon walls and up into the sky that stretches forever above us..

Mile 5: our pace really hasn’t’ changed that much. We enjoy the camaraderie with other hikers, stopping to chat and attempt to get a feel for where we are on the trail. We stop for a snack break and spread our “all you can eat buffet” before us.. Granola bars, trail mix, jerky, chips and salsa, chocolate covered pomegranates.. We are doing great..  A raven calls out overhead. We see lizards and Stellar Jays.. The white yucca blooms against the red canyon walls are lovely.. Some drunk guy gives us the false hope that we are almost there. We meet our first Mule train. And second train. And third..


Mile 6: We see a sign that says 2 miles to Supai. We’ve been walking in a dry river bed, but the landscape changes, and we get our first view of the pristine waters of Havasu Creek. It is the clearest water ever, and green trees are plentiful. We meet our fourth mule train. And fifth.. And sixth. We trudge on.

Mile 8: We enter the Supai Village. Home to 500 of the Havasupai Indian Tribe. It is really like visiting another country. We walk among the untethered horses on the dirt road. The houses are not in great shape. Fences line the road and corn grows in funny little rows. Dogs roam the street. English is not the language I’m hearing among the locals. And I feel really tired, overheated, and like I’m carrying the weight of the world in my backpack.

We made the trek in a little under 3 hours. So we go to check in. And here we have 5 hours until check in. The angel behind the desk whispers; “Don’t tell those boys in front of you, but I’m going to let you have Room 19 right now..” Bless her. We crash for a power nap. 🙂


Mile 9: We walk up to the only food place in town. Originally named “The Café”  and partake of the refreshment they have to offer.. Walk over to the store, and around town a little until it’s time to check in. Then head out once again..

Mile 11-13: These are fun miles. It is hot, but the river and the falls are breathtakingly gorgeous. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such beauty. The magnesium in the water is supposedly what gives it its turquoise color.. The red rocks shows it off perfectly. Hidden in the depths of the Canyon. I’m amazed, to say the least.. And the icing on the cake of this experience is the refreshing swim in these beautiful waters..

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Mile 14: The receptionist delivers the cold reality: there will be no horseback riding tomorrow. Somehow there was miscommunication, and the man who usually takes visitors out via horseback is out-of-town. So.. I’m so proud of how the incredible ladies with me accept this news. They simply put their shoulder to the plow and say “ok, we’ll walk.” The current is out, so we have no electricity and therefore no AC. We are barely able to con the store owner into selling us a little bit of cold beverage with the little bit of cash we have.. There is a major thunderstorm brewing.. “You’re rich in love and You’re slow to anger, Your name is great and Your heart is kind, For all Your goodness I will keep on singing, Ten thousand reason for my heart to find..” Talk to the Mormon lady next door and she learns of our plight-that we flat don’t have enough food for supper, breakfast and the hike out. She shares generously. Another lady downstairs comes up and wonders if we would eat fruit, she’s hiking out the next day and they are gonna get tossed if we don’t want them..

Again the alarm goes off at 3:30. I slip into the darkness to make sure the other rooms are up. The only sound is a dog barking somewhere and a generator running.. We divide out our food, load up with water, and rejoice to find a care pack at our doorstep.. Jerky, granola bars, a headlamp (for Juanita who doesn’t have one) some cash.. I can now empathize with Elijah in the desert. I don’t know if the ravens delivered it, or if it came from the lady next door, or some other angel.. But there’s no doubt in my mind. It’s a Godsend.

Mile 15: Our party is joined by two other groups, totaling 15 of us in all. Our flashlights shining into the darkness, a dog from the lodge as our escort.. We move along at a great clip. Hardly stopping.

Mile 17: It’s fully light by now. The one party is a ways behind, the other passed us by like we were backing up..

Mile 19: Our group is split up a little, several of the power women among us blaze on ahead. We sing a little to divert ourselves from the task at hand. One, two, three, four.. I count steps in my head..

Mile 21: I can’t carry this food any longer. We stop, and with a “come and dine” we make short work of our rations..

Mile 23: The last leg of the journey is the hardest part. Steep and rocky. But I’m thankful and so proud of my girls. The sun is just shining on the canyon walls behind us. It is a beautiful morning again. We take it slowly. One step at a time.. “And on that day, when my strength is failing, The end draws near and my time has come, Still my soul will sing Your praise unending, Ten Thousand years and then forever more..”


Mile 24: HILLTOP!!! Nine girls loaded back into Coppertone.. “Bless the Lord, Oh my soul, Oh my soul, Worship His holy name. Sing like never before, O my soul.. I’ll worship Your holy name.. Lord, I will worship Your holy name..” Hallelujah.. 🙂

And so tonight, as we gather around the ibuprofen bottle in a town outside of San Diego, CA. We are weary, but it’s a great weary. Please continue to hold our travels in your prayers. I sure felt them yesterday and today..

See you on down the trail.. Good night, Kendra

Bonus Pic:

We traveled out Route 66 again.. I meant to mention the frustrating Burma Shave signs.. They were all missing part of the poem.. “Violets are blue, Roses are pink..” Then what?  Today, West bound was better.. and appropriate for the train country we are in.. “Train approaching; Whistle Squealing; Pause, avoid that; Rundown feeling..” 🙂


And my unique photo of the day..


Route 66

To our friends scattered to and fro,

I’m not sure how much time I’m going to have to post here in the next few days, so I thought I’d rave tonight..

Today found us enjoying the fascinating architecture in Las Vegas early in the morn (before anyone was up) and then being completely impressed by Hoover Dam. It was warm there.. A sunny 109 degrees. I’d been there once before, but never taken the tour. The dam itself is 750 feet tall and 600 feet wide at the base. That is a pile of concrete.. 3.25 million cubic yards, to be exact.. I found it interesting that there were 3500 men, working 7 days a week, on the project with 2 days off a year. And 96 of them lost their lives during the construction. The beauty of the project is, the Colorado River is now more controlled. Less flooding and a more consistent water supply.

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So we left there and travelled through more waste land and I complained about all the dry wilderness. Our devotions this morn was  PS 107.. ” Oh give thanks unto the Lord for He is good… He has redeemed (them) from the hands of the enemy. And gathered  (them) out of the lands from the east and from the west.. They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way.. Then they cried out to the Lord.. and He delivered them from their distress.. Oh that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness..”  I feel a little like the Children of Israel- that we’ve wandered for days.. I guess they still had 40 years ahead of them at this point.. But anyhow. Our trek took us to Historic Route 66 and I’m suddenly taking back all my whining.. Something about this part of the journey is incredible. Well, it all is, actually. But here we are driving through rocks and cactus and more rocks, and a little general store here and there and a few houses scattered all around, freight trains roaring down the track about every 15 minutes..  It just feels like I’d envision it to have looked back in the 1960’s. It’s really cool! I’m somewhat enamored by a pile of historic rocky, cactusy, desolation.. Sounds lovely doesn’t it? 🙂

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“Oh that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt Him.. He turns a wilderness into pools of water.. And sows fields and plants vineyards that they yield fruitful harvest.. Whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the lovingkindess of the Lord.. “

Hope to see you on down the trail.. Good night, Kendra



Another Day, Another line

“The story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the identity of the innocent.” -Dragnet

Rose stood in line at Burger King.. It seemed like that’s all she’d gotten done recently.. Her thoughts went back to the wonder of Mesa Verde National Park, where she had toured the Indian ruins that had lain nestled under the cliffs for 750 years. There she had stood in line to climb down a ladder into a “Kiva”(a circular basement room) where they had worshiped the Great Spirit years ago. The cliff dwellers where fascinating people. Climbing straight up the cliff to tend their crops on top.


Travel had then taken her towards “Four Corners’ where she’d stood in line with her travel companions for 45 mins before finally getting the opportunity to stand on the square of concrete that represented the meeting of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona. The 100 degree temp had made this wait a little bit of a challenge. One guy about 2 groups ahead of her in line was compelling his young children to make a decision.. “I’ve been to every continent on this earth, and I can tell you, this is the most over-rated tourist attraction there is.. The wait is an hr. And it’s just a piece of concrete you can easily see from the side..” Eventually they caved, and thus sped up the waiting time for the people behind them.

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And so there she was, standing in line again. This time at a Burger King in Navajo Land. The memory of the amazing Sheepherder’s Sandwich (made out of fry bread-a Native American special) fresh on her mind and dreaming about all the wild horses she’d just seen and wishing that she had taken the time to look at their feet to see if they were as healthy as rumor stated… This was the coolest Burger King ever, surrounding her was lots of memorabilia from WWII. This was the land of the Navajo Code Talkers.. Those guys must have been incredible, to receive orders in English, relay it over the air in  their native tongue and write it down in English. An added bonus to this history lesson was the presence of one of these brave men in the motel lobby..


Yes, she was deep in thought.. Should she order a warm brownie Oreo Sundae? She didn’t even notice the middle age Indian couple that appeared to be madly in love, who walked in and stood behind her… And.. She hardly thought about how closely the lady stood behind her..


Somehow the poor man leaned forward to gather his lady-love in his arms, and whisper endearing things in her ear, and managed to catch Rose in the embrace as well..

Three is a crowd, you know. The Indians and Rose both agree. So she quickly changed her order to rapid cup of ice cream, and hurried from the building attempting not to think about what might have been..

Bonus comments:

Soo.. enough silly stories 🙂 Today found us entering Utah and touring Bryce and Zion National Parks. Each National Park has its own unique personality and these were no exception to the rule.


Zion was so desolate. One of the girls made the comment that the area that we’ve been in looks like it’s been sprayed by round-up. And it does. Dead. For parts of 3 states now. I may have been overheard to mention several times on this trip, I wouldn’t be too sad, if they drop me and my suitcase off.. The last few days this hasn’t been the case..

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Notice the 4 “kings (or queens) of the mountain” on the first pic

Here we are. I request a special interest in your prayers tonight. We seem to have contacted a little flu bug and our big hike is Tuesday. And it would be best to be in top energy for this.. It’s awesome to know that God is working out the details of my life. I’ve felt His hand a lot this trip. Ask me, and I’ll tell you about it.. 🙂

Thanks again for stopping by.. See you down the trail. Good night,