Over the River and Through the Woods

And while we didn’t actually go to Grandmother’s house, we did use part of Labor Day weekend to drive to McCall. Boasting mile-high elevation, we followed the Payette River through Boise National Forest where brightly-colored life vests dotted the winding river with kayak and white-water enthusiasts.


At Lake Cascade State Park we stopped to enjoy our homemade picnic lunch and a quick dip in the chilly water — just enough to get our feet and paws wet.


Entering Ponderosa State Park on the north edge of McCall, Payette Lake sparkled like a sun-dappled jewel; it’s sapphire surface ruffled by passing houseboats, sailboats, and speedboats.


Sleepy in spots, white-capped with turbulence in others, we stopped one last time on the return trip for a closeup look at the Payette River. A great way to enjoy the Labor Day weekend, our day trip was filled with breathtaking beauty.


Where do you find breathtaking beauty?

© lauriebuchanan.com

95 thoughts on “Over the River and Through the Woods

  1. I think one can see breathtaking beauty in a can of garbage, though I also think iit would be very difficult. I find breathtaking beauty in clouds against an arctic blue sky, and in leaves during the fall as they change from green to gold or orange and then fall to the ground.

  2. A friend died this morning at 4 a.m. I then watched the blazing sun arise and fill the sky with color and light. I breathed in gratitude for his life and breathed out fear of my own death. I breathed in peace, strength, and joy for his family and breathed out awareness of their weariness.

    • Shirley – I could not have described the sacred practice of Tonglen more beautifully than you did here as you described your response to a dear friend’s continuation to the other side. Peace to you and yours.

      • Shirley, I’m sorry for your loss. To be accurate, the practice of tonglen may be helpful for one’s inner transformation. To actualize awareness, one would breathe in fear of death and sit with it, then breathe out color and light to help lighten the world’s load. A worthwhile practice to create peace and joy within one’s self and manifest outwardly into the world. Blessings to all. ♥

  3. These photos are gorgeous! I used to live in Colorado and they remind me of those days. I’m lucky now to live in a place coined “Vacationland,” where we live 5 minutes from the lovely coast of Maine. I try to take advantage of it and go somewhere on the water at least a few times a week.

  4. What a delicious feast for the eyes AND the mind. You’ve penned some yummy imagery: “sparkled like a sun-dappled jewel; it’s sapphire surface ruffled by passing houseboats, sailboats, and speedboats.” This is a location I could find myself lost in for days.

    You know where I find my magic! Right here in the good ol’ desert!

  5. Beautiful, Laurie! It looks like you had a glorious Labor Day weekend.

    I try to find beauty all around me, and I’m often struck by the beauty of early morning just around dawn.

    This summer, I was struck by how beautiful many of the areas along the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers are. We don’t often think of Philadelphia and “beautiful” in the same phrase. It was helped by the wonderful summer weather we had this year.

  6. I find breathtaking beauty in simple moments of Presence. The most unsuspecting things can shine with beauty when we’re perceiving simply and fully. Thanks for sharing your fun trip.

  7. The town of Halesowen, that I live now, is at the foot of The Clent Hills , nestled around, are ancient woodland dating back to the doomsday book . Dotted around are tiny villages ,interlaced with flowing streams, all with outstanding beauty . Am I mad to leave such a place ? Yes! but I will soon be going to the West Coast Of Wales …now that’s what I call beauty . I’m a lucky girl Laurie .
    Love all your photos …seems like you had a great labour day .

    • Cherry – Oh my goodness, what a beautiful word picture you’ve painted of your current location. And I know by your description that the location of your new home is equally, if not more, gorgeous. You’re fortunate, indeed 🙂

  8. A few days ago I found enchantment at the Clinique counter. When I approached the counter to purchase a lipstick, the sales woman turned to greet me with the most exquisite face and smile. Yes, it took my breath away. The encounter made all the more so because I rarely shop for cosmetics (my Mennonite background kicking in here) and hardly ever at a department store.

    We struck up a conversation, “Rosie” showed interest in my blog, and I may return for a make-over. I know, it’s artifice not nature–still it took my breath away.

    • Marian – Oh, what a lovely commentary on the woman behind the Clinique counter. And I bet she is just as pretty on the inside as she is on the outside — eyes and smiles have a way of revealing that. 🙂

  9. Everywhere I look around here.
    From my chair I see the birds feeding on the tray of wheat we put out for them, beyond them is the tops of the trees on our section, beyond them the by, beyond that the town of Kaikoura, beyond that three miles of shingle fan leading up to the base of the mile high Mt Fyffe, and beyond that the 9,000ft Manukau (about 15 miles from where I sit.

    If I go to the kitchen and look out the window the pacific ocean stretches away in front of me as far as the eye can see. Often there are dolphins, seabirds, and schools of fish in the view somewhere, and occasionally whales.

    The sky scape is endlessly variable.

    Just half an hour by road is the start of a 4WD track that goes over a mountain pass and into the valley beyond, where only one family lives on a 50 mile stretch of one of NZs longest rivers. The sort of place you can stay for a week and see no one else.

    Beauty is all around, in the eye of the beholder 😉

    Glad you Len and the girls got out for a good trip, pics look great.

  10. I love your tour and pictures. And enjoyed everyone’s comments.
    I am fortunate to live in SE Wisconsin and enjoy its lush green vistas and many lakes including opportunities to enjoy Lake Michigan.
    However today the most beautiful sight was the face of my 6 yr old Godchild Jillian so excited to go to kindergarten in her new outfit and her shoes which she pointed out light up; as well as her sister Keegan after going through a very rough year (and many missed days of school) of chemo and other treatment for Leukemia (with a year and a half of treatment ahead of her) so very happy to be going back to school. Their brother Brendon excited about going to 8th grade. It was joy personified this morning times many including many F B posts of other happy children of family and friends.
    This is beauty in another form I believe.
    It reminds me of the story my mother tells of my first day of school waiting in the church building next to the school, when I started to see other children going in, turned to my mother and told her “go home or they won’t call my name.” May all children have the opportunity to go to school and be so happy as the children were today.

    • Audrey – I love, absolutely love what you’ve shared here. I can just feel the joy buzzing in your words. And I add my voice to your prayer: “May all children have the opportunity to go to school and be so happy as the children were today.” Amen!

      • I do wonder how much of our little adventures he will remember as he grows up. I think maybe he will forget the events but he will remember how they made him feel ~ happy, safe, and much loved~.
        I took him to the local airport yesterday, it is very small so we can get very close to the helicopters and small planes coming and going. he absolutely loved it ~ typical boy. We had a picnic in the car as we watched and he danced on the seats to Dire Straits on the CD. It was a magical afternoon for me x

      • HeavenHappens — Because we experience life through our emotions (how we feel), he is definitely going to have wonderful feelings to draw on in his memory bank (and you are too) 🙂

  11. It’s on the top of my list everyday to find some. Today it was right there in the mirror first thing and in the wind and rain as Autumn makes a visit before Summers return. …. then to soften my anger as my neighbors have created a mess for clean up A phone number to call to get help…. everywhere

  12. What a beautiful place you are lucky enough to live in! I too live in a beautiful country, and see beauty around me every day in nature, but today I saw beauty in the way my eldest son (aged 12) gave up his time of his own accord to play with his little disabled sister, and the love and smiles she rewarded him with.

  13. Laurie, what beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing with us! I have to agree with someone else that posted a comment above. I find beauty everywhere I go. This weekend I found myself driving in the plains of Kansas. I’m sure many would not find this so beautiful but I find the fields of milo, corn, and alfalfa to look much like a quilt. Quite beautiful.

  14. What a spectacular landscape to negotiate over the Labor Day weekend Laurie! But no doubt you will be availing yourself of these Utah scenic wonderments for quite some time into the future. Heck who can blame you? You now reside in God’s country! With that kind of eye candy, I’d be hard-pressed to spend too much time indoors! In these parts we do have the breathtaking view of the NYC skyline, and recently the New Jersey shoreline at dusk. In any case your special sense of nature here is prime for meditation and artistic inspiration! Have a fabulous week my friend!

  15. I’m way beyond Tuesday, Laurie, but I had to let you now how much admired your photography this week. Your photos are just gorgeous! My favorite spots to enjoy the beauty of the natural world are usually at the ocean. But I’ve found there are just so many different levels of beauty and I think if we’re looking for it, there are good examples of beauty in our every day views!

    • Three Well Beings — I’m so glad you enjoyed the photos, thank you for letting me know. Like you, I love the beach too. There’s something therapeutic about the consistent rhythm of the waves as they wash the shoreline, and then race back out again.

  16. Laurie, my son has a friend who moved to Boise and loves it there! He keeps suggesting that Nate should move there, too! I told him how much you like it there and for a moment we played with the idea of moving the clan to Idaho. But finally Nate said no matter how nice it might be he would miss being near the ocean. And so the idea fizzled out. 🙂

    Your pictures are breathtaking – there are so many beautiful places on this planet. Too many for one person to see all of them in one lifetime. But we are blessed to be able to savor the beauty we do encounter. For me it is by the sea or in the woods. I’m finding new kinds of beauty here in North Carolina, too.

    • Barbara – I love that you had a “Boise moment” of moving the entire clan here 🙂

      I’ve been thinking about you, and yours, and the impending birth. I keep watching your blog knowing that you’ll let us know about the big moment when it happens!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.