Montana Fun in the Winter Sun
(Pictures Posted Below)
One of the reasons we wrote Beyond Creation Science is because we love to experience God's creation in all of its grandeur and majesty. There is a sense in which God is seen in all that he has made. Unfortunately, common views of Genesis creation and Bible prophecy held by Christians today do not encourage believers to develop a deep respect for God's creation. The reason is not difficult to understand. Many believe that the Bible teaches us that God will soon destroy this physical universe, as surely as it teaches us how God created the physical universe. Note the logic behind this dominant view about the creation and our future:
At the same time, the earth we inhabit is not a permanent planet, nor
was it ever intended to be. The environmental movement is consumed with
trying to preserve the planet forever, and we know this is not God's
plan. He tells us in 2 Peter 3:10
that at the end of the age, the earth and all He has created will be
destroyed: "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then
the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be
dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will
be burned up" (NKJV). The physical, natural earth in its present form,
with its entire universe will be consumed and God will create a "new
heaven and a new earth" (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1).
So we see that rather than trying to preserve the earth for thousands
or even millions of years to come, we are to be good stewards of it for
as long as it lasts, which will be as long as it serves God's sovereign
plan and purpose. (source)
The author of the above citation relies on a futurist view of 2 Peter 3 that matches his literal view of the Genesis Creation. Beyond Creation Science showed a different approach to both Creation and Prophecy. We show why it is important to respect the audience relevance and covenant context of Creation and Peter's prophecy. 2 Peter 3 was fulfilled by A.D. 70, nearly 2000 years ago when the old covenant creation entirely passed away. Of course, this preterist view will have tremendous implications for how Christians, who believe what the Bible actually says about creation and prophecy, think about the past and future. One benefit is that Christians can return to a positive view of creation and look for a long future ahead, as surely as our world has experienced an ancient past, what geologists call "deep time."
The neat thing about living in Montana is the opportunity to see and experience the most amazing things. Many people choose to live here in order to enjoy the great outdoors. Montana offers many ways to discover and experience God's beautiful creation. We try to use every opportunity we can to get outdoors. In this case, it was Micaiah Martin's (Tim's oldest son) birthday party in December of 2008.
Two things came together on this trip to celebrate Micaiah's 13th birthday: 1) Montana's extreme climate and 2) Montana's location near the actice geology of the greater Yellowstone area. Our winter low temperatures this time of year can consistently reach down to 20 degrees (F) below zero. But that doesn't mean you can't have any outdoor fun. The active geology of the region creates natural hot springs in various places. Cold weather actually provides a great opportunity to visit Fairmont Hot Springs, a popular destination for both locals and visitors. Why not go swimming when temperatures get stuck below zero! (and there was much rejoicing)
You can't stay inside all winter. After awhile you just have to get out and do something. Last Saturday Micaiah had a few friends (plus grandpa Wagner) over and we all went to go enjoy the pools at Fairmont. The big water slide was running as well which made for a great day of fun. When we arrived the temperature was 4 degrees F below zero. It got colder as the day went on. That night, the temperature fell to 20-25 degree below zero.
As you can see in the pictures, one of the results of mixing hot spring water (various pools range from 98 to 105 degrees F) with subzero temperatures is major fog. But the fog doesn't slow you down in the water slide! Just be sure to stay where the water runs and not get too crazy in the slide. With temperatures like this, ice does form from the water vapor on the sides and ceiling of the slide. Nothing like catching a rough icy patch if you get too high on the banked curves!
A few more tips for winter swimming at the hot springs. DON'T TOUCH THE RAILS when getting out of the pool! They tend to grab you... and they won't let go. If you make this mistake (out of habit), then you might be calling frantically for a friend in the pool to bring a couple of handfuls of hot water to help free your skin from the icy grip of the steel railing. OUCH!
Of course, you have to get from the bottom pool back up to the top of the slide for your next run. That means you should probably HUSTLE back inside where the stairs lead you back to the top. The water in the pool is plenty warm to raise your body temperature, but the most interesting thing happens as soon as you climb out into the subzero temperatures. The steam coming off your wet skin makes it look as if you are, quite literally, smoking in the frigid air. Yes, it's cold out there. Hold on a sec while I get a picture of the gang.
For a more intersting sensation than the boring, deep-down hot water bake, we like to hit the snow. All it takes is a little bit of rolling around or snow-angel effect (go grandpa!) and your body just won't know what to do. Hot inside and C-C-C- COLD on the outside. Yes, the snow tends to stick a bit, but no worries. After a moment of frolicking in the snow (as long as you can stand it), everyone makes a mad dash back to the hottest pool outside. Ahh, feel that tingling feeling? Did someone put sharp, stinging thingies in this pool?
All kinds of odd things happen in these extreme temperatures. Is that gray hair? Nope. That's the new Montana styling gel! Actually, it's just water, frozen water, that is. It doesn't feel all that bad. When you are up to your neck in 100+ degree water you barely notice the chill on top the head. After awhile you get the concrete hair-do. Yes, your hair freezes solid. But again, the solution is not hard. Just dunk your head under water for a few seconds and you get to start the whole process over again. Are we having fun yet?
After a few hours of much-needed fun we headed back over the Contintental Divide, arriving home to a monster pizza party. (Thanks, Mom!) The birthday outing was a total success.
Gotta love Montana.
Thank you, Lord, for your amazingly WILD creation!
Subzero Swim at Fairmont Hot Springs