Posted by: Brad Beaman | March 29, 2014

Father-Son Camping Photo Essay

We started our camp out going straight for the ropes.

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We need to go up the rock face at just the right place.

Kathothia reppelling

We have to work our way up the narrow passage up the rock face.

kathothiya MP

Now for the instruction for safe rappelling.

kathotiya

on the face of Kathothiya.

reppelling MP

To the camp. Celebrate victory! We are still in disbelief we just did this repel.

Kathotiya camp

Next day ancient cave paintings and the zip line.

Kathotiya cave paintings

Father zips right into the water. Ha Ha Ha!

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Son has to demonstrate how the zip line is done.

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Good time by all. First father-son camp out a success!

 

 

Posted by: Brad Beaman | March 4, 2014

Don’t forget the Miracle

What do these stones mean?
There are some things you just don’t want to forget. If you win a sporting event you have a trophy to stand as a tangible reminder of that accomplishment. When you graduate you receive a diploma to frame and put on your wall. That diploma represents great expenditures of time and money.

With marriage there is the wedding band that serves notice that you joined your life together with your spouse. The wedding anniversary is remembered each year. And when you have a baby to remember that you have……. Well you don’t need any reminder for that. The baby is not going to let you forget.

What about when God does a miracle in your life? How are you going to remember what God has done? In Joshua Chapters 3-4 we read that God works a miracle among his people. Not just the miracle but we also find out how the people set up a marker that will keep a remembrance of what happened for generations.

And the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. Joshua 3:7

When God does something among His people that is along the lines of dividing the Red Sea, then that is worth remembering. The moment needs to be remembered. Crossing the Jordan was a great moment in the history of Israel. It was marked as an occasion not soon to be forgotten.

God is a living God who works in the lives of his people and they know He is a living God. Praise God that He is alive and Jesus is the living God who has risen from the dead. God is at work in the world and the lives of His people.

God’s not dead. He is alive! Don’t let forty years in the wilderness mislead you. The living God is among you. Has He seemed silent? When you read the Psalms you find even David felt that way. But God is the living God at work in your situation.

The Ark of the Covenant represents the power of God. If anyone moved carelessly with the ark it would mean death. There is a warning never to forget the set-apartness of God. Crossing the Jordan at flood level with the Ark of the Covenant is an epic event.

God demonstrated through this miracle His awesome power. Some descriptions of this account make it seem like there was a mudslide and the Israelites sloshed through the mud into the promise land. In verse 4:13 it says the waters were cut off. I picture in my mind an invisible barrier and the waters were stacked up.

God performed a miracle and established Joshua as an instrument of His power. It was of the magnitude when God divided the Red Sea and established Moses as an instrument of His power. And far from sloshing though the mud the Israelites crossed on dry ground (Joshua 4:24). From time to time Almighty God works a miracle so that the people of earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful.

The crossing of the Jordan goes alongside the dividing of the Red Sea, Jesus calming the storm, the lame walking the blind seeing and the resurrection of the dead in establishing the living almighty God is working among His people.

As a testimony of Gods work a marker was erected. There were twelve stones to commemorate God’s miracle. This marker was to serve as a teaching tool. When the children ask their parents what do the stones mean then the story should be retold (Joshua 4:21).

The assumption here is that children ask questions. When we prayed over dinner our daughter asked, does God eat food?

When God manifests himself then make a marker in your life. A great spiritual experience is to chart the miracles God has done in your life. These miracles could be your salvation, a healing, hearing God speak or a financial provision.

Of course it is not enough to simply remember the past. We remember God’s work in our life but we do not rest on the past. We need a testimony that is fresh and communicates God’s power.

Joshua told the people to get ready. “For tomorrow,” he said, “the Lord will do a great miracle.” (Joshua 3:5)

It is exciting to look back on what God has done. It s even more exciting to get ready for the great miracle God will do. We need to get ready for what God is going to do. He is still the same living and powerful God.

Posted by: Brad Beaman | March 2, 2014

Bhimbetka Photo Essay

Bhimbetka Rock Shelter 40 kilometers outside Bhopal.

Bhimbetka

Bhimbetka Rock Shelter has humans living since the Paleolithic period.

Bhimbekta Rock Shelter

Bhimbetka paintings date start from the Mesolithic Period.

Bhimbekta cave paintings

Tortoise Rock Bhimbetka Rock Shelter

Tortoise Rock Bhimbetka

Kids climbing at Bhimbetka Rock Shelter

Bhimbetka rock climb

There are so many painted animals (252) that this part of Bhimbetka is called the zoo.

Bhimbetka zoo

The mythical baor at Bhimbetka Rock Shelter. This is different because the animal is hunting man where other paintings have the man hunting the animals.

Bhimbetka Mythical Baor

Bhimbetka Rock Shelter

Bhimbetka family

Cavemen at Bhimbetka Rock Shelter

Bhimbetka cave men

There were amazing tree and rock formations at Bhimbetka.

Bhimbetka

Bhimbetka formation.

Bhimbetka

Posted by: Brad Beaman | February 16, 2014

Week in Rajasthan Photo Essay

Spent week in Rajasthan and on the train out to the Western Rajasthan area.

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Sunrise on the train near Bikaner.

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Weaver making rugs in Western Rajasthan.

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This bridge was west of Ajmer.

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Overview of Jaipur from Nahargarh Fort.

Nahargarh Fort

Water Palace in Jaipur

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Brass band at Rambagh Palace.

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Night at Rambagh Palace and yes, I hang out at thousand dollar a night hotels.

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Posted by: Brad Beaman | February 7, 2014

Kathotiya Rock Paintings Photo Essay

I had a fun time exploring Kathotiya today morning.
Bhopal
This was my guide Vijay Kathotiya.
Kathotiya Guide
I would have missed a lot without Vijay’s guidance.

Kathotiya Vijay
He threw a rock down there to warn the snakes and Lungar monkeys etc. The rock went down and down before hitting bottom.

Kathotiya ridge
Then Vijay went down too so I just followed him.

Kathotiya cave
I was ready to see the rock paintings.

Kathotiya paintings
The rock paintings are from the Paleolithic age claimed to be 17,000 years old.

Kathotiya wall

There are different color painting, red is one of the colors.

Kathotiya red painting

White rock painting.

Kathotiya white

Kathotiya is mainly a Bhil Tribe area. Actually the Bhils live in the jungle area outside the village. Painting Kathotiya

Feel the breeze!

Kathotiya breeze

Cycle rental in a remote Bhil village. That is what I’m talking about!

Kathotiya cycle

I was served local Badari fruit with my chai.
Kathotiya chai

Back to Kathotiya for a overnight tent camping later?

Posted by: Brad Beaman | February 1, 2014

Gypsy Highway Photo Essay

Our family has felt like gypsies lately and then lo and behold we meet some real gypsies with their camels so we stopped to take some photos. Their sheep were behind them too.

gypsy highway

They were traveling outside Bhopal

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Quenching a desert thirst.

drink in the desert

Good bye to our new Gypsy friends.

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Posted by: Brad Beaman | January 25, 2014

Cloud by day, Fire by night

BCS camp fire

Our family has moved twice in the last sixty days. And now guess what! We are waiting to find out if we will stay where we are for the next few months or if we need to move to the next “encampment” in a few days. All this moving has made me refer to the Cloud by day, Fire by night of the Israelites in the wilderness.

Some years ago a software engineer from Israel who lived in a nearby apartment asked me if he could cut some branches from the trees in our yard. He needed them to make a booth on top of his apartment to remember the time Israel would follow the cloud by day, fire by night and live in temporary shelters. The Jewish people remember that history by celebrating the festival of booths each year.

By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. Exodus 13:21-22

Believers in Christ also should remember how Israel followed the cloud by day and the fire by night. We are told that it happened as an example for them for our instruction 1 Corinthians 10:11.

Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 1 Corinthians 10:11

This will not necessarily mean a physical move. Following the cloud by day, fire by night is about a step of faith not a physical move. As followers of Christ we need to follow the fire of the Holy Spirit. Be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). We Pilgrims on our journey in Christ need to be sure we do not miss the move of the Spirit. When the Spirit leads we need to move from the encampment of our comfort zone to the unfamiliar.

I wonder if we need to move a third time in sixty days? Our family lived in one place for fifteen years. But this is a different season for us. I hope we are ready to go or ready to stay. We need to be willing to follow the pillar of fire, the presence of God the leading of the Holy Spirit. All believers in Christ must be led by the Spirit.

Posted by: Brad Beaman | January 20, 2014

Lodi Garden Photo Essay

Lodi gardens in Delhi is known as “Best Urban Oasis in Asia” Here are a few pictures from my January morning walk through Lodi Gardens.

Muhammad Shah Sayyid’s Tomb from the dynasty 1414-1451.

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There was lots of crazy stuff going on with the animals. They all seemed to involve a squirrel.

This was two parrots attacking a squirrel and then getting into the squirrel hole in the tree.

Lodi Garden

The squirrels had the parrot outnumbered and chased off the parrot.

Lodi Garden

The squirrel gets the honey from the Lodi garden honey comb.

Lodi Garden

Twisted tree.

Twisted tree in Lodi

That’s me I was really in Lodi Gardens.

Brad Beaman in Lodi

Not sure why this see hear say no evil statue is at Lodi

Lodi

Posted by: Brad Beaman | January 13, 2014

Introduction to Colossians

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There are two New Testament books written to Colossians from Paul. The two books are Colossians and also Philemon, a personal letter to Philemon but also a letter meant for the churches at Colossae and Laodicea. There is no record in the book of Acts of Paul ever preaching the gospel in Colossae. For this reason we have to look for clues about how the church started in the two letters Colossae and Philemon and make some assumptions from what happened during Paul’s two years at Ephesus.

Colossians is one of Paul’s prison epistles and most scholars believe Paul wrote this letter during his Roman imprisonment about 61AD. Paul mentions in Colossians 1:17 that it was his close associate Epaphras who preached the gospel in Colossae. The work in Colossae probably started during Paul’s third missionary journey when he set up a gospel training school at the Hall of Tyrannus outside of Ephesus.

Paul had covered a lot of ground during his journeys but he just could not be everywhere at once. It was common for him to mention in his letters his desire to visit a place, but he just could not at least for the time being. By his third missionary journey Paul had come up with a way to multiply himself and that was the school at the hall of Tyrannus.

At Tyrannus Paul could pour into disciples and they could go out and cover all the places Paul would never have the time or health to reach. With this strategy Paul could even be in prison and the work would carry on.

And so it is commonly accepted that one of the disciples at the hall of Tyrannus who was instrumental in all of Asia hearing the gospel and starting churches in cities Paul never reached was Epaphras. Paul said You learned the gospel from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf (Colossae 1:7-8). Epaphras was the key man for the Asian tri-city area of Colossae, Laodicea and Hierapolis. Paul said “I vouch for Epaphras that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. Colossians 4:13. Epaphras probably started the Laodicea church that met at Nympha’s house (Colossians 4:15) and the Philemon church that met at either Philemon’s or Archippus’s house (Philemon 2).

Epaphras was the ideal disciple/church planter to carry the gospel and start the church in Colossae. He was a local son of the soil Colossian. Epaphras could have made the one hundred mile journey back and forth from Ephesus to Colossae with relative ease. His fellow Colossians were also making that same journey all the time. They would be going from the smaller city of Colossae to the big port city of Ephesus for trade and supplies.

Epaphras would learn from Paul how to proclaim the gospel and start churches and raise up leaders. Paul uses the 2 Timothy 2:2 strategy at the hall of Tyrannus. “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others”. Paul rises up Epaphras at the Hall of Tyrannus.

After spending some time at the Tyrannus School Epaphras would head up river or along one of the Roman Roads to Colossae and put what he learned into practice. When he reached Colossae he would teach what he learned to Archippus. Epaphras learned from Paul and he in turn raised up Archippus to lead the Colossian church (probably it happened this way at Colossae). Paul is raising up multi generational leaders. Timothy is even on the scene when Epaphras is in Rome with Paul (Philemon 1, Colossians 1:1).

The hall of Tyrannus strategy worked brilliantly because both Paul and Epaphras are together in prison in Rome and the work is carrying on. Of course the churches at Colossae and Laodicea certainly do face threats from prevalent outside harmful philosophies. Paul is trying to steer the churches clear of their harmful influence in writing the Colossian letter. The church at Colossae has a powerful prayer warrior in Epaphras who regularly intercedes for them too.

The distance and trip from Ephesus and Colossae are very practical. On the other hand the meeting up in a Roman prison of Paul and two Colossians of Epaphras and Onesimus is striking. What were Epaphras and Onesimus these two Colossians doing with Paul in Rome? No one can answer for sure but it seems that Onesimus the escaped slave of Philemon was “free” to travel back to Colossae with Tychicus and Epaphras was not.

Whatever reason Epaphras came to Rome is uncertain but that he brought news to Paul of the growing spiritual fruit and love in the Spirit is certain (Colossians 1:6). Epaphras also brought news of the threats of heresy facing the church in Colossae. Paul is writing to protect the church from the threats of philosophies that diminish the supremacy of Jesus. The letter to Colossians very clearly articulates the supremacy of Jesus and his total sufficiency for salivation. Tychicus would carry the letter back to Colossians and take Onesimus back to Colossae. The Colossian letter was to be read in all the churches in the area.

Here are those mentioned by name in the book of Colossians and the references:

Paul:  Colossians 1:1, 23 4:18
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, Colossians 1:1
if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. Colossians 1:23
I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. Colossians 4:18

Timothy: Colossians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, Colossians 1:1

Tychicus: Colossians 4:7-9
Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8 I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. 9 He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.
Tychicus is also mentioned 4 other times in the NT Acts 20:4; Ephesians 6:21; Titus 3:12; 2 Timothy 4:12.

Aristarchus: Colossians 4:10
My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) Colossians 4:10
Also we find Aristarchus in Acts 19:29, Acts 20:4, 27:2, Acts. Acts 27:2, Philemon 1:24.

Onesimus: Colossians 4:9
He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here. Colossians 4:9
Also more about him in Philemon 10-16

Mark: Colossians 4:10
My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) Col 4:10
Also verses mentioning Mark are: Acts 12:12, 25; 13:5, 13; 15: 2 Tim 4:11 Philemon 24

Jesus call Justus:  Colossians 4:11
Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews[a] among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. Colossians 4:11

Epaphras: Colossians 1:7-8, 4:12-13
You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant,[a] who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit. Colossians 1:7-8
Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. Colossians 4:12-13
Also a reference in Philemon 23

Luke: Colossians 4:14
Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. Colossians 4:14

Demas: Colossians 4:14
Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. Colossians 4:14
Also Demas is mentioned in Philemon 24 and 2 Tim. 4:10
“Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.” This man of wavering impulse who surrendered the passion of sacrifice and sank in the swirling waters of the world, is a true reflection of the thought that where our love is, there we finally are. 2 Tim. 4:10

Nympha: Colossians 4:15
Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. Colossians 4:15

Archippus: Colossians 4:17
Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.” Colossians 4:17
Philemon 2

The Supremacy of Jesus Christ Colossians 1:15-23

Posted by: Brad Beaman | October 28, 2013

Torna Photo Essay

Torna fort view from Velhe village the where the Trek begins.

Torna Fort

It is called the “eagle’s nest” as one of the highest forts of Pune district. I saw some amazing eagles on the way up and on top.

Flpwer bee Torna

I started at Velhe village 65 kilometers from Pune. Velhe is 2,399 feet and went to 4,570 feet a climb of 2,149. It was categorized HC by my MapMyRide program and said I burned 3,000 calories going up and down and both ways was 5 and one-half miles.

I climbed solo and never saw another person for the 5 hours when I left Velhe village and returned. I just left my information on the windshield and told the Velhe police I was going up.

Torna

I saw many crabs along the path and this was the largest I saw.

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I saw Rajgad easily and also other forts could be seen Sinhagad and even Raigad.

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Torna Fort famous as the first fort captured by Shivaji in 1643. He hit the jackpot with a load of gold captured to continue his campaigns.

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I just followed the ridge up to the cloud.

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The flowers were very similar to Kaas a world heritage biodiversity spot 100 kilometers away.

Flower beatle Torna

This is the ridge that is to be hiked to trek from Torna to Rajgad.

Torna Fort

Torna is also called PRACHANDAGAD meaning massive fort. This was the view toward Raigad.
Tora Fort

Posted by: Brad Beaman | February 27, 2013

Long live King Solomon!

My friend used to joke with me that I was one of God’s spoiled children. I agree with him that much has gone my way. But if anyone was ever born with a silver spoon in their mouth it was Solomon.

Solomon had all the advantages life could offer. He had a God-fearing home with his father being a man after God’s own heart. He inherited wealth and was given the best education. He had the equivalent of a PhD in many sciences, botany (study of plants), dendrology (study of trees), and zoology (study of animals). In addition he was lettered in literature.

Then there were the political advantages that Solomon inherited. He received the throne of Israel when the kingdom was at its zenith. The death of King David meant the assent of Solomon to the throne of Israel. Solomon took the throne during what could be called the “golden age of Israel”.  The entire world looked to Israel.

Solomon was David’s tenth son. He was the second son of Bathsheba. The first son died after King David’s sin, adultery and murder. But in God’s grace He gave David another son through Bathsheba.

In 2 Samuel 12:24-25 The Lord gave King David another son through Bathsheba. Nathan the prophet who seems to have had a special burden for Solomon brought word that the Lord had a special love for Solomon. He had two names.

Solomon: Which means Peace.

Jedidiah: Which means loved of the Lord.

1 Chronicles 29 We read how David orchestrated so much for Solomon to follow as king and gave Solomon a great blessing prayer for him to prosper and to build the great temple of God in Israel sometimes called “Solomon’s Temple.” Not because this temple was for Solomon but built during Solomon’s reign for the glory of Almighty God.

In verse 29:25 It says the Lord exalted Solomon at this time while King David was about to die. Royal majesty was bestowed on Solomon like had never been seen in Israel.

There was a challenge to Solomon taking the throne, but it was more of a final challenge to King David who was still living and declared Solomon the air to the throne.  David’s oldest son Adonija made a self-proclaimed claim on the throne without David’s knowledge (1 Kings 1).

To get the wheels of justice turning Nathan the prophet begins to act. He tells Bathsheba that Adonijah is undermining her son Solomon’s claim to the throne (1 Kings 1:11). This caused Bathsheba to swing into action   (1 Kings 1:17) and Solomon is anointed as King (1 Kings 1:39). The priest anointed Solomon with oil, blew the trumpet and all the people shouted “Long Live King Solomon!”

David gives a death-bed challenge to King Solomon.

1 Kings 2:1-4

When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son. 2 “I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man, 3 and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go 4 and that the Lord may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’

In 1 Kings 2:10-11 King David dies. The greatest King ever in the history of Israel except for the Messiah who came as the second King David. To whom much is given much is required (Luke 12:48). Succeeding David as King will be a challenge.

Solomon faced his first test as king from his oldest brother Adonijah.  This challenge came when their father David died and it came to Solomon at the risk of his life. Adonija’s foolish action results in his own death and now the kingdom is firmly in Solomon’s hands (1 Kings 2:46)

Solomon started with so much. He did not squander his opportunity. The Queen of Sheba later said the half had not been told regarding the greatness of Solomon.

You may not have been given as much as Solomon; inheritance of billions, the most influential kingdom of any era. All at a time of religious fervor of the people. But I would suppose if you are reading this you have been given much.

In 1 Chronicles 1:29 David Prayed,

And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion

to keep your commands, statutes and decrees

He was given wisdom. But tragically at the end of his life he became a foolish wise man and strayed from the ways of the Lord that David prayed he would follow.

You have been given much. You have the riches of the gospel of Jesus Christ placed in your hand. To whom much is given much is required. You have been given a heart to keep faithful to God.

Posted by: Brad Beaman | November 24, 2013

Chiang Mai Photo Essay

Our family was able to spend some time in Chiang Mai and during the colorful Loi Krathong festival

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A sky lantern, also known as Kongming lantern  during the festival.

Loi Krathong festival

Floating Lamps fill the sky.

Floating Lamps

View of Doi Sutep. First time I made it up by bicycle to the Palace and I went beyond that to the very top!

IMG_0085

Top of Doi Sutep at the national park. climbed 4,222 ft. It was a 12 mile climb at 6% gradient  View 

Doi Sutep

Night Safari with Giraffe. Surprise he grabbed the whole bunch of greens.

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Giraffe uses my head as a plate.

Giraffe licking head

Cool stuff going on at Night Safari. We just did the walk. Doi Sutep in background.

Night Safari Chaing Mai

Kids loved holding  the tiger cub.

Kids hold tiger cub

Chiang Mai trip

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