Monday, July 5, 2010

Pilgrim's progress...

My favorite day of our Colorado trip was the day Chris, Amy, Blake and I hiked on our own (shout out to my awesome in-laws for keeping the kids). We took a ten mile hike up to the tree line and back. It was overwhelming - beyond words, definitely beyond pictures. You look at a mountain and it looks like trees and rock. It doesn't look like it could hold creeks, pools, rapids, meadows, lakes and waterfalls.

Our first destination was Alberta Falls, a spectacular waterfall at 9300 ft. elevation. It is difficult to wrap your mind around that much water that high up a mountain. It was fairly crowded there. It's a popular spot. We could have been satisfied staying there.

We hiked on through glades of aspens and along a ridge to Mills Lake. The idea of a lake on a mountain fascinates me. It's so unexpected. The air and the crowd was thinner there at almost 10,000 ft.

The last section of the hike was my favorite. We walked alongside a creek twisting through meadows, gently pooling in some places and crashing over and around rocks in others. There were log bridges laid end to end across a swampy meadow. I felt like a little girl, walking across those bridges with the sun on my face and the wind in my hair. There were rocks to scramble over in the woods. We met only a few people here. At the end we had to trudge through snow. We met a woman who turned back at the snow. She had about 200 yards to go. We made it through the snow and the creek, jumping from rock to rock to make it to Black Lake. The name doesn't fit - Anne Shirley would be ashamed. It's a stark and fiercely beautiful lake 10,630 feet up - right at the tree line. We were the only people there. I wanted to go on higher but we had to start down to make it back before the afternoon storms.

There are some spiritual observations that I can't resist. I think they've all been said before.

On a hike, you need all kinds of people - someone to remind you to keep going, that there's more on the trail ahead; someone to tell you not to go wandering into the woods alone no matter how enamored you are with them; someone to make you stop and look at the view; and someone to run to the edge of every precipice just because it's there.

Sometimes the water is roaring. Sometimes it's gently trickling. Sometimes you can only hear it. Even when you can't hear it, it's always there.

A tree can grow out of a rock.

God can redeem our mistakes, but we still miss things when we don't walk faithfully.

We're satisfied with so much less than God is willing to show us.

Peace. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful scenery! Yea for Ron and Lila for keeping the kids while you four made this spectacular journey.


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