“We are here for a greater purpose than what meets the eye. We are here to encourage each other and to reach heights that are unattainable by ourselves!” ~Randi Z
We are headed to the Mountains today … a mountain top called Trust to be more precise. We will need hiking boots, layers of clothing, a hat, some healthy snacks, a walking stick, and plenty of water. We’ll take it slow as we hike through the meadows, up to a basin, and over the pass. There might be some water to cross, so if you’re afraid of getting wet, this might not be the hike for you. Don’t forget your camera, although pictures won’t do justice to the beauty your eyes will take in. We will start off in the jeep with our Beloved Driver (BD) and his lovely wife, Backseat Companion (BC). The trails he wants to take us on are dusty and very bumpy at times, but they are necessary to get to the trail that takes us up the Mountain. Ready?
The air is clean, fresh, and exhilarating on the Mountain. The sun is intense. The water flowing is clear, refreshing, and cold. Wild flowers are growing in places that don’t seem possible. The rocks!!! For those of you who don’t know, I am a self-proclaimed Rock Hound. Yes, I admit it. Why would anyone want to collect rocks, you may ask? There’s no real good answer other than I love how God reveals my beauty through them. Some are strikingly beautiful on the outside, with glittering specks of quartz and other minerals that sparkle. Others are odd shaped and dull, but the inside…Oh! the beauty if you could look inside. Still some are dull in appearance as well as unimpressive on the inside. Hmmm. I’ll share more on this subject at a later time.
Recently we had opportunity to spend some much needed time away in the majestic Colorado Rocky Mountains with some dear family. Dave was struggling physically and we knew a doctor’s appointment and scans were needed soon. Fears were creeping in, the unknown future once again tugging at my heart. The feeling of helplessness was intense as I watched my man struggle, both physically and emotionally. I am a caregiver at heart, longing to bring relief and hope to him, yet unable to. There is no greater discomfort for a caregiver than to watch someone you love struggle and not be able to help them. My heart ached. But God is Faithful! He took us to the Mountains to reveal His truths to us once again. He is WITH us in the Valleys as well as the Mountains. We needed to see the beauty of His love, His mercy, His goodness, His plan as we walked through yet another Valley.
Day One we were relaxing and getting used to the 9,000 feet elevation. Stepping outside the humble cabin in a small mountain town, my eyes are drawn to the distant mountains. Everywhere I looked there were mountains. The skies were as blue as can be with only a few fluffy white clouds. I knew there were higher, grander mountains beyond what my eyes could take in. Excited to see more, we were taken on a short … easy … jeep ride. The views all around us were breathtaking. Each turn, each road that took us higher brought more beauty, more gasps, more views unlike we’ve ever seen before. Our Beloved Driver was delighted to watch and hear our expressions of awe. He’s been doing this for many years and the beauty of the Mountains never grows dull.
Stopping for an “outhouse” break, I sat down, feet hanging over the edge of a cliff and took in the sight. Snow-capped mountains, ice cold water flowing over boulders far below me, the smell of the lodge pole and blue spruce pines. I was overwhelmed by God’s greatness. All this! And yet He cares for little me. A speck on the mountain. A speck on the Earth. A speck. Yet, He doesn’t call me a speck. He calls me His Beloved Daughter. My emotions got the best of me and a sob rose to my throat. The tears flowed over my dirt covered face and down into my hands. As I was regaining control, I felt the hand of my sweet Dave on my shoulder. He knew. He felt it too. Seven years ago we were facing a daunting mountain. God has been faithful.
My heart was racing as we drove on narrow dirt roads (I thought they were narrow, but later in the week I would think these were wide) so close to the edge of the cliff. The jeep was rocking back and forth as I clung white-knuckled to anything I could, strapped in tightly with my seat-belt. There were no windows, so the dust made its way into every pore of my body. Then my sweet Backseat Companion suggested I “roll with vehicle” and trust her man’s driving skills. Seriously? She wasn’t even wearing a seat-belt!!! Dave was in front with our BD. I chuckled and exhaled once we headed back to the cabin. The first day I don’t think I saw as much as I could’ve had I just trusted the driver.
Day Two we headed out early, shortly after a yummy cabin breakfast of sourdough toast with butter, strawberries and hot coffee. The day promised to be a beautiful one of sunshine and warm temperatures. The agenda? To find waterfalls. We climbed, yes climbed, into the jeep with a nudge from our guys. We strapped ourselves in, secured our hair, and hung on for dear life. OK, that’s an exaggeration. Our BD once again took us on narrow dirt trails that were close to the edge, so close I had to look the other way and hung on for dear life several times. The first ones were wide enough for two vehicles to pass. What came next was narrow; two-tracks that you prayed no one would be coming from the other direction. These two-tracks were originally the donkey trails that were used during the mining years about 100 years ago.
We continued up the Mountain trail, our BD had a destination in mind. The day before we stopped by a waterfalls scenic overlook and BC and I climbed, slid, down to the bottom of the Falls. This was the first of many we would see and hike around this week. As we rounded another hairpin turn up the mountain, BD would get this look on his face, one of a mischievous little boy, watching my nervous expressions in the rear-view mirror, chuckling. I think he was enjoying this more than any of us. Today I was more engaged with the beauty around me, trusting BD as was recommended the day before. Each turn brought more beauty, more snow-capped tops, more waterfalls coming out of the side of the mountains, more pure blue sky with wispy white clouds. By lunchtime, we reached our first destination, a restaurant in a remote area. We stopped to eat lunch and catch our breath. The air was becoming thinner, but we desired to press on.
Further up, the trail became more rugged and narrow, and snow lined. My BC is also a Rock Hound and her man knows this brings her joy. We stopped by a flowing river, filled with rocks for a quick look before heading back. We will return to this place in a couple of days, so we only picked up a few rocks…this time.
There were many more adventures the rest of the week. Each day, each stop, each moment, bringing gasps and wows as if this was the best one yet. We drove narrow, rugged trails, sometimes snow covered, through rushing creeks, over mountain passes, along the cliffs, through beautiful meadows, to alpine tundras. We got stuck in a deep slushy snow pile when our BD decided he was going to give us all a thrill and splash us in the backseat. That idea failed as we stopped abruptly in the slushy dip. We busted out with gut laughs complete with a “snort” or two. Fortunately we had another couple driving the trails with us in their jeep and was able to pull us out. Did I mention they are 80+ years old? I will write more about these two beautiful souls another time. The beauty of the area made me speechless…many who know me, know this in of itself is a miracle. We took picture after picture after picture. I think we have over 1000 pictures from this trip and each one holds more beauty than the next. Then, stop and look, listen, look some more. Take it in. Take in the beauty, the majestic mountains, the rushing water over the boulders, the smell of the pines.
One of the days we were headed over the mountain pass, but got stopped by a barricade declaring it was too dangerous to proceed, so we took another trail. We passed many old mining buildings, beautifully preserved in the thin, frigid mountain air. I was struck by the fact people lived here, at this high elevation, through the cold winter months years ago. As we traveled further up another pass, we were stopped again. This time by an avalanche of snow. The trail just stopped. In the distance we could see a snow plow digging out the trail, but it will take days to get it open. Disappointed, BD backed down the trail until it was safe to turn around. Oh my word! White knuckled again.
As I’ve reviewed our pictures and my journal, I am struck at how this trip is so much like our life. The beauty all around us, we can see it if we will only trust the One in control. The majestic mountains and powerful waterfalls that can be both beautiful, yet dangerous. The trails, some easy and non-threatening, while others were treacherous and needed a skilled driver to proceed. The hiking trails, knowing when I should stop and when I can risk pushing forward a little further by taking a step of Faith.
God took us to those majestic mountains, by the rushing rivers and waterfalls, through the meadows covered in wild flowers, and through the forests, to remind us He hasn’t abandoned us. He is still WITH us in our journey. He brought Peace as we submitted our fears to Him … again. We were facing another Mountain … a doctor’s appointment that could bring really bad news … would we trust Him to get us over the pass, would we trust Him to get us through the deep waters that flow over the trail? He promises to give us feet like deer, the ability to keep our footing no matter the trail condition if we only TRUST HIM.
He made my feet like the feet of the deer and set me secure on the heights. (Psalm 18:33)
Until next time, remember:
His Will, is our Peace