Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Grand Backpacking Adventure- Mom's Rejuvination Pt 4

Saturday August 20th Roaring Winds Camp to Observation Peak- 3 miles

"Dwelling place, make my home in love"

Friday night we were able to savor this amazing camp at 6500 feet. I gave my feet a nice snow break in one of the unusable campsites. The sunset was breathtaking. I did not even know which way to turn as the beauty was so amazing in every direction.

After 9.6 miles of uphill climbing, I was not able to stay awake for any star gazing. My hiking partner Sarah said that I was asleep within minutes of entering my tent.

Waking up in the morning, I was speechless again at the beauty everywhere. I did not do a lot of reflection this morning, just tried to stay in the moment on the ridge during our short hike back to the car.

We saw Grand Lake from day one and a breathtaking final view down into the Badger Valley surrounded by mountains.

I reflected a little about being at home in the realm of love, just being and enjoying the beauty. My heart felt full and satisfied. I also thought about how my soul longs and waits for moments like these and how to cultivate more of a sense of peace and God's presence in my life. I thought about being swept by and living in the shadow of eagles' wings. Sarah and I had one last communion of fudge and mountain bars while taking in the view.

It was a great moment to get back to Observation Point, savoring all the views and reflections from the week. I felt like it had been enough time away and that I was ready to see my family again after the very long drive home.

We had some adventures on our way back to civilization again. On the Obstruction Point road we saw a marmot feeding her baby. The baby ran away, so we only captured mom in the picture, but it was an amazing moment. It was also scary driving my little Geo Metro back up the road on a Sat with traffic. We did have to share the road with some larger vehicles going down but were glad to be on the inside! When we got to the top the car in front had to stop. We could not make the hill and had to back up, then full speed ahead. Fortunately, the bikers and another car let us make the sharp right turn to continue down the paved road to the ranger station. We had a nice tamale lunch by the water at the Port Angeles Farmer's Market and a nice man let us borrow a cell phone to call our families since ours were both dead.

What an incredible adventure. I am so grateful for Sarah K for agreeing to join me, for my family for giving me five days away in the wilderness, for the incredible spring like weather every day of the trip, and for God for walking with me every step of the way! I came back to my family and took a shower first. Even Amy agreed that I stank! It was fun to show them the pictures and now she can recite the whole story! I felt like I was able to carry family, friends, the people I work with, and my faith community with me on this journey and hope my reflections and growth from this time will spill over to everyone in my life!
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Grand Backpacking Advenutre- Mom's Rejuvination Pt 3

Friday August 19th Three Forks (2200 feet) to Deer Park (5200 feet) to Roaring Winds Camp (6500 feet)- 9.6 miles

"Infinite Faithful Creator, fill us with a new song"

It was a wonderful rest at three forks. We enjoyed meeting the trail maintenance crew and sharing stories. We were all packed and ready to hit the trail. Further UP and further in, with quite the emphasis on UP. I was nervous about the climb ahead of me. One of the trail crew members gave me some advice. He said when we got to the top of the hills the horse flies would be waiting and that we should use a pine branch as a switch. Now I had horse flies to look forward to on top of the difficult climb! We started climbing and it was long and difficult but the early start helped and when we got out of the woods to the views that helped keep us going as well.

It was great to be welcomed by the trail maintenance community and my reflections were about carrying the spirit of solitude and community throughout different parts of my life. I was also thinking about infinite love, living in the realm of love, and having a capacity to care after my social work shift ends. I was also praying that my heart would be open to welcome and show hospitality.

I was reflecting on Psalm 40 about being lifted up out of the pit as I climbed higher and higher out of the low point of the Olympics to the highest ridge in the park. I was thinking about a new song in my heart, making love home, being open to grace beyond imagination, and raising and finding my voice more often to share about love's faithfulness and healing power in my life.

We passed the ranger twice on the trail- he went down to Three Forks in the morning to bring a sick teenager back up to stay with him at Deer Park. He and the teenager did not have big packs on and it was encouraging to see them coming back up the hill and know that we were close to Deer Park.

The wildflower meadows were amazing at Deer Park as were the promised horse flies, bees, and mosquitoes. We stopped for lunch and filtered water. We had to carry all our water for the rest of the afternoon and the next day as there was no water on the ridge. We were excited to see the trailhead for Obstruction Point and know that we were 7.5 miles from our car and on our final ridge. Since the ridge was split into two days we were able to savor the time we had left. The ranger encouraged us to hang out at Deer Park for awhile but we found the bugs too fierce and started back up after a short lunch break.

The ridge was incredible! We could see Pt. Angeles and the ferries. We saw Mt. Baker again in the distance. We climbed up Maiden Peak, Elevation 6434. It was neat that this was a circle hike and we started to see the ridge and valley that we had hiked several days before.

I was grateful for safety and that our bodies were able to do all of the climbing and descending we had done. I was thinking about L'Arche and carrying the spirit of community. I was praying for more compassion and love in all things and for more authenticity.

We arrived at Roaring Winds camp late in the afternoon and took a nice break before even thinking about dinner. Dinner was mango lamb curry over beans and rice and was so filling and delicious that we were not able to finish our chai pudding dessert.

It was such a privilege to make camp at 6500 feet with an amazing panoramic view. It was a wonderful final night to an amazing adventure.
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