Tag Archives: hiking

Soli Deo gloria

“Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
“Let the sea roar, and all it contains;
Let the field exult, and all that is in it.
“Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy
Before the Lord, for He is coming,
“For He is coming to judge the earth.
“He will judge the world in righteousness
“And the peoples in His faithfulness.

— Psalm 96:11-13, NASB

I hiked again yesterday. This time, it was just me, Hermione, and The Child Formerly Known as Boy Scout. (Still working on a new nickname for him . . .)  Hermione was hiking into where her American Heritage Girls troop would be camping for the weekend. The Child Formerly Known as Boy Scout was accompanying us since he had hiked the trail before. I was there to mediate arguments and apply bandages, if necessary.

While Hermione struggled some on the 750′ initial climb, she nevertheless accomplished the hike with great aplomb and was very pleased with herself. This incredibly strong 12-year-old girl carried nearly 30 pounds on her back for over five miles. It was the first time she’d ever done it. She’s completely entitled to be proud of herself. (And yes, Mama Duckling may be a smidge proud, too.)

The Child Formerly Known as Boy Scout (TCFKABS) and I waited until the rest of the troop arrived, and then another leader graciously drove us back to my car. TCFKABS and I stopped for dinner on the way home. This budding young man (who will be 14 next month) chatted with me like he never does when his siblings are around. I don’t get nearly enough one-on-one time with these ducklings. I am always reminded of how amazing they are when I do get a rare hour or two with one of them.

Of course, after we got back on the road, he played games on my phone for the 2-hour drive home . . . Ah, teenagers.

Some of the sights we enjoyed:

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This little guy stood very still while we took several pictures. He seemed as curious about us as we were about him!

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This picture does not do the view justice.

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I almost expected Merry and Pippin to drop down from above when I saw these very Entish legs!

My word, but we certainly live in a glorious world, do we not? How can we keep from singing His praise?

Till next we meet . . .

J M

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Inspiration

in·spire: to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence; to influence or impel; to communicate or suggest by a divine or supernatural influence.

Origin: 1300–50; Middle English inspiren  <Latin inspīrāre  to breathe upon or into, equivalent to in-  + spīrāre  to breathe>

We took a six-mile hike last Sunday. I confess that our hike filled my soul more than a morning at church would have done. I came away inspired by the breathtaking beauty of this world that God has given us.

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Till next we meet . . .

J M

A Dangerous View

We took The Ducklings hiking on Saturday. It was an intense hike for this old mother duck–about 2.5 miles up to an elevation of 1,600 feet, 2.5 miles back down to the starting point. Did I mention that the trailhead is almost assuredly at sea level? I ached and sweated and stumbled and panted my way over puddles, switchbacks, and even a rock slide. I’m sure that sounds quite doable for those of you who are younger and thinner and more active than I am. I questioned my sanity several times, but the fact that my little Lucy was managing to practically run up trail shamed me into continuing.

But the top . . . The top was worth the aches, the sweat, the shaking quadriceps and the tight calf muscles and the sore spot where my daypack rubbed on my shoulder:

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We ate lunch at the top, walked around the summit, and soaked in the panorama. And while the hike down was hard on the toes, it was far easier on the morale and the heart and the attitude.

Tiger mentioned the hike yesterday morning. In his thoughtful, contemplative way, he mentioned that some of the other hikers at the summit made him very nervous. “Those people at the edge of the cliff weren’t very smart,” he said. “They kind of freaked me out. I wouldn’t get that close to the edge.”

Now, I know my Tiger. He doesn’t like heights–never has. Even riding on his dad’s shoulders when he was a toddler scared him. On our hike yesterday, he stayed well back from the edge of the cliff–an edge, I might add, that is completely unfenced.

But even my Tiger had to scramble up the rocks to reach the top. Even my Tiger had to admit that being on the same level as the birds of prey circling the river was worth the risk. “That view,” he said after a long, thoughtful pause. “That view was worth getting close to the edge.”

“Sometimes, you have to go someplace kind of dangerous to get the best views, don’t you?” I asked him. He agreed.

When I was panting and sweating and aching my way through switchbacks, I didn’t think about the view. When I was scrambling up the last pile of rocks, I didn’t care what I’d see at the top. I only wanted to sit–to rest–to return to my safe living room and my recliner and my knitting.

But that view . . .

The dangerous views are the best, aren’t they? Not the ones that will most assuredly do us harm, but the ones where we must take a reasonable, calculated risk in order to see something we can see no where else.

Raising children to be men and women who hunger and thirst for righteousness is dangerous. Pursuing art that others may not like or approve of is dangerous. Speaking out against injustice and immorality is dangerous. Sharing Christ is dangerous.

I wonder what switchbacks I’m struggling through at the moment. I wonder what rock slides I’m clambering over as I contemplate giving up and descending the mountain before I reach the top. I wonder what views I’m missing because I do not dare to take the reasonable, calculated risks.

I must remember that the view is worth it.

Till next we meet . . .

J M