"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

25 June 2015

What the Dam Taught Me

So.....last Saturday, the day before Summer officially began, I had a free day  to hike with my long-time friend Cheryl and another member of the hiking group whom I hadn't met yet.  Tina and Cheryl drove from central NY to meet me in downtown Saratoga where they left their car and got into mine.  I drove up to this town so we could hike Poke O Moonshine Mt.  (name is taken from two Algonquin words....that particular Native American tribe lived in that area for many years beginning in the 11th century. They were the first humans known to have lived in that area of the Adirondack Mountains.  The mountain itself has one of the oldest fire towers on the summit.  It is actually on the National Register of Historic Places.  

It was the perfect hiking day:  temps in the low 60s when we started, with blue sky, some puffy white clouds, and a wonderful wind.  Temps up in those north-eastern Adirondacks never got above 77.  Perfect for a mountain climb.

start of the Trailhead

along the trail in the first mile

It was a lovely trail.  It's rather new....it was created in 2011 about one mile south of the original trail and is longer to hike,  but less steep.  One way is 2.4 miles.  We hiked 4.8 miles round trip and only in the last mile was there any significant climbing.  But look what we came to after about the first half mile: 

Beaver Pond #1.

And we kept right on walking because the trail skirted this pond.  Which was nice. and easy.  No different approach needed!

As I was hiking along, I kept thinking of how beautiful our world is...how there is a Creator who does some amazing work!  I believe in creation but I also believe in the science behind it all.  It is just an incredible area of New York State. There truly is nothing like the mountains of the Adirondack Park.  It is the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi River.  Did you know that??  Bigger than Acadia National Park.  Bigger than any of the National Parks on the east coast!!

I also thought of how we sometimes have to take different approaches when hiking a mountain.  Same as on our life journey.

For instance, this photo of the mountain is showing some of the cliffs that climbers like to scale to get to Poke O's summit.

Poke O Moonshine Mountain
Photo courtesy of Tina Webb
20 June 2015

I could never do this at the age of 55.  If I was in my 20s I might like to try rappelling up the sides of some of these smaller mountains.  But where I am in life....that is NOT gonna happen. I tend to like the longer, less steep approaches up mountains.  Just like in life...I'd rather take longer to do something well, than rush through something and be sloppy or get hurt.  If I hike up super steep mountains without proper shoes, clothes, food, or fitness level, I can re-injure my back.  Once you have a slipped disc and it has been healed up, you do NOT want to re-injure it.  So, at this point in my journey, I tend to be more cautious.  I tend to hike a bit slower.  And that is fine!  It's not the point of hiking.  The point is to spend time with friends. Enjoying nature. Not rushing.  And on the less steep trails, I can walk at a brisker pace which allows me to get my heart rate up which is something that a woman my age should be doing for good health.  I can't set a quick pace up a steep mountain trail. I'm no longer able to do so...and it isn't even all that fun to be so tired at the top that you just plop down.

The point to all of this is that I realized just how exciting it can be to take the different approach to things.   

And then when we came upon this:

Bridge Out!!
photo courtesy of Tina Webb
20 June 2015
 The trail disappeared!  God provided angels,disguised as three male hikers who went before us, to show us the way.  Just like in life....we sometimes need friends, or a pastor, or a teacher/mentor, or counselor, or spouse, or even a child, to show us the way....the way around an obstacle.  Or in this case, the way around a trail that beavers had flooded with their dam.

The men made it across, ahead of us, and were there to encourage us, point out the way, and offer a helping hand.

Crossing the beaver dam
photo courtesy of Tina Webb
20 June 2015
Poke O Moonshine Trail
I was very thankful for that helping hand!  And once we got past that obstacle and kept trekking on....look what awaited us..........

Summit of Poke O Moonshine
20 June 2015

The beautiful Champlain Valley below us, the Eastern Adirondacks and the High Peaks Region (to the right of me in the photo but unseen in the pic) and the distant Green Mts of Vermont.

Trekking along, chatting with friends old and new, stopping to gaze at the beauty around us amidst the mucky mud and dams of sharp-toothed creatures reminded me of how we plod through life.  Sometimes it is a rejoicing leap like how I felt when I got to the edge of that summit....and often it is just a "one step in front of the other" kind of walk, crossing over and through obstacles, trials, tests.......with the help of others if we let them....only to come out the other side, better for it..........friends help, God and prayer help.  But we are better for it.

from the first level of the fire tower on Poke O Moonshine
overlooking Lake Champlain, Auger Lake
and the Taylor Pond Wild Forest Region of the Adirondacks

From the Summit of Poke O Moonshine
looking out to the High Peaks below (south) of us
and the Adirondack Northway stretching out through the wilderness

Do you have any obstacles to cross?  What is hindering your walk on this journey called life?

Once you've been through a trial, it does get easier the next time around.  You can approach it with confidence!  

heading back down the mountain and across the beaver dam!
photo courtesy of Cheryl A Blask
20 June 2015


Ceil said...

Hi Faith! I am in awe that you could even hike that far! I broke my leg in January, so I'm still working on getting back to walking outside. It's a gift to be able to walk God's beautiful creation, isn't it?
I'm so glad you were sent your angels to help you across the Beaver dam. Yikes, I wouldn't want to get them mad at me!

I love the way your hike reminded you of your life, and conquering struggles with God as your guide. I have had so many of those, like the whole leg thing. I think God used that time of healing to show me how to take time out for Him, and to learn patience. Well, I'm still learning!
Thanks for stopping by today :)

Deb said...

What a great post! I love it! Looks like a beautiful hike. I love hiking but it is just too hot to do much of it here in the summer. We are looking forward to some hiking time in the cooler mountains before summer is over. Hey - we are the same age - no wonder I like your perspective! By the way, I don't think Josh got your card yet - mail can take so long to get to him in Mexico, but I know he will be happy when he gets it! Thanks again for thinking of him! Enjoy your Friday!

Susanne said...

What a gorgeous view from the top! I love how nature teaches principles in God's kingdom! Thanks for sharing your own thoughts from your hike.