Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hikers In The Mist

Josh, Mike, Me, Drew, Sam
at Summit of Bear Mountain

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds." ~Anonymous

Trying to squeeze the life out of each beautiful summer day that Alaska offers us has reminded me of childhood. Those warm, seemingly endless days when even as the sun would set we'd continue to ride around on each other's 'bike pegs' and 'kick the can' in a whole block's worth of backyards with all the neighborhood kids. Darkness would go unnoticed along with hunger, finally we'd be beckoned home. Begrudgingly we'd drag in the back door, scrub up quickly, dirt still streaking our 'all played out' faces. We'd lament the close of another vacation day and often fall asleep sitting at the table in our supper. Then still trying to fight sleep, we'd stare out our bedroom windows with eager wonder about what tomorrow's adventures would hold for us. Yep, it's just like that right here, right now in this amazing place:)

So when Drew piped up "Bear Mountain! You need to hike Bear Mountain." He didn't realize he had inadvertently just volunteered yet again to be the mountaineering guide for our rag tag troop of overly enthusiastic cheechakos! (pictured above is the Alaskan method of communicating the most recent wildlife sightings and fair warnings for future hikers, just jot it down and duck tape 'er up)
Bear Mountain was a hike straight up. No breaks just a steady vertical chain gang to the top. What we did find as we pushed our way through the thick forest was that in trudging out of the trees we were in turn climbing into the clouds! Another great analogy of life, somedays your are trekking through the jungle of undergrowth and other days you climb out into the clouds! K maybe its not as profound as I want it to sound but I tried;) It was a 3 mile round
trip, according to the computer information that I had been reading we were supposed to give ourselves 3 to 4 hours. We, of course came sliding in sideways to the trail head at about 2 pm to begin our jaunt (Drew had a friend he had to pick up at the airport at 4:30) he was our guide, again you do the math. About half way up the mountain, Mike, whom I will now refer to as Cptn. Insano, proceeded to run past the rest of us at a pace I wouldn't even pretend to entertain and we quickly lost him in the clouds (that may have been part of his plan all along). Drew patiently led us upward though I know he was probably chomping at the bit to get a move on. I'm sure it pained him to not take off in a sprint with the Cptn (pictured left, proudly awaiting the rest of us "What took you guys so long?"). Anyway we all successfully made the climb and were thrilled to find blueberries and crowberries growing at the top. Crowberries weren't such as hit, Mike said don't bother eating them their no good. Drew countered that they are edible and many sourdoughs eat them. Josh then had to sample a few and decided he'd stick to the blueberries. Resting and visiting at the top, Drew made the comment "The most amazing people I know I have met on the top of mountains." Moses would surely agree. Anyway, we had a mini photo shoot in the clouds for your viewing pleasure then we'll be taking you on a run down the mountain Alaska Style;)

Anybody for a run down the mountain???

"He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing. He wraps up the waters in his clouds, yet the clouds do not burst under their weight. He covers the face of the full moon, spreading his clouds over it. The pillars of the heavens quake, aghast at his rebuke. By his power he churned up the sea.... By his breath the skies become fair.... And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! How then can we understand the thunder of his power?"

Job 26:7-9, 11-14

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