To the Heights…

August 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm (Mile Stones) (, , , , , , , , )

We went camping this weekend. A thing Sam and I did at least half a dozen or more times in Montana every year. The convenience of it there in Kalispell made it both “cheap” and we had little traveling to get to a place to camp, offering amazing views of Gods creation and a strong presence of Him. Here, back in Colorado, it has been a challenge. We felt guilty going when there were so many people we desire to connect with and weekends are the best times to do so. The “cost” has been a challenge, as we have struggled financially in starting over. The habit of comparing Montana’s geography to Colorado’s for us both has been a lesson in training our wills to gratefulness for the here and now, so as not to be “robbed” of both our time there and here. We have to travel farther here to meet up with the solitude that was so easy to find in Montana. We found ourselves at Left-Hand Reservoir located at the end of a not so Acadia friendly road at about 10,500 feet in elevation. This is where we set up camp. I wonder if people know what the night sky looks like without all those city lights from a more “liveable” altitude? That alone was truly incredible and beyond compare.

We had visited this place a few weeks earlier to just “get out of town”. We decided to come back to camp for the whole weekend and explore and stay long enough for it to make a permanent impression (though it already had 🙂 ).While we had visited briefly I had said I wanted to hike up to a ridge that would allow us a peek to the peaks we could see at a distance from the lake, wanting to “get closer”. So that was the plan for Saturdays hike.


The ridge to the left was is the goal

The ridge to the left, closest in is the goal. This picture was taken on our one day trip.

Saturday the Sun came up bright in a clear sky, windy but gorgeous. The ridge called us. We set out. Taking a back pack with some snacks and water, our 45 Ruger (for unexpected protection), and jackets. We did not use the gun :-). There was nothing we needed protection from. The path around the lake starts out hugging it and we felt excited to go and see a new perspective of our little world. As we got closer to the west side it became marshy and swampy. Thus we began our slow accent up and onward west. Stopping to enjoy the various flora and fauna, and taking in every second of each place our feet had never set before. We barely noticed the “climb” during that first hour. It was unhurried and our eyes worked out more it seemed than our bodies. The mushrooms alone up there are mind boggling and various and abundant! The ground was moist with evidence of a much wetter season than we have seen only 5,000 feet below. We counted deer, elk, bear, moose and rabbit dung, they themselves eluded us :-(. We did stop a few times to “catch our breath” yet at this time it was due mostly to the sights and unfamiliar altitude. Breathing at 10,000 feet is a different thing and we were pushing 11,000 by noon. The trees began to get denser and smaller. Bending down to dodge limbs and climbing was the name of the game for the next hour. It was about now that it became obvious that we do very little to prepare our bodies for such adventures. We began to ache…alot. Ankles squeaked, and Sam’s back whined. I finally talked him into allowing me to carry the back pack. (This is a strong indication to those who don’t know him, he is in the kind of pain that would send most rational people back down rather than further up)
We stopped to “assess” as we came to about 100 feet above tree line. Our goal was another 900 feet both up and northwest. The top of this ridge is all softball to beachball sized rocks and larger, with years of low lying vegetation grown over it here and there. Ankle twisting going to say the least. The effort to move fatigued limbs and breathe the 11,000 foot air took us another hour only climbing to the height of 11,450 feet. We had to say “uncle”. We had a 3 hour hike back and gravity is no friend to weakened legs and aching backs. To allow IT to carry us back to camp would have been dangerous. Going up allows for more “control” than down, one slip and it would break a leg.

We sat down for lunch and to take in the view, which was well worth our efforts! We watched 6 or so Red-tailed hawks hunt for their lunch for 40 minutes. Swooping down then riding the currents. It was a quietly intimate rest, there, well within God’s sight, sitting with each other, catching our breath only to have it taken away again by a new sight or vista or perspective. Words were few and unneeded. Did you know that high altitudes lessen the ability to taste food or drink? Its true, you can taste, but it is “muted” is the best way to describe it. An odd observance we noted. Even at camp this was true. The birds were the wildlife extravaganza this trip. Stellar Jays, hawks, Camp-robbers, and a 100 more. They were indescribably abundant and beautiful in their daily routine and beauty. We both gained a new appreciation for when Jesus spoke about the sparrow, how God clothes and cares for them, how much more us! Getting out into nature fairly shouts Gods Word in living color. We sat at His feet, weak, sore, and at attention. Knowing we still had a ways to go, but strangely unnerved because He just reminded us that our way was prepared and His strength alone would now get us back to camp. So, knowing the Sunset was fast approaching we reluctantly head back. Staying up above the tree line we skirt back with the intention of a slow and steady descent bringing us right to our camp rather than back the way we came.
There was some but much less awe in the world surrounding us as we made that slow and very painful trek down. I started thinking of every verse that speaks of God leveling our path, strengthening our limbs, giving hinds feet on high places. My beloved was hurting awful, as was I. Our physical prowress gave up the ghost on the way up. We have NO doubt God got us down, and right into our camp exactly…words just can’t describe that trek down. Some may say we were fools for such adventuring without “training”. They forget the training is the doing. We were meant to do it exactly as we did. Abba called us up and He brought us down, safe and sore but with a new understanding of His ways. A greater appreciation for WHO it is that really does anything and gets anything done. Not us, Him. Oh what a wonderful weekend we had!

I am sharing this now. Exhaustion lines and defines my every movement (Sam’s too). Yet I wouldn’t trade a pain or ache. I pray every impression and texture of our time will cement itself upon my heart. Back to the “grind” as we say, but with renewed perspective and joy even about that!

GREAT is God’s faithfulness, Lord unto thee!

Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah ❤


  1. lorri said,

    Sounds like an amazing adventure, thanks for sharing!! You are certainly a gifted writer, felt like I was making to climb with you both. Nothing beats being out in His beauty of creation. Nah foolish is making this climb in bad weather w/out training or adequate gear..yours was a grand adventure!!


    • buttrflygrl14 said,

      Ahhh…ya bless me so! So glad it blessed you. Yeah…training is so subjective…I have no idea how one can think of training the way we do physically…in spiritual matters. Those “rules” get completely thrown out!


  2. To the Heights… | sevv61's Blog said,

    […] To the Heights…. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← Love and Seek True Wisdom (Spurgeon’s Faith’s Checkbook) […]


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