Recently my friend Melody and I completed our 6th big hike.
This year we were hiking along the Hoh River Trail in the Olympic Mountains of Washington State. It was beautiful and hard, very hard. We hiked nearly 40 miles in 4 days.
Two of the days we were carrying backpacks of about 30 pounds each. Tough on this ole body! Melody graciously carried the most weight. She’s 65 and I’m 76!
It was our first hike through a rainforest and another glimpse into the diversity of God’s creation. Huge trees climbing towards a vivid blue sky, mostly covered with different varieties of moss, surrounded by huge ferns.
A very cold waterfall crashing over rocks in a race to the Hoh river.
Switchbacks up the mountain to incredible views of a rich valley overlooked by snowcapped mountains.
Along the trail we encountered numerous “blow-downs” — fallen trees blocking the trails. You would have laughed watching us trying to climb over them.
We camped by a stream from which we filtered water, cooked on a tiny stove, and hung our food high on a wire to protect it against bears.
Why do we do this?
- We love to push ourselves beyond our limits. Okay, that sounds crazy to some of you.
- We love being completely “off grid.” In these mountains, there is no internet or cell service at all. Being “cut off” makes it easier for me to let go mentally and emotionally of all my concerns and leave everything and everyone in God’s hands for a brief time. Too often I take on responsibilities/worries/concerns that I really need to leave with my Heavenly Father who cares much more about them. Being “off grid” helps me do this. I’m too physically tired to ponder them!
- Roughing it reminds us of the value of simplicity and how unnecessary much of our “stuff” is! Simple basic food, the same clothes each day, no hot water or showers, or hairbrush, or make up. We really stink and we look scary! But in this there is freedom. Our ridiculous observations produce hysterical laughter.
- Being in the wild causes us to focus on His creation, His majesty, His power, His presence. Away from the noisy world in which we live, we soak in His silence, His quiet, His stillness. Oh, I how much I need this. My soul longs for this. Psalm 8 and Psalm 19 explode in the wilderness.
O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:1, 3-4)
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.” (Psalm 19:1-4)
Where have you seen His glory in creation this summer? Comment below, I’d love to hear!
You might enjoy reading about our other 5 hikes: