The First Hundred

...in the light of eternity. "Life's a tough proposition, and the first hundred years are the hardest." Wilson Mizner

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

High Adventure

It was a working vacation; our North American Baptist 48th Triennial Conference. (No, PR and I haven't been to all 48.) This one was held at the YMCA of the Rockies ("Visit once, You'll be back") near Estes Park, Colorado. And it was definitely more about the vacation than the working.
We were surrounded by magnificent views.

On Friday, PR had an interesting adventure...
The day dawned beautiful..... he and a retired friend, John, had started hiking up Long's Peak (a 14,000-plus foot summit) at 4am, in the dark. They stopped to enjoy this wonderful sunrise.
After climbing 3.5 miles, almost halfway to the summit, PR decided the wrenching knots in his calves weren't going to go away, even with a bit of rest and massaging. He also remembered that what goes up must come down, so, at 7am he started back down to the trailhead. The descent took only an hour and twenty-two minutes.
John, a 71-year-old, extremely fit and experienced hiker set his sights on the summit.
We went back to the trailhead late Friday afternoon to pick him up. Since he wasn't back yet, and his wife was with us, she wanted to hike up the trail to see what it was like. This photo was taken several hundred yards up from the trailhead. We met hikers coming down, who said they'd seen him near the summit, but not to expect him any time soon. The weather was getting bad.
Long story short: we didn't see John until 11am on Saturday. He made the summit at around noon on Friday, but the descent was slow-going and hampered by drizzle and fog. The drizzle turned to rain, and with the poor visibility he got off the trail. By dark he had hunkered down under his poncho, to sleep on a rock.
The hard part for us was not knowing. Was he hurt? Had he slipped and fallen? Did he have a heart attack?
Whether it was a single prayer or the prayers of 1200 gathered after breakfast on Saturday, we know that God heard and led John safely down, after 30 hours on the mountain. And, do you think I was glad PR had listened to his calf muscles? You bet!

13 Comments:

  • At 7/12/2006 4:34 PM, Blogger Kc said…

    I can't even imagine how trying that wait must have been. I'm so thankful you all had a great trip after all.

     
  • At 7/12/2006 5:58 PM, Blogger Paul said…

    That sounds like fun. I'm planning to do something like that in about 2 to 3 years. Only more, and longer. I can hardly wait.

    Glad everone is safe.

     
  • At 7/12/2006 9:21 PM, Blogger Jim said…

    I figured out John's problems. Ankles really get to hurting climbing those rock paved trails. He should take a gravel one next time.
    Going up the cog trail is easiest, especially if you're on the train.
    Or he could drive a race car up or go with the runners' marthon.
    The latter will take you back down in a van if needed.
    ..

     
  • At 7/12/2006 10:02 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said…

    That's amazing that John made it all the way to the summit. He didn't give up!!
    Sorry about the cramped up calves. That had to have been a bummer.
    The scenery is gorgeous. I visited Estes Park many years ago.

     
  • At 7/13/2006 12:53 AM, Blogger audrey` said…

    Praise God for answering your prayers :)

     
  • At 7/13/2006 8:56 AM, Blogger Corry said…

    I am so glad y'all returned safe and sound. Thank The Lord for watching over your friend.

    God's Grace.

     
  • At 7/13/2006 11:41 AM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said…

    Grape juice on my cereal????
    That comment of yours threw me for a loop!

     
  • At 7/14/2006 9:14 AM, Blogger Badoozie said…

    i'm glad God took care of him......but i have just one question.
    why was he doing it alone? why do men do stuff alone that they probably should not be doing alone at their ages?

     
  • At 7/14/2006 9:15 AM, Blogger Badoozie said…

    that was technically two questions but they sort of tie in together.

     
  • At 7/14/2006 9:42 AM, Blogger Nunzia said…

    what beautiful images.

     
  • At 7/14/2006 5:09 PM, Blogger uncle joe said…

    Badoozer, Moses went up the Mountain alone...any more questions?

     
  • At 7/15/2006 2:55 PM, Blogger Badoozie said…

    moses was "special"

     
  • At 7/16/2006 12:54 AM, Blogger McSwain said…

    Wow, always hike with a buddy, huh? What beautiful pictures, though. And I'm so glad John is safe.

     

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