A little before five a.m. Thursday morning, we reached the trailhead for our next 14er adventure. This time, we had two more climbers–Nathan and Christopher. Our first goal was Mount Shavano, followed by Mount Tabeguache (pronounced Ta-ba-wash) for all except Dad and Mom.
We saw dawn breaking across the valley, and a flock of mountain sheep springing down the mountainside. We left the treeline after seven as we came to the ascent to the saddle and broke into several different groups, everyone going whatever pace they could. The climb was steep, causing us to take breaks at different points. The family is good at motivating each other, and often you’ll hear an encouraging comment. If one person is struggling, the other will ask if he needs a break and patiently wait while the person recovers and is ready to press forward.
Jesse reached Shavano’s summit first, and with amazing energy, he went back down to offer to carry Dad and Mom’s packs the rest of the way. After everyone summited Shavano, we grabbed a family picture, and the eight Maxwell children began the 1 mile traverse to Tabeguache, while Dad and Mom waited on Shavano.
Going to Tabeguache was difficult. First, we climbed over rock fields, slowly making our way down 600 feet to a dip in between the mountains. Then, we faced a somewhat daunting ascent 500 feet. We enjoyed a little time on the summit before tackling the route back to Shavano. Then, we made our final descent to the trail head. Often, on a 14er, we’ll meet someone who is by himself. I can’t imagine doing it alone; I love company and encouragement!
We missed the little ones and Melanie and Anna Marie, but they gave us a great “welcome home” when we arrived back at the cabin. Anna Marie prepared a delicious “refueling” meal, which we enjoyed.
Climbing can be likened to our spiritual journey.
Sometimes as you climb, you gasp for breath, your legs burn, and you pause to catch your breath. Spiritually, we must remember that “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
Sometimes the incline seems too steep to the summit, and you don’t know how you will make it. But, you press on, looking for the next rock cairn (pile of rocks) which marks the path. Spiritually, we must be continually looking to God’s Word to guide us: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalms 119:105).
When you reach the top, you realize the climb was worth it. The views are breathtaking! Spiritually, we can remember that we “… press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14).
“I will walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.”