It’s dark, cold, and early, but the stars are sparkling against the sky. The time is 3:47 am. Yes. It’s a 14er morning.
After Bible time and prayer, you finish packing your Camelbak. You hope you have everything essential for the day. Oh, and you make sure to wish Mary a happy birthday.
5:02, everyone loads up in the van and John’s truck. Since we’ve stayed on Kansas time, it’s actually 4 local time. We don’t pass a single vehicle as we drive along the main road. After we turn off onto the county road, we see the headlights of other vehicles following us. John’s truck takes the washboard fine, but the van’s suspension makes for a rougher (and that’s even with airing down the tires) ride.
About 6, we made it to an area where we parked the van. Then, we waited a bit for some light before piling into the truck for our final part of the drive. John’s truck did awesome across the rock-laden, pot-hole-and-beyond “road.” He saved us several miles of hiking! Thanks, John.
We get to the trailhead and try to disembark quietly, since campers are in the area, and it’s still early. It’s cold, quite cold, probably in the 30’s.
Our goal this time had been to hike without headlamps, so it was refreshing not to begin in the dark. We are not quite sure what we have ahead, but we’re looking forward to it. The sun’s rays hit nearby mountains giving us gorgeous scenery. We soak it in, as we hike along the trail.
Part 2 up next!
“Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.” Psalms 104:1
Thursday morning, on Mary’s 18th birthday, we summited Mount Huron. It was a stunningly gorgeous day. I have a lot of pictures to sort through but watch for several posts about our experiences. There’s just something so special about reaching the top of a 14er and knowing you got there with your own two legs!
“O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.” Psalms 8:1
Tuesday morning, most of us (except for N&Ms family) went on a hike Christopher and Anna Marie had done several years ago.
We started our climb up to a lake a little after 10. The hike was pleasant and a bit steep at times. At the lake, we ate lunch, and some went on to climb up to a ridge while some of us enjoyed extra time at the lake before heading back down.
That evening, we went out to a local restaurant for dinner. I’m grateful for this time to enjoy the mountains and rejuvenate!
Joyfully His, Sarah
“Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.” Psalms 103:22
Monday morning, some of us left the cabin at 7, so we could do a hike before meeting up with the young families to feed the chipmunks. We hiked to Grizzly Lake, which was a pleasant trek. We didn’t meet a single hiker, until we came to the lake, where we saw campers. It was a gorgeous morning to enjoy God’s creation! We’re so grateful for this time together.
Lord willing, we plan to hike a 14er, tomorrow! I have other pictures to share with you too, but for now, I’ll leave you with these.
Joyfully His, Sarah
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” Psalms 19:1
Saturday, our final day in Colorado, we went for one more hike. We began with a slower pace for the little girls. Abigail and Bethany were so cute and did really well. Eventually, though, Nathan’s family turned around, and John stayed with them a bit to carry Christina a little longer, while the rest of us continued. John caught up to us before we reached the ridge.
Since it was clouding over, most didn’t go on to the top peak, but stayed on the ridge. We took pictures, ate lunch, and enjoyed the rest. Then, we headed back down. Although we heard thunder, some of which sounded pretty close, we didn’t get wet.
We drove safely home Sunday. The trip was an incredible blessing as we enjoyed each other, God’s creation, and quiet days. Now, we’re back to catching up and preparing for our next trip.
Joyfully His, Sarah
“Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.” 1 Chronicles 16:11
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.” Psalms 116:9
The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.