Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Climbing Colorado

We woke Monday morning at 2 AM, hoping that it was the sound of rain that we were hearing, but were disappointed to find that it was, instead, only the wallboard heater kicking on. I looked outside; perfect weather. Yes – it’s time to climb.

By 3AM my friend Bryan and I are on the trail, hiking in silence while the perfectly moonless and clear night reveals the thick milky galaxies. Starting at 9,700’, the time passes quickly, and by 5 AM we’re above treeline, making our way to a boulder field. Just as we approach the boulder field, the headlamps are turned off, and the east face of Long’s Peak begins to be bathed in pink. We break at the boulder field for a breakfast (12700) and then it’s on to the key hole. Every breath is labored by this point.

Beyond the keyhole the climb becomes slightly more exposed, with short sections where a false step would be a fatal step. After a half mile or so in this manner, we enter the trough, a steep chute conquered only through careful walking and heavy breathing. At the top of the chute we turn a corner to negotiate ‘the narrows’ – a thin ledge with an unforgivingly steep drop. Once past the narrows, the end is in sight. But we lay on the rocks to rest at 13650’, and I fall asleep. Upon waking, we decide that, the most challenging part of the climb now behind us, the summit isn’t worth the effort. We turn around and begin the journey of 10,000 steps back to the car. By the time we’re back to Estes Park, a thunderstorm of plague like proportions is pummeling the village. We make it back to our chalet just is time to watch the lightening and hail from the deck.

Friendship – the beauty of creation – good conversation – and physical challenge. All in all, it was a great way to spend a bit of those precious vacation days. I'll post more pictures Friday... but right now it's BACK TO WORK!


At 1/9/06 09:03, Blogger bryan said...

Thanks for the 16 mile-scramble and for not making me stumble to the top on oxygen deprived muscles.
I've been referring to that week in Estes as a GLOBAL experience.
Particularly meeting the three distinct Thomas generations and, of course, meeting Wayne.

Our conversations about having an "Informed Theology" were manifest in all of those people. Their obvious dedication to working out their faith was both a conviction and a call to action for me. Thanks.

Was that a check for $37.50 or $37.51, I can't remember who ate the Lion's Share?


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