March 28, 2022 Monday
Introduction: In Psalm 46:10-11 it is written: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah”
For Tracie and I, the experience written below is just one kind of way you can be still. Yes, you can be still in nature where the noises and tumult’s of the city are gone. Yes even when hiking in rough terrain.
Yesterday Afternoon & This Morning: Breakfast is now over. It is 11:20am and I am finally writing, comfortably sitting in a swivel-rocker in our 5th-wheel coach. We are camped at Sprewell Bluff, campsite #1, overlooking the Flint River Gorge. We arrived yesterday, setting up camp around 2:30 in the afternoon. It has been quite a pleasant and rewarding experience. Who would have thought? We will come again, as I have really been in my element.
Yesterday Afternoon: We decided to go hiking yesterday with the dogs. Just a short trip, about a mile and a half, but very steep terrain. It is called the “Widow-makers Trail” for good reason.
And Tracie was able to make it, though it was a little scary for her, being on this trail. This trail cuts its way downward, with switchbacks to reduce the angle of decline, yet you are definitely on a narrow ledge at times with a precipice falling off towards the Flint River below. After it had leveled off a bit, I actually left her and Rosie at one point where the trail once again began to drop quickly, and ventured on ahead with Jasper to see if I could scout a less steep way back.
Together, we fast-walked and glided down the trail, and with each tenth of a mile, I felt the need to go another. Finally, about four-tenths out, though the trail had leveled out nicely alongside the river, and Tracie would have loved it, I thought it better to turn back as the place where Tracie & Rosie were was only four-tenths away from the trail-head above. Actually quite a ways above in elevation gain. But probably the shortest route to get back to our camp. And so we turned back, and moved as fast as my body would allow on the upward climb. It was an exhilarating experience for me, as I’m sure it was for Jasper. So, I went eight-tenths farther on this hike than Tracie because of that extra adventure.
It was steep going and a strenuous effort heading back the final four-tenths, but Tracie did well. This morning she told me that she felt her bad leg (the one with the sciatica pain) was feeling like the muscle in the calf had done better.
And when I was done, and later after dinner, how good I felt. Yes, I am in my element when hiking. It was an exhilarating experience for me. And my knees remained strong. No pain and no swelling. Thank You Lord.
This Morning: The views here, both from our coach and on the trail are spectacular, because of the deep gorge carved out and sculpted by the river and winds through times past to present. After taking our dogs on their morning potty walk, then I decided to use the camp bathroom for my bowels business. There seems to be no dump station here, so we decided to use our coach for number 1 business only as that will make cleaning the tanks later much easier.
When I returned from the bathroom, I stood just behind our coach at the precipice of the camp. Looking outward and downward towards the river. And I wondered if I could do it? I quickly decided to go. I headed down the mountainside, zigzagging, catching hold of trees as necessary to slow my descent and keep from falling. Down, down I went. Stopping only for a brief moment here and there to consider my situation. Should I keep going? Could I see the trail below yet? That would be the same trail we had hiked yesterday. And finally there it was. And the Flint River just below it. Yes, I wanted to get down to that trail as that would be an accomplishment. A reward in my mind. At least for me. It was fun to think about and even more of a sense of completion when I finally made it to the trail. Success! And oh how I love to succeed. It is one of my deeply held core values. I took a picture when I made it there and a selfie.
Having made it down the mountainside to the trail, now I had to turn around and climb up the steep way.
Climbing, zigzagging as necessary, grabbing onto trees to pull and propel myself upward. My heart was beating much faster now. But I felt good. It was difficult going. My legs were pumped, and growing tired as I neared the top. But I made it. Another strong sense of accomplishment. Success! Yes! I was in my element. This is what I love to do.
Others may do more exciting kinds of things, hang-glide, water ski, golf or even race cars. Me? I like hiking and climbing in mountainous terrain. I’m a simple man. It’s what I love to do. And I am so grateful to my wife, and to the LORD for having this experience here at Sprewell Bluff, overlooking the Flint River on my day off. Thank You Lord!
Now, my wife is laying down, because she is waiting for me to finish this piece. She wants to go for a hike again. This time we will start the other way, going along the orange-blaze trail until it intersects with the purple-blaze, thus returning to the camp via the widow makers trail once more.
Oh Lord, as I walked around this morning, I thanked You and Praised Your name. And I had read two devotionals from the revivalandreformation.org emails. Thank You Lord for those readings. Thank You for giving me the idea to come here and camp on my day off. What a good God Your are. As I wrote in the beginning of this piece, who would have thought? Certainly, we discover some things by trying out something new. What Tracie and I have discovered here is turning into a great reward. We will do this again, more often and soon.
P.S. During our breakfast, Tracie was excited that she had made a new bird-watch discovery. She thought it was a red-headed woodpecker. But she checked her bird book and looked more carefully through the binoculars and discovered… that it was actually a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. And there were two of them. This is the first time we have seen that species of bird. Thank You Lord.