Saturday, June 8, 2013

Raspberry Ridge Hike......Have you ever wondered why a certain trail is referred to as a certain name? The sign at the trailhead said Raspberry Creek trail. But around Marble the trail is referred to as the Raspberry Ridge trail. Now that may have been due to fact that the 11,000 some feet mountain has a long ridge line. But after hiking it I have a different idea.
The trail has become rather infamous of late in Marble circles due to the adventure another Air Force Chaplain who came here and helped the church to hire us had. He started the trail at 4pm. Folks, that is late to begin a hike!!! As he went further and it got later, he decided to try to bushwack down. At one point he cliffed out ( which is hiking lingo for he came to a cliff edge.) So he eventually ended up coming down a snow runoff area on his behind gathering speed until he was out of control and eventually ended up in the Crystal River. He suffered from hypothermia and a Marbleite couple saved him by warming him up quickly. But we all confirm that God was the miracle in his survival!

I digress. So Jon, Joy and I took this hike upon my recommendation. It started out as a normal uphill climb. But then the trail became a footpath. I do not mean a footpath as in 12 inches wide but a path in which you only have room for one foot in front of another. Then the mountain trail opens up and you can see the sheer drop-off just by your footpath. I started using southern vernacular and prayer, "Lord have mercy!!" At one point we had to cross where the snow was still running off in a stream of water. If you slipped while crossing, it would truly become a 'Lord have mercy' experience! Jon used his walking stick to help us to cross safely! Therefore it is my deduction that the reason the trail is referred to as the Raspberry Ridge trail is that for portions of it you are literally on a ridge along the side of the mountain! Did I mention that the "footpath" tilted slightly down toward the drop-off?

Eventually the trail rounded the mountain and we found ourselves in a beautiful peaceful aspen grove. The aspens had the new leaves that are the perfect shade of green that says new and tender. The trail was a little wider and there was no apparent drop-off. We could hear a stream close by and we sat on a log and had a picnic. Food tastes so much better above 9000 feet! There was only one problem. We had to return the way we came. Footpath, ridge, drop-off......Lord have mercy!!!

Life's journey can be much like this hike. You come to places where the path is narrow and you may feel as if you are just clinging to the ridgeline. But as God has so mercifully revealed to me along the way, the peaceful safe haven of the aspen grove is just around the corner. He will sustain you there to give you the strength you need for the return journey!

"Come unto me .......and I will give you rest. Take my yoke......and I will give you rest" May we always be open to the rest that God offers when we take the time to be quiet before Him. May I always breathe in the peace that He offers so that I may have strength for the journey.

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