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Monday, March 23, 2009

On the mountain top...

On a wonderful little outing with a lovely friend, I was reminded why I neeeeeed to be out in God's creation.  My friend and I took a great hike up to a hilltop in SLO.  I had become so consumed in my daily life that I had forgotten just how beautiful California's mountainous landscape is.  Since I enjoyed it so much, I then decided I would share the experience with my one-on-one girl, Lisa.

So, on Saturday, we woke up and I took her to the always beautiful Mount Bishop.  It was a colder day, with a foggy sky.... not exactly the desirable conditions, but, nonetheless, we were determined to enjoy our day.  The hike is probably a favorite of mine, and I was hoping to share the fun with Lisa.  She quickly began to enjoy it, marveling at the ever-growing view as we climbed the lower fields.  

The trail begins in a cow farmers field, and actually gets very vertical very fast.  It tapers off in a brushy forest resembling the Lord of the Rings... but the best part lies just up from that... the trail begins to become a dirt laden rock climb, as you crawl in between boulders and up through what resembles a dried up waterfall path.  Its absolutely stunning.  Lisa's excitement kept growing.  Finally we emerged to the actual "hiking trail", which is a winding back and forth path along the mountain side, bordered by stones, and rocks, ironically fenced off for safety purposes by barbed wire.  This part of the hike becomes super social, as more and more people seem to magically appear.  We followed it up, and around, and up, and around, until, yes, FINALLY, we hit the tip top.  We turned around, and.....      silence.... the fog had lifted just enough to see the city of SLO below, the mountain range in the background, and the ocean lining the horizon.  It was stunning.  On the top of the mountain are massive boulders, so we, being oh-so-adventurous, climbed all around on them, discovering little caves, and testing our fear of heights.  

It was a huge reward... and it made me think of how many times I have climbed a mountain with God, how many times I have walked through tough seasons, and when I have made that hard, tiring, uphill climb, and I stand on the top, I don't appreciate the view and perspective that standing on the top gives me.... but as I looked around that day, standing on the top of Mount Bishop, I realized that I could see so far, it was a beautiful place to be, and all of a sudden, I had a new appreciation for the mountains in life.

"the mountain peaks belong to him"
~Psalm 95:4

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