Thursday, October 2, 2008
Perserverance Pays Off
Today we realized that true hiking is not for the faint of heart. After finishing a few "easy hikes" in the last few days, today we decided to take it up a notch and do some "real hiking". We headed over to Vail and in particular a trail called Gore Creek Trail. The map told us that for the first 4 miles we would follow along the mountain creek and then up a little higher to a lake. Sounds lovely, doesn't it? Well, lovely it was, but not without much sweat, hardship and life lessons along the way.
It all began when 30 minutes (30 treacherous hiking minutes) into the hike as we tried to catch our breath at the top of a steep area, a thunderstorm rolled in. Apparently in the Colorado mountains the weather can change at any time. One minute we were sweating & hot and the next it was freezing & a storm moved in. Well, I am not one to play with lightning or take any chances (I've got 5 kids waiting at home)so I quickly headed back down the trail to the car to wait until the weather moved on out. So that put us back a bit in time but more in energy. However, we were not going to give up so after the showers we headed back up again. And we were so glad that we did.
The trail led us to different views of the mountains. It started as a bare dirt path that quickly changed to a very rocky path, then there was an Aspen grove, and we ran into the creek at many turns. There were birds flying around and then butterflies fluttering onto the wildflowers, and there were shady areas with really crisp, cool breezes as well.
It is hard to describe experiences like these. We can take pictures and use words, but you have to be there to feel the emotion of the moment. There is nothing more refreshing than being surrounded by the sights, smells, & activities of nature.
Jason and I spoke on the hike about how much hiking is like the journey of our lives. There were times on the hike we thought we could not go a step further, yet we couldn't quit as well. Then there were times when the trail became smooth and pleasant and we felt blessed abundantly. At other times we came upon steep edges where we could have fallen hundreds of feet down to the rocks below us...there was a little fear and we had to carefully manuever around to take pictures.
Isn't that the way that life is...some times are hard, some are smooth & easy, some bring fear, at times you feel you cannot go any further, yet at other times you go on with ease. In the end, though, if you have stayed the course & perservered, you leave the hike of life satisfied, fulfilled, & rewarded with greater joys than a few good pictures & happy memories.