Day two was drawing to a close and the mountain air had turned to midst. Before the clouds completely enveloped the seven of us like a cocoon around an excited caterpillar, Clark and I shot some bearings up the high ridge that loomed above us. Tomorrow was going to be a trudge, and how great it would be to have a nice sunny day and excellent view of the inlet falling behind in our snowy wake; but we both knew better. Weather in the mountains has a way of shaping a fellow… it can take a long time to finally cave into your warmest expectation and hope for what you have tediously sacrificed to take in—and a fifty foot view of white cloud was not what you had in mind.
Morning only dawned because my watch said so, the situation on the other side of our nylon fly hadn’t budged. White out was our destiny for the uphill battle with our first real snow, ready or not here we come! “Oh man, does this hill ever stop?” Yes, it does, but never when you expect it to. (Lessons always pounding in the back of your mind). “I really wish we could see something,” but we are at the mercy of the mountain and the Creator that orchestrated every rock and fissure. Making the best of what we had, we made an incredible snow kitchen so that we could all sit up right, feet down in front of us, as if sitting at a table at home; only a little colder, more crammed and there’s a smell that you never sense in your own home (at least I hope not).
Being perched up on the high ridge at 7,000 feet reminded me of the day had imagined as my proposal day to my girlfriend eleven years prior—oh, if it could have happened how I had imagined! Instead, we hung out in a white out for 3 days before turning back and heading home engaged still, but without a summit or beautiful sunset over the distant Coastal peaks. “Lord, please break up these clouds this time and show these guys the awesome beauty of your Creation…” Clark exited the fly to fetch a much required 2-cup for dinner when we all heard him calling, “Guys! You have to come out here, it’s worth putting your boots back on!”
Stepping out of that fly left my heart pounding at the incredible sight of Gods handy work. He put Bob Ross to shame with a single stroke of His brush, replacing the thick fog that we’ve been camped out in with happy little clouds at our feet. All the clouds had dropped, revealing the splendor of the orange sunset and perfect blue sky, the puffy clouds bowing humbly at its feet. Only the 7,000 foot plus peaks split the cloud base and majestically stood firm above our newest white floor.
It’s in these wonderful moments that I’m reminded how much our God cares for us. It’s not necessarily my prayer and hopes that changed the weather, but either way, God revealed Himself. It was a reminder to me that the wilderness speaks to us. It was designed for us to be intimately involved, having dominion over it, tending to it’s needs and enjoying its return again and again. This expedition reminded me that I am very much designed to be working with teens in the wilderness. I must continue to press on, especially in the valleys to see to it that kids have an opportunity to encounter their Creator in His domain.
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