Monday, September 15, 2008

The Journey

Hi everyone! I am in Packwood, WA right now....a stones through away from the spectacular snow capped volcanic Mt Rainer....The Washington section of the hike has been nothing short of amazing....Goat Rocks Wilderness is one of the most beautiful places on Earth! I summited a mountain call Old Snowy from which I had views of Mt Rainer, Mt Adams (also another snow capped volcano), the famous Mt St Helens that erupted in 1980, glacier lakes, and huge glaciers all around me. I saw mountain goats that are huge white furry creatures. I saw an enormous elk. Then I really started to have fun...you see...I learned a valuable lesson out here:
Life is a journey, not a destination. Life isn't about what we acquire, it isn't about how much we make, what job we have, where we live, who we know, or even where we end up when we die....those things all have there place, but that is just it....life is about the way we lived while we were here. Were we happy? Did we dare to dream? Did we look our deepest fears straight in the eyes and find the courage from within to charge forward? Did we learn to love ourselves and in the process learn to love everyone around us? Did we share that love with everyone we meet? And most importantly...did we live a life that showed the world our love for God? I sat on top of a 7000 ft knife toothed ridge looking down a valley that seemed so deep it was a different world than where I was....I looked around at all the beauty of God's creation, the mountains, the snow, the lakes, the trees, and the cool breeze that blew my long hair back from my face....A bald eagle soared down to inspect me as it went on its own journey for the day....I couldn't have ever dreamed I would contain so much peace in my soul as in that moment....Instead of crying with joy I decided to do something unthinkable in my former lifestyle.....I looked down the face of the mountain I was on and there was a snow field that went down a sheer drop off about 800 feet down and then turned in to jagged rocks where the snow had already melted. I climbed down off the knife edged ridge on to the snow, grabbed my ice axe from my backpack, and then shoved off a sheer vertical drop at which I descended at the speed of gravity....as the grade eased I was probably sliding down at about 30 miles per hour on my rear end with certain death or serious injury awaiting me when I reached the jagged ice torn rocks at the bottom....in the last 40 feet I calmly rolled on my side and used the ice axe to self arrest, stopping my freight train of a slide down the mountain....I know what you are thinking...what kind of lunatic intentionally slides down the side of a mountain risking death? I do have the answer though....I am a man that has learned the most valuable lesson...life is a journey....a life of quiet desperation is no way to live....life isn't about our achievements....it is about how we got there.....many people will hike the Pacific Crest Trail this year, but none will have the same journey I did....the feeling I got at the bottom of the snow field when I realized I was safe and had made it was like nothing I have ever felt before.....In that moment I felt complete, absolute, and perfect freedom. I screamed at the top of my lungs for minutes before falling to my knees and thanking God for the lessons I have learned on this journey....so please for Forager....dare to dream, have the courage to face your fears, and show someone love today that you normally wouldn't have...and for God's sake.....today....please enjoy the journey!
Love,
Forager

2 comments:

Dale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dale said...

Glad to hear you found yourself out on the trail my friend. You continued on- where my journey ended. I can't wait to hear from you and find out the good news with the "M&Ms."

Be safe, and may God continue to watch over you.

Dale
Vegas Mulito