Thursday, June 14, 2012

300 miles, for His glory...

I'm 7 miles outside of Madres and have officially hit 300 miles into this journey. I hiked out of Warm Springs to the top of a bluff, where I can look back and see several mountains with an amazing sunset of orange, red, blue, purple... just breath taking... something I've never seen before!  A perfect way to commemorate my 300 miles... picture perfect.

There's a lot that has happened the last 75 miles so lets rewind to last Friday. I woke up early that morning and headed towards Rhododendron in another day of nasty rain. I stopped every few miles for people wanting to take pictures and later met Jamie close to Dairy Queen in town. She offered to have LeeRoy and I stay at her house for the night with her family. Even thought I didn't put as many miles in that day as I wanted, I gladly excepted! After dinner, the kids went to bed and we spent some time trading life stories. She has had such an interesting life! She backpacked half way across Canada, worked on a cruise ship for a while, hitch-hicked to Mexico and a bunch of other amazing trips.

Its odd that I keep running into people that have had big adventures like the one I'm on. I'm not talking about a road trip with some friends, I'm talking about adventure seeking, mountain climbing crazy stories. Something that took long lasting physical endurance with little to no comfort at all. There seems to be this mutual respect that I've found within the backpacking/adventurer community.

The next morning I got up and had a late start getting back on the road. I only had 10 more miles to make it to Government Camp, which is the top of the pass (aka Mt. Hood). My friends Irene and Natalia drove out from Portland to see me. We loaded LeeRoy up in the back of her Lexus (the goat always rides in style) and headed to Government Camp for lunch. When we got there, it was really cold and there was clearly snow on the ground... that did not get me excited. I kept thinking the entire time we ate, "where am I going to camp, am I going to stay warm through the night?"

After lunch I was dropped off at the spot I was picked up from and headed back up the hill. Just before reaching Government Camp, a couple stopped me to take some pictures on the side of the road. While we were taking pictures, another car pulled up with a lady dressed in slacks and a button up shirt. She was the general manager at the Best Western Hotel in Government camp. Coming out of her car, she approached me with the biggest grin... excited she had found me. She said that the guests at the hotel have been talking about a man with a goat while checking in numerous times. The entire hotel was booked except for one room with a king suite that needed a sink fixed. She offered me the room for the night and said that it was "goat friendly". LET ME TELL YOU WHAT, That put some pep into my step. All I could think about was the jacuzzi in the suite waiting for me!

 I got to the hotel around 5 or 6pm and the employees were telling me that the entire hotel is booked by a group of hikers called Hight Pointers. What they do is go to every single state and climb to the top of the highest point. These are people from all over the world! Needless to say, a lot of pictures were taken and hours of conversation was had with LeeRoy being in the center of it all.

Let me paint you a picture... LeeRoy and I are sitting in the lobby, next to the fireplace (crackle crackle) making smores (mmmmm) and chatting with people from all over the world about Needle2Square and Uzima. It was pretty serial even to me! Later that night I jumped into the jucuzzi, turned on some basket ball and ate as much junk food from the candy machine that I could possibly eat. I can't tell you how amazing it was to sleep in a bed again and be in a room knowing I'm safe, instead of sleeping in a tent outside in the cold and snow.

I think so often times we as Christians sit in church saying, God I want to see you... I want to see something like the Old Testament Prophets or Disciples saw... the miracles....and question God, why won't You let me see those kinds of things. Yet if you look at all of those stories, these people weren't warming the church pews but out in the streets doing the work, needing God to show up in circumstances only He could show up in so that He gets the glory. I've never understood God's provision or experienced it as much as I have on this trip. My story is nothing like the Disciples or Old Testament Prophets, but I have a deep and tremendous sense that God is daily providing for me on this journey. I look back to the stories in the beginning of this blog, and I truly feel like only God could get the glory for all of this. These are not things that I did by my own power, or plan ... not even my cleaverness... just the Lord.

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