August 22, 2009

Where the Air is Thin

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but if we look hard enough we can witness splendor in ALL of God's creation. However, in some places it seems the Almighty took extra care to get it just right. You know, those places that enliven our spirits, excite our senses and convict us of the sacred. Lots of places come to mind, but in the United States I think the four corners states — Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico top the list. Just thinking about the mountains, mesas and majesty stir my soul. And when looking at pictures from there—well, I'm downright giddy.

It's too bad I grew up in New Jersey.

But as you faithful readers know, these are the very places Dan's been working these last two weeks. On his day off today, he's off on another adventure. His challenge: hike to the top of Pike's Peak (elevation 14, 110). (I've spent my entire life near sea level. Is there even any oxygen that high?!)

All day I've been worried he might perish on the trails or flat out run out of air to breathe. Thanks to his nifty iPhone, I have proof he's not only alive and but quite well, albeit extremely tired. Since the scenery is so awesome, I thought you might enjoy taking the journey with me. So, strap on your boots, fill up your canteen and grab your walking stick. Let's go!

Trail head. 6:08 am. Lots of people here, perfect day should be fun.


1 hour in...first sight of the summit — way far away!

2 hours in...I hear the mountain taunting me.

4.5 hours in...approaching treeline...11,500 ft. 3 miles to go according to the guy we just passed. Running an hour ahead of schedule. Not sure if that means I'm a stud or need to slow down. Forget it, I know the answer...definitely beginning to feel the climb and the altitude. Quick rest, some fig newtons and Gatorade and then back on the trail. And what a beautiful day!

5.5 hours in. The sign says it all...a little low on water but otherwise all systems go!

The view the other way at 13,300. See the trail?

Victory is mine!!!

No matter where you encounter God's creation this weekend, be blessed.

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." (Romans 1:20)


Kelly Combs said...

Wow - that was a fun trip to go, and I don't even feel winded. :-) I am in such bad shape, I couldn't have gone more than 1 mile. I have no doubt that Dan will be taking you back there.

You are a wonderful wife!

Runner Mom said...

Loving these Dan adventures!! When we went,we were wimps...we drove the rental van up to the top, and I felt sick due to the lack of Oxygen!! But it is one of the most beautiful sights ever! Dan has to take you and the kids there!! Tell him I said so!!

Laura said...

How exciting to join him on his hike like this! Modern technology at it's best.What great fun for your hubs, and for you to get to see what he sees!

Dan said...

Here's the really mind-blowing thing about today's hike, in my mind. It was a tough day, to be sure and yes, the air gets real darned thin over that last 2-3,000 feet of climbing for a Pennsylvania flatlander. But, I just got done reading Into Thin Air, - I kept thinking, "Mt. Everest BASE CAMP is at 17,600 feet." AND, I saw people RUNNING down the mountain. AND, somewhere around 12,000 feet I passed a dad and his (are you ready for this) 10-year old son, who summitted. When you see/think that kind of stuff on the way up, you begin to ask "OK, what's MY excuse for not making the top?"
What an amazing day. And, what an amazing sleep I'm about to have!

Sue J. said...

You and me and Mr. Lunt have something in common, Kelli--New Jersey and you: Perfect Together!

It's been a long time since I was in Colorado and around Pike's Peak (like I was 10), and we drove, because there were too many of us little kids to think about putting us on a trail. The beauty was not lost on me, though, as I have several shots off my Kodak Pony camera (out of a car) of the mountains! Memories....

Last trip for us coming up--sea level, as in Virginia Beach! Looking forward to God's wonders on the beach, even amidst the throngs (and thongs?!). I'll be in a rash guard, myself....

Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos! Glad Dan is hanging in there....

Lelia Chealey said...

That is so neat. I love how he kept you posted the whole time.
Victory is mine. Bet Satan hears that from God a lot!! :)

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

What a great trip...Just had a few hours to blog hop tonight and enjoyed reading yours. I am doing a series of posts on holiday decorating, so hope you will stop by. I love making new blog friends.

Cheryl Barker said...

I've hiked at the elevation before, and it can be difficult. I got altitude sickness one time -- didn't know if I could make it or not. Once I started coming down, I felt much better. Gotta give the old bod a chance to adjust to the altitude :)

sarah said...

What an experience! How is your summer shaping up? Ours ends today!

Diane said...

It looks beautiful. I am tired just looking at all that to climb. :O)