John and I are determined to get OUT of the city at least once a week to not only stretch our legs, but to experience the General Revelation of our God.
Life has not been easy for us for a LONG time and it's too easy to dismiss the very existance of God in our lives.
For me, personally, getting into the mountains surrounds me with beauty that only a Creator could design. One look at the complicated shape of a Colorado columbine flower shatteres the belief in random evolution.
So, on Saturday we hopped onto highway 285 and headed south, through Baily, to Kenosha Pass. Kenosha pass has an access point to the Colorado trail which runs from Waterton Canyon in the Littleton/Roxborough area all the way down to Durango. It's a trail that showcases the best scenery in the Colorado Rockies.
The segment we hiked was fairly mild as far as extertion, but it was intense in beauty.
We stepped onto the trail in a thick grove of aspen trees shading a carpet of purple columbine flowers. The columbine is the state flower. About 3/4 of a mile into the woods, we entered coniferous forest with branches woven so thick, the sun struggled to cast it's glow on the soft needled floor.
That's not all. 45 minutes later, we emerged from the pines onto a ridge with a panoramic view of South Park Valley and some glacier - graced mountains. I've lived in Colorado for over 11 years now, and I could not pick my jaw off the ground. John and I stared and stared. We could not take our eyes off the incredible view before us. I tried to capture the moment on the camera, but the lense limited the panorama and doesn't do it justice.
Continuing onward, we passed through the "pencil forest" - Aspens growing together so closely that the trail was the only way through (see the picture above). There were some groves of aspen we dubbed "trees with knees" b/c most of them had the strangest "knee" bend in the middle of the trunk. Did you know that aspen trees can clone themselves from the genetic material in their root systems? This "trees with knees" section gave more evidence to the case of intelligent design.
We hiked for nearly three hours and as we descended into the dusty parking lot along 285, trail-worn young man in dreadlocks and heavy Kelty pack approached us, asking if we were headed to Denver. My eyes grew wide in fear as John waved him over to the Vue and he began to take off his pack. What was my hubby doing??? We had a baby and a dog with us. This guy could be a serial killer on the loose!
As we dashed across the highway, avoiding cars and truck screaming along at 70mph, I yelled, "You aren't wanted for murder or any other crime against humanity are you?"
The young man shook his head.
I felt a check in my heart. God is soverign. I just worshiped in His cathedral for three hours. Besides, this guy looked like Jesus, or so I thought. "What you do for the least of these, you do for Me." I'm a backpacker. This guy was a through-hiker. Hiked all the way from Kenosha to Breckinridge and back. Backpackers are nice people.
We had a great time talking in the car. Thru-hiker's name was Daniel. He's a student at Metro State, studying music comp. He was so appreiciative of our kindness. He said he understood how scary it is to give a hitch-hiker a ride. John simply replied, planting a seed. "I prayed about it when you asked me, and God gave me peace that it was okay."
I don't plan on picking up hitch-hikers any time soon, but this experience made me aware of how quickly I jump to conclusions about strangers. Poor, bedraggled looking people. I have come to the point where I assume they are all criminals. Sure, in this world, caution can't be ignored, but John's example of praying for widom and getting a split-second response... well, that was a pretty convicting sermon preached "on the mount" of Kenosha pass.