Some Things Are Best Left On The Mountain

Sorry for the delay in blog updates.  I’ve been away for a few weeks on vacation.  Now that I’m back, I’ll keep posting the devotions from the Catechism, but I thought I’d just share a couple of thoughts as I transition back into civilization.  Having been reunited with the family for a full week now, I am reminded that there are some things that work better on the mountain than they do at home:

1.  “Crapuchinating” et al. – This is a Briley Rivers word, and it refers to the act of eliminating solidly excreted mamilian waste products.  On the mountain we proudly announce, “I’ve got to ‘crapuchinate’!”, grab our little shovel and roll of paper, and away we go.  This is usually preceeded by several minutes, if now hours, of loud and boistrous farting – in which we take great joy – eerily reminicent of the campfire scene from “Blazing Saddles.”  Oddly enough, this sort of thing is frownd upon in civilized company – unless, of course your 6 months old, then it’s cute.  Bragging about the size of the hole you had to dig or the moose you made pass out – this is best left on the mountain (case in point – my wife just read this and said, “That’s kind of crass.” – Duh).

2. Going A Week Without A Shower or a Shave.  There is something strangly wonderful about living on a mountain for a week without a shower or a razor blade in sight.  True, after a couple of days you begin to wonder if your being closely followed by gaggle of skunks – but there’s no greater snubing of modern sensibilities than aging a real good B.O. (mine might be likened to old cheese and spam with a whiff of toe jam and an ever so slight hint of death).  You get to the point where you simply don’t zip up the eskimo bag for fear of suffocating in the night, and you stop worrying about the bears because even they wouldn’t come near anything so ripe.  My apologies to Brian, who shared the tent for a week, but then again, you did bring the spam.  Don’t think I didn’t enjoy my 30 minute shower when I got home – but this too, is something best left on the mountain.

3. Latent Pyromania – Deep within each of us there must be a little caveman wanting to burn his way out.  From 6:00 in the morning until 10:00 at night, somebody’s by the fire, watching, tending, stoking the fire.  When not at the fire we’re thinking to ourselves, “I wonder if this will burn in the fire?”  We wonder how long this 10 foot long tree will burn.  We fill the valley with smoke from our white man fire.  We argue about whether not green flame is indeed the hotest flame, but we’ll never know since we can’t see it.  But we’re all greatly satisfied at the end of the day becuase we have fire.  I’m sitting in the living room thinking, “I wonder how long this roll-top desk will burn…” but again, this is something best left on the mountain.

4.  Top Ramen, Dehydrated Beef Stroganoff, and Beef Jerkey – I think that needs no further explanation.

To borrow a phrase, what happens on the mountain, stays on the mountain, as well it should. But there is one thing that must come down from the mountain, the fellowship with my brothers in Christ.  What’s remarkable about this trip and every trip I’ve taken is that even though it’s been a year since we’ve seen each other last, we pick up as though we’ve never missed a day.  We kid, we joke, and we tease, but we also pray, and laugh, and sweat together as we challenge each other to climb that last peak.  Only the love of Christ could bind the hearts of five completely different guys together so that we all come down from the mountain fresher, stronger, taller, than when we left.  This kind of fellowship; this kind of brotherhood; this kind of love is rare.  The world needs more of it.  It cannot, it should not, stay on the mountain.

Enjoy some pics…

 The GangFH000003

Crystal LakeFH000027


The Bags are Packed…

I’ve still got a week to go, but my mind has already left for vacation.  I leave next week for Colorado, where, after leaving Christi and kids with her parents, I’ll meet up with some guys from Kanas for a week of camping, fishing, and all-around good times in the mountains of Wyoming.

I’ve already started packing my backpack – and then unpacking and repacking.  It’s all I can really think about right now.  I’ve still got a lot of work to do so I can leave – but I can hear the mountains calling me back.   Must… stay… focused…

At first I was really hesitant to take a week in the mountains, and then the better part of a week with the in-laws.  Maybe I’m too proud and I think the church will suffer without me in the pulpit, maybe I’m too insecure and think they’ll find a much better preacher and be dissapointed when I come back.  But judging by the way my mind is so easily distracted by my upcoming trek, I think this trip will do me, and my congregation a lot of good.

This year we’re heading to the Snowy Range, just about 30 miles west of Laramie.  I’ve never been to Wyoming, but the Rockies are great no matte where you are.  I am hoping, however, that this trip is better than last years.  In 07 we went to Silverton, CO, and climbed to the upper basin at the feet of Fuller, Vermillion, and Golden Horn Peak. It was a tremendously challenging climb – and it was cold and wet.  We called the trip short after getting hailed on at 12,500 feet.  It was gorgeous, but I don’t think I ever want to go there again.

Here are some pictures from the trip:

This is view fo the Ice Lake Basin, right around 12,000 feet

 Fuller, Vermillion, Golden Horn, and Pilot Knob Peaks

This view is from the Lower Basin, about 11,200 feet were we made our base camp

Lower Ice Lake Basin

This little lake was really hard to get to, but worth the trip – the picture doesn’t do the color of the lake justice – alt. was right around 12,400

Island Lake

Here’s me, and Kenny, getting hailed on at 12,500 feet.  Well above tree line, there was no shelter from the rain, hail, and lightening except for this 8 foot tall rock… thunderbolts and lightening, very very frightening me…

cold and wet