Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Peaked Mountain

So, it is Sunday night and I am sitting at the EconoLodge, overlooking Lake George...The day has been fantastic...I decided last night that I would do some hiking today and I "randomly" picked a mountain trail to climb. I had no idea the difficulty level or the distance. God said He would guide me, and so He did. I went to Thirteenth Lake, found the trail head, loaded my Camelpak with some water and food, a bar of soap, some safety essentials, and off I went. For those who are hiking experts, please have mercy, okay, just don't laugh! I had no compass, no map, no whistle...I did have a cell phone....no matches, etc., etc. I wasn't being intentionally foolish, I really had no idea what to take with me. For what it was worth, I needed none of those things, although I could have used more water.

....And off I went. There was a sign at the start of the trailhead saying that visitors should register...."It may save your life." (Ummm....what am I getting into?) I forwent the registering and found the trail, then I headed off. It followed the lake for a couple of miles (?) and then it branched off along a wonderful creek. It was beautiful and fun, and the blackberries were delicious too;) On and on I went until the trail stopped at the creek. I was a little confused until I realized I had to wade through the creek to get to the other side....it cooled my feet nicely, but it also was a precursor to blisters....that'd be 5 in total by the end of the trip.

As I continue on, what seems like forever, the trail does a disappearing act! At this point I am thinking that I have made a wrong turn and I am tired..."Lord what do I do?" He says just go a little further...I test this and I am now just a little unnerved, the trail still has not formed, so I ask again.

...Actually, I was having this conversation with God that started back, say, 30 minutes before, asking God where exactly was I going to end up...at which point, I looked up to see this rock face 600 ft. in the air...."You have got to be kidding! You want me to go up there???" I laughed to myself and shook my head thinking, "Its okay, I am on an adventure..." Over the next 30 minutes, I prod along, getting a little tired, thinking I need to eat (it had been over 2 hours) and then the trail disappears (like I mentioned).

Now, God does have a sense of humour...You see, when I originally turned on to the trail that branched away from the lake, I met a small group of 9 or 10 year olds with a couple of leaders...I asked one of the kids if they were going to the peak. She thought so. Cool, I thought. If these leaders were confident enough to take six 10 year olds, dressed in nothing but bathing suits and hiking boots, then, surely, I was good to go with little experience and the few supplies I had.

...Back to the disappearing trail....

When I got to the point where I thought I wasn't hearing God correctly, I decided I would turn around and go back....yep. Wait...Nope...on the trail I just came from, emerged this little group - kids and leaders still plugging along...I laugh...I didn't make a wrong turn, and the one of the leaders, Mike, had a map and a guide book that described the trail. God did want me to continue, and sure enough, just a little further, was the bottom of the summit. Now, it was a good thing God brought this guy along because the trail to the summit was a little tricky and that guide book gave me some insight into how to navigate the trail. Ahhhh, 600 feet of zigzagging and fun...did I mention steep?

I continued on and made it to the top! My first mountain climb....next Everest!

Seriously though, I took time at the top to eat, take in the view, and converse with God. And to think that I was going to give up 4/5ths of the way there! But, I didn't and here I was at the top! I didn't even mind the trip back. I thought I would be too tired to go all the way back, but not at all! I think I was running on adrenaline.

I discovered on this trip that it really was the journey that was more enjoyable (and perhaps more important) than the actual destination. The summit was great, but there was no one to share it with...Which got me to thinking of all the people who would love to do a trip like this...maybe I could lead some trips in the future (with just a tad more preparation of course). Anyhow, when I got back to the trailhead, my one shoe was bloody and both my feet ached...and I wasn't exactly smelling like vanilla and lavender. (Hence the biodegradable soap stash:) Three days of camping, with no shower, and a day of hiking...I got a change of clothes and a towel from my car, set them on the shore, and then I walked straight into the lake...hiking clothes still on....oi, did it feel good! (Exactly what a woman of sense and spontaneity would do, right?!)

I made a slide show of my travel up the mountain. In one slide you can see the lake and the three beaver ponds I passed. If you are interested in climbing this mountain, google 'Peaked Mountain in the Adirondack' or just leave me a message ...I may have a tour prepared...ages 9 and up. lol:)


Laura Wilson said...

Hi Misti,
I'm glad you are having such a good trip. I'm sorry your feet got so sore. You had mentioned that you wished you had had more water...if you are out in the middle of nowhere, couldn't you have taken more water from the spring that was in your picture? It wouldn't be poluted, would it?
Just wondering. See you soon.

MistiPearl said...

Hey Laura!
Thanks for your concern:)

About the water, even though we would like to think that the water is not polluted, even in the mountains, it is not wise to drink water without boiling it or using water purifying tablets. Where I was, there were 3 beaver ponds, and there is a bacteria (Giardia, also known as 'beaver fever') that is common in the water where beavers live which can get into our system and cause sickness if you drink the water untreated.

By-the-way, I am home now:)

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