|Zion National Park|
In not much more than 50 hours I lead worship, cleaned a few miles of road ditch, hiked in two areas near Las Vegas, and began another hike in southwestern Utah. From the dancing, kodachromatic fountains at the Bellagio and turbulence along the Vegas Strip to being awakened by a rooster crow, bright sunlight filtering through the trailer's curtains, and the serenity of outdoor morning coffee in northwestern Arizona, I am grateful for the variety of settings in which I live life. Being fortunate is not an appropriate expression. Being privileged is a major factor in the equation. The opportunity to spend time with friends and especially immediate family is something greater than I ever envisioned and beyond the capacity of words.
|Climbing with a view|
Even in a desert region ample diversity is found. The bright magenta of beavertail cacti blossoms boldly stand out among the browns, tans, and light greens. Ascending from the canyon bottom spruce roots cling onto cliff sides; chipmunks scurry along the ground and ascend crevices like skilled climbers; while gusts of winds allow both for evaporation and a need to grab one's cap. Along with the diversity of nature are the diversity of people. Bright eyed young adults in jeans and flip flops anxiously begin their hike. Senior senior citizens with clicking trekking poles and a constant cadence ascend and descend like it is second nature. Other fit people use the trails for their running adventures. One couple, ascending from an overnight or two
in the bottom of the Grand Canyon appeared oblivious to others, looking as if they were on a death march. Their minds, their eyes, their spirits did not realize the top was eleven switchbacks away. For them it may have seemed like a hundred.
|Valley of Fire State Park|
The Grand Canyon, while massive and awe inspiring, also seemed distant and a bit irrelevant. The spectrum of color was narrow. Distinguishing distances and depth of filed proved difficult because of the absence of color differentiation. Along a portion of the paved Rim Trail, rocks were displayed with estimated time of formation. This increased my perception difficulties significantly. Even as a college history major, I have difficulty comprehending 1,000 million years ago. The current reality, book-ended by a couple of hundred years is understandable in a time perspective. However, to speak of millions of years past has no relevance in my mind.
|Northern Arizona Trailer|