Trail Thoughts: The Price of Admission
"Andrew, I believe you are about to see some of God's Glory in design and creation as you enter the Sierras. I also believe it will be quite difficult. Consider that difficulty as your price for admission. A price few others can or will ever be willing to pay. It will be the greatest ticket you have purchased!"
Let me just tell you, reading this letter as I approached the High Sierras was the fuel needed to get me through it. It is not easy out here, and takes a completely a different skill set than I anticipated using.
Only a few days in, the river crossings are overwhelming and the steep, icy passes make my stomach drop a little. My usual 3+ mph pace has dropped to just below 2, and I only see the actual PCT every few miles- the rest is trailblazing and self-navigating. People are dropping out left and right. Rescue missions are becoming more common, and injuries are becoming close to fatal.
It is brutal out here, but that is the price of admission. We are choosing to do this! To push ourselves to new limits to be completely surrounded by the Glory my dad was talking about. The most incredible landscapes I've ever seen, matched with an overwhelming sense of power and presence.
This is the fierce, creative God I'm getting a better understanding of. This God that,
"in His strength, established the mountains,
being girded with might;
who stills the roaring seas,
the roaring of their waves"
Yes, the Sierras are tough. I'd honestly prefer not to carry a bear canister, ford icy rivers at 4am, or post-hole traverse across mountains. BUT. These hardships lead to sunrises canvased behind mountain cathedrals. They lead to hardcore naps on glaciated peaks. They lead to playing cards at 12k feet. They lead to praise. They lead to humility. They lead to accomplishment. To discipline. To grace. To the cross.
You guys, I'm excited to take this mindset back to traditional life. Because life has its own icy rivers and post-holing. But if this price of admission leads me to a beautiful encounter at the Cross and a better understanding of the King, it is completely worth it. Let's do some trekking.