Ranger Things

I totally binged this weekend on a new series (of experiences) called Ranger Things — and it was amazing.

Believe it or not, there was a time in my life when I seriously considered producing nature documentaries as a career — and it’s not too hard to see a world where I became a park ranger instead of a pastor. Not that I’m complaining about my current vocation or life circumstances! I really do love the way my life has turned out. Still, I really don’t know how to put words to the way the mountains, forests, lakes, and streams of America’s National Parks fill my soul with joy and wonder.

Friday afternoon, I got to do a solo hike up Eagle Cliff. The silence and solitude of the mountainsides were a sanctuary for some extended time with God, and the mountaintop provided a place to consider all the peaks and valleys of our summer experiences out here in Colorado.

Saturday featured a family hike to the top of Twin Sisters with the family, and we literally climbed through the clouds, getting to see the views from below the clouds, in amongst the clouds, and above the clouds. We also ran into some friends from 1500 miles away — on top of the mountain, of all places! So that was pretty fun!

And today, I hiked with some Kent friends to Chasm Lake (including an encounter with an actual ranger from the National Parks Service!). About half of the hike was above tree-line, with vast snow banks still clinging to the flanks of the Park’s largest mass of mountains. We hiked across glaciers, passed beside a glistening waterfall, and scrambled up some large rocks to reach a pristine mountain lake with large blocks of ice still floating beside the shoreline.

I’m aware that I might be susceptible to recency bias, but I might be inclined to put Chasm Lake as one of the Top Three Hikes in the Rocky Mountain National Park. I’m really glad I got to experience that hike (even if it meant I had to miss the Women’s World Cup match between the United States and the Netherlands).

Our time to enjoy hiking in the Rockies is quickly drawing to a close — but I’m glad we can make the most of it while we’re here.

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