April 17, 2009
I was in a meeting, but when I heard my cell phone ring, I jumped to my feet and was pulling the phone from my purse in seconds. “I won’t answer this, I just want to see if it is Anna and Dan,” I explained to the bewildered woman sitting in my office.
It was Anna! Despite my promise I opened the phone. “The last few days have been unbelievable,” she said. “You would not believe, Mom, how difficult it has been.”
I smiled. I felt like I had known. Yes, I had not been there, but I had sensed it in my spirit, in studying the topo maps and the snowy ground from satellites, and hearing the weather reports. I had asked scores of people to pray for their safety. They had not encountered high winds at San Gregorio Pass, famous for its blowing sand. In fact, that passage had been unbearably hot, eight miles without a single tree in still hot air. “The only shade,” Anna reported, “was in the I-10 underpass. But the next night, 8000 feet up the San Bernadino Mountains they experienced winds that made the tall pine trees a 100 feet high look like upside down pendulums, swinging back and forth. Two large pine trees fell so close to their tent that they felt the ground shake. The flexible poles on their tent bent under the wind then snapped back to attention all night long.
Anna also described the perils of navigating old snow, melted and frozen to icy on steep slopes.
But in the end they made it and are now at Big Bear Lake in a room with a bed, a hot tub, and a mini-fridge. Bravo Anna and Dan. Yeah God! He is good.
April 15, 2009
As many of you know, my daughter, Anna, and her husband, Daniele, began hiking the Pacific Crest Trail on Friday, March 27th, beginning at the metal fence that marks the border with Mexico and trekking north. They began in the town of Campo, about sixty miles inland from San Diego.
Last Tuesday they called to say they had left the PCT and hitched a ride to Idllywild, because snow was expected the next day. This first part seemed easy: Their guidebook suggested making a sign so they ripped pages from their journals (I think) and scrawled “PCT through hikers” which is code for those who are hiking the whole length of the nearly 3000 miles long trail in a single continuous journey, as opposed to those who hike sections at a time.
At first they despaired of finding a ride because cars were whizzing by too fast to read their tiny sign. In fact, they agreed that they would not stand there forever, they would wait for one hour and one hour only. But within five minutes, car that had raced past them, turned around and circled back. As they ran up to meet it they noticed a fish, an ixthus, a ancient symbol of Christianity on the bumper sticker, and smiled at the thought of being blessed by a fellow Christian. Although dear Daniele eschews all things ‘chee-vo”–his term for “cheesy evangelical”–he is still a follower of Christ, and I like to imagine he looks like our Lord with his Italian good looks and shoulder-length curly hair (Did Jesus have ringlets? I hope so!).
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