Saturday, October 15, 2016

The healing continues

Taking advantage of a great weather window we continued to explore other sections of the Olympic National Park. The photos below are from a hike up to Sol Duc Falls and another hike up into the Hoh rainforest. Both are beautiful and well worth a visit.

Elk grazing

Ruby Beach on the way home

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Oh God, please heal me.

Robin and I were at mass the other day and the presiding priest made a point of leaving the congregation with a simple prayer for the week ahead. It was focused on the brokenness of humanity and how each of us has something that needs healing in our lives. It was short and focused and made good sense. It was simply this, "Oh God, please heal me." So off we went with this bit of encouragement tucked away not knowing exactly how this healing would actually play out. How could we.

Port Angeles, WA
As it turns out we decided to visit one of America's great National Parks, Olympic National Park. It is a remarkable place for its variety of climate zones, flora and fauna, and 600 miles of hiking trails. We drove 4.5 hours up to Port Angeles and set out the following morning to go up to Hurricane Ridge to see if we could find a suitable trail to hike. It is about a 45 minute drive to get to the visitor station. The day was brilliantly clear and cool. We decided to make the additional 8 mile drive out to Obstruction Point and then hike out along Elk Ridge and back. It was a wise choice. There were only a few other cars at the Obstruction Point parking area so this was not going to be a crowd scene by any stretch of the imagination. We laced up our hiking boots and set off. Now the healing part slowly started to happen. Our faith journey has seldom been punctuated by lightning strikes. More often it is like a mist burning off in the rising sun. A gradual clarity emerges and it becomes a form of guidance. Such was this day. Virtually alone, high upon this striking ridge, it started to dawn on us how much we depend on these moments alone in nature to sort things out and and give thanks for all God's many gifts. We always seem to discover a better sense of who we are, and why we are, and how all things are connected, as we move through the natural beauty of this amazing planet Earth. At the turn around point as we looked down on the waters below and the mountain peaks in the distance we were sure that our simple prayer had been answered. What a day.

Departure from Obstruction Point

Up we go.

Mt. Baker in the foreground.

Port Angeles harbor way below.

Robin enjoying the glorious clear weather.

That's me.

Heading back.

Yes, that is a trail.

The trailhead is just behind the ridge on the right.