I was visiting Steamboat Springs. I went to the Visitor Information Center to get some information on some good hiking spots. I asked about a trail I had become aware of during a previous visit. On that occasion, I was visiting the waterfall which you see on every Coors can. While I was there, I noticed a trail on the left to another fall. A posted sign the trail climbed 2,400 feet in a matter of 2 miles. At the Visitor Center, I asked the young person about the difficulty of that climb. I was told the first 1,800 feet was a pretty straight climb, with no switchbacks. Then it would level off, and the rest of the climb was not too difficult.
So, I began my hike on that trail. It was, understandably, not too too bad in the beginning. Then, it got a little tougher, and then, a little tougher. Eventually, I found myself on a very steep climb. At this point, I noticed myself taking small baby steps. Those baby steps got me up that trail as well as the long strides did at the beginning. Then it came to mind, when things are going well for us, we can saunter along with not a care in the world. When the going gets tough, then we have to slow down and measure each step as we move along. We appreciate each step that is made, and we take no one step for granted. Each little step makes that next step possible. In this mode, we move slowly on and on. Up and up we go. [That is a great paradigm for the spiritual journey.]
Well as I went up and up, needless to say I was really suffering. At this point my lungs were hurting, Steamboat Springs in not what you would call at sea level, it is far from it. Then the questions began to enter my mind “how much longer can I keep this up?”, “How much more effort is there in me?”. I looked up and higher up the trail and I saw a really big rock, right in the middle of the trail. I said, “if I can get to that rock then I can rest and have a chance to catch my breath”. I did get to that rock. It had a nice flat surface upon which I could rest. It was worth the effort to get there. The rest was great.
As I was enjoying my Honey and Oats bar chased by wonderful cool water, I began to look around. I turned from looking down the trail to looking up the trail. I was more than delighted to see that the trail only went up a very short distance before it got lost over the brow. I then remembered the person at the visitor center and being told “the trail levels off”. That was the good news I needed at that time. To say the least, I was thrilled!
This gave me a much needed burst of energy and enthusiasm. I was able to get up and carry on and up that trail. Yes, it did level off indeed. I was able to reach my intended destination.
Was it worth it?
Yes, it was.
This is an experience I have thought about a lot since that hike. What I have said in the past about looking at something long enough and receiving a deeper insight has come through. Over the next few weeks we will take a look at the ways and places we encounter “huge rocks” in our trek we call our spiritual journey. Here is a little taste…..
I have read that in Hebrew the word for rock carries with it the added meaning of….stability….firmness…faithfulness.
A dreamer’s journey continues….