Getting humbled, one way or another

Mt. Harvard Education August 30, 2010

Filed under: Hiking/Backpacking — sarahallen24 @ 8:27 pm
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Mt. Harvard is the 3rd highest peak in Colorado and part of the distinguished Collegiate Peaks range near Buena Vista and Salida. I got a Mt. Harvard education on Sunday which, I can assure you, was much less expensive than 4 years in Massachusetts and just as rewarding in a totally different way. It’s also less pretentious and involves no sweater vests.

The summer is frightening me with how fast it’s winding down. So my usual adventure buddy and I jumped in my new toybox/car (the Honda Element) and drove to the trailhead. Side note: Leah, you were missed and the fact that you won’t shirk your responsibilities makes me both proud and frustrated 😉

With so many things going on prior to the trip, we packed and planned in haste. Once we hit the trail we discovered:

Most people backpack in a few miles first, then hike the peak.
We were doomed to live off of Cliff bars and rice cakes…oh and some funky dried seaweed that Carrie had. Tastes like what it is- ocean garbage.
I had forgotten the route description and we had to guess which way to go at trail junctions (we guessed correctly).
I had also forgotten my pants and gloves in the car and it would be a windy day.

After hiking through the trees for an hour and a half, we got our first view of Harvard. Still quite a distance to go!

Finally in the sun, soaking up its warmth! That’s Mt. Columbia, the cousin 14er to Harvard.

Getting closer to the summit…and therefore more windy. And that’s when I realized I had 3 pairs of pants enjoying a warm, comfortable day in my car. Probably nestled up next to my gloves.

A little over 4 hours from the start we landed on top…clinging to our possessions and marvelling at the views.

Once again, big thumbs up to God. Well done. Which one of us could dream up something this cool…and then make it?

As we were hiking down I thought about why I enjoy doing this so much. There’s something that has always fascinated me about mountains. They’re big and humbling and must be respected. And I believe that God created them for our enjoyment and so we would be in awe of Him. There’s something about being up on a mountain that makes you humble and gives you solitude (well except for those 14ers that see 100 climbers a day…talking on their cell phones on the summit). You’ll find a dozen times in the New Testament where it describes Jesus going up on a mountain to pray. He got refocused there. He got time with God there. Makes perfect sense to me.

A good, thoughtful and testing day on Harvard. It took us 9 hours all together. I’m thankful for the things I learned (always plan and check your pack) and the reminder that humility is more precious than anything gained by pride.


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