Wednesday, May 30, 2012
The One Where I Went To Colorado
Alternatively, the one where we climbed mountains in the dark.
'Cause we are just that legit.
So last Wednesday my youth group and I left for Western Kansas to meet up with some other youth to head to Colorado to work on a Lutheran summer camp, getting it ready for the summer camps.
It was a ton of fun-- and a ton of work. I worked on staining first, and stained some sheds for about a day and a half. I still have stain on my arm. Apparently it doesn't come off. When all the available wood had been stained, I helped to clear a field-- which involved dragging branches and chopping up wood.
On Sunday, after two days of working, almost all the work was done-- it was our day to relax. The camp, situated in the Rockies, was right next to Cedar Mountain. So, a sunrise hike was planned. Now the trick to a sunrise hike is that the sun is supposed to rise once you reach the top of the mountain.
Which means that at 3:40 on Sunday morning, an alarm screeched as I tiredly climbed out of my lofted bed. It was pitch black, with a nasty cold wind. I dressed in as many layers as I had put into my duffel bag-- which wasn't much. I'm used to Arkansas weather, not cool Colorado summers.
Regardless, at four o'clock in the morning we left for the mountain. In my early morning-- late night really-- rush I hadn't even thought to bring a flashlight. So, I stuck close to a guy in my youth group who had had to the foresight to bring light.
The hike started out innocently enough, slightly uphill, but nothing challenging. Then, it got worse. The loose dirt changed into large rocks and we started to climb.
In the dark, mind you. It was difficult on a good day, but the lack of light simply added to the challenge.
Some struggle and one ladder climb later, we were at the top-- 900 feet higher than we had been when we started. It was even colder on the top of the mountain. The wind tore across the land, taking with it any precious body heat we had left.
After 40 minutes spent anxiously watching the eastern horizon, and wondering how long it took for frostbite to start, the sun finally decided to rise.
It definitely was beautiful, though the true wonder was lost on those of us who couldn't feel their extremities.
I'm pretty sure that's Pike's Peak-- there was snow on the top of it! It was sort of surreal, seeing snow, however far away, a week away from June. At least for this Arkansasan girl it was odd.
One of the mission groups before us hauled the wood to the top of the mountain to build this cross :) It was pretty, and a nice thing to see after the what I believe was death defying ascent.
That is just one short story about the amazing time I had up at the Lutheran Valley Retreat. It was amazing to see my first mountains. :)