Another amazing experience was had just days before Braden’s feather find… also in Montana’s gem, Glacier National Park. On several occasions, my cousin Jill, my oldest son Ethan, and I awoke early to fit in a few of the more rigorous hikes that would have proved too grueling for the younger of our five children. On this day, we were hiking 13 miles from the top of Logan Pass along the Highline Trail and connecting to the Loop near the Granite Park Chalet.
We drove Jill’s car up to the top of the pass, and planned to take a shuttle back up from our trail outlet down the pass. One of the coolest aspects of high altitude hiking is the always surprising weather change – it never ceases to amaze me how different it can be up top. On this day, as the sun rose, we discovered we were completely enveloped in misty clouds, with no views in sight. However, Ethan’s dreams of finding a bighorn sheep came true. Unfortunately, he rushed away into the misty mountains before Jill and I could enjoy the wildlife encounter.
While hiking through and above the clouds proved quite surreal and amazing, we were ‘socked in’ and the views were completely obstructed. We could barely see one another while hiking within feet, but Ethan was psyched about his first big hike. My cousin and I found ourselves doubting the practicality of adding the mile extension we planned to hike straight up the Grinnell Glacier overlook trail. Nonetheless, Ethan (novice, yet avid hiker) was relentless in his position of wanting to continue up this trail, and he eagerly hiked further into nothingness.
We followed him reluctantly, panting profusely while I tried to pinpoint when my first baby had surpassed my adventurous, athletic ability within his young nine years of life. After continual attempts to persuade him back down the mountain, we convinced him to take a snack break. Ethan decided to stop and pray for the clouds to clear, knowing that his minutes were numbered.
Within seconds, the thick clouds that surrounded the mountains were literally sucked up into the sky. Speechless and in awe, the only thing we could muster was, “Well E, God answers prayers.” We continued the rest of our hike with nothing but deep blue skies.
I cannot help but think His presence is even closer at the top of those mountains… Glacier is truly God’s country.
Just like life, camping in weather like this sometimes feels like there is no hope, that clearing up is impossible. Amazingly, Mother Nature reminds us regularly just how quickly conditions can change.
Ethan’s version (and first post): “As we continued on, there were many difficult obstacles, including travelling along a narrow cliff assisted by cables and climbing over a very slippery ice field. Although it was dangerous, it was a beautiful hike. I love hiking because I like setting goals for myself and enjoying all the amazing things along the way. We even got to see waterfalls trickling off the side of the mountains. As we hiked, there was an option to take a side trail to the Grinnell Glacier overlook. When we got near the top, it was so cloudy that I prayed to God that all the clouds would be gone. As I prayed, the clouds disappeared right before my eyes, almost instantly. I was amazed to see that the clouds could disappear so quickly, but was reminded that through God, all things are possible. I was thinking about it the whole time and was amazed that a miracle happened right before my eyes, as we walked down the trail to Granite Park Chalet. When we arrived there, we signed our names in the log of those who had hiked. When we finished our 13 mile hike, we took the bus to the top and drove back down to our campsite.
I couldn’t wait to tell the rest of my family about my expedition. When we got back, I anxiously told everybody about my adventure. They were amazed. “
“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.” Luke 11:9