4 am wake up for today. We were trying to beat the sunrise at Glacier Point. Beautiful morning!
It sure is tough to beat the views in the early am. I can tell that I'm a morning person. It's gorgeous out here! You can see in the picture above why its called Half Dome. It looks like it”s been split in half!
We then went hiking on the Penoma Trail. The section we we hiking was a 4 mile section out to Dewey Point. 4 miles out and 4 miles back equals 8 miles. Our fearless leader looked it up in a guide book or and it said that there was only 120 foot elevation gain on the trail. Climbing up a 12 story building over a 4-mile hike doesn't sound too bad. Well, either he didn't read it right or something else was wrong. The “NET” gain in altitude might have only been 120 feet, but the area in between the beginning and ending of the trail looked like an EKG readout. There were ups and downs all over the place. If my lungs weren't burning on the uphill sections, my knees were screaming on the downhill parts. Sorry, I don't have any pictures of the hills. I was too exhausted or frustrated on those parts to get my camera out.
There was one section of the tail that was beautifully level. It's called McGurk meadow. Beautiful place!
As far as animals go, I've seen a bunch of birds, a few deer (mule deer?), and a small fox. No bear sightings yet. We did see a big fresh pile of bear scat on the trail today. But no bear.
Well, time for me to admit that I didn't make it to Dewey Point. Those hills got the best of me! I didn't want to get stuck out there or slow the group down too bad coming back. I made it a little over 3 miles out, then turned around and came back. I'd say I did a total of about 6.2 miles. The Nike Fuel band on my wrist says I took 24,000 steps today. That's a lot of steps and my legs were letting me know it!
Since I didn't make it out to Dewey point, I didn't get to see any great vistas this afternoon. It was a beautiful walk thru the forest though.
I did bring a small hammock and rested in it twice today. Once while I ate my lunch, and them again while waiting for the guys back at the at the beginning of the trailhead.
Yep, we made it to Yosemite National Park. Wow! That's all I gotta say!
Even the views into Yosemite were amazing.
We then went and did the Yosemite Valley Loop. Most people will recognize I've a lot of these pictures. Don't recognize this picture because of my big head again?
Here's the famous spot – Half Dome.
Other great views.
We finished with the Yosemite Falls.
Overall, a great day looking at some incredible scenery.
My lungs didn't like hiking back uphill at Forenta Trail. I'm out of shape! I told the guys they could call me TRU. That stands for Turtle Running Uphill. That's about my pace!
Thankfully, and prayerfully, my knees made out ok today. It's time for bed as we leave tomorrow at 4am for some sunrise shots!
Today was the day we picked up the other guys at the airport. We also had a pretty neat “God moment”. Every year, they store some coolers at a local church in Sacramento. Well, arrangements slipped thru the cracks this year and it was forgotten about until the last moment. The head pastor that they normally arranged to pick them up was actually out of town and in Southern California. Thankfully, arrangements were made and another pastor met us at their storage locker and helped us out. Their lockers were stuffed so tightly that we only saw one cooler and we needed three. Rather than have us go buy some new ones (which we were willing to do), the other pastor had us go to his house and borrow two of his. What a blessing.
No real pictures today as it was filled with the inside of Walmart, Cosco and the like. Boring pictures they would be!
Instead, you can see a picture of how I look after I haven't shaved in a week. My boys were asking me how I would look with a mustache, beard or goatee. I've got a baby face and my whiskers have always grown slowly. It takes me about 3-4 days until I get a “5-o'clock” shadow.
Tomorrow, it's off to Yosemite. I'm not sure if I will be able to post at all this week. It depends on Internet connectivity. If not, look for an explosion of photos next weekend.
Not much to report on today. Traveled to California (Sacramento) today from Colorado. I came ou a day early to help get supplies and everything for our time at Yosemite Summit. This is a week long “un-conference” for a small group of Children's Pastors to unplug and refresh.
Flying out of Colorado provide a nice view.
Once I landed in Sacramento, I had some time to kill until the leader of Yosemite Summit arrived so I had a salad at the airport.
Told you not much happened today!
I'm trying out various video and photo editing apps. Here's a similar video to yesterday's trip to Pike's Peak.
Today was Pike's Peak Day! And before you ask, no, I didn't hike up to the summit. I took the Cog Railway. It's a “train” that takes you to the top. Here's the station house.
Today's post won't be long in words as the views overshadow any words I could put down.
It was a beautiful day for a train ride and to see some beautiful sites. Here's a video of me at the summit. I apologize for the quality. I kept slipping on the ice and was trying to keep my footing.
Needless to say, as a nature lover, I was having a ball. Simply, Truly, Amazing!! Wonderful views!
Today started out at my friend Rich's work.
Rich has worked at Biblica for the past 15 years or so. Biblica are the NIV people and they used to be named International Bible Society. Anyway, I led their weekly devotions this morning. I'm pretty sure it was the first time they ever had someone use balloons during their devotions. It seemed to go over pretty well and the balloons were a hit.
Then it was off to Rich's wife Liz's kindergarten class to twist balloons. These kids were a treat to twist for.
I twisted several creations to help decorate the room and then I made each of the kids a Flying Mouse.
Flying Mouse work great for kids. Although they are small, they fit easily in the backpack, they rarely pop, and you can shoot them up in the air. FUN stuff!
After taking Rich back to work and grabbing a bite to eat, I went to GARDEN OF THE GODS.
It's really tough to describe GARDEN OF THE GODS. It's a beautiful spot where the earth has jutted rocks into the air and there are some pretty cool rock formations. I walked around on a few of the trails and saw some great formations and some cool plant life.
Me, trying to be cool!
Pikes Peak in the distance
First morning in Colorado and I had breakfast an an open house / preview event at Passages.
I'll try to describe Passages.
Passages is a touring Bible history/artifact museum. The Green Family is the driving force behind it. This is the family that owns Hobby Lobby and they were also the ones who helped put out the movie “End of the Spear”.
They have acquired thousands of artifacts in the past few years.
A smaller version of this tour was at the Vatican over Lent and they have been invited back to have it on display again next year! They are also having doors open for them to take this to Cuba in the future.
They are in the midst of having a permanent location (although they'll still have a traveling version). The permanent location will be in Washington DC, just 2-3 blocks from the Air & Space Museum, and right next to a Metro Stop. Pretty cool stuff!
I should have taken more pictures, but I didn't think of it in the first section. That section was pretty cool too. Did you know that a lot of “Egyptian Mummy Masks” are basically paper mâché? And a lot of the paper or papyrus that was used was paper that had already been written on. So they were basically using “scrap” paper. And some of this “scrap paper” is actually old manuscripts of parts of the Bible.
It's a labor intensive process to separate out all the many layers of the “paper mâché” to readable pieces of paper.
They had the actual Lunar Bible that's been to the moon! They had artifacts that survived the holocaust, some Civil War relics and more. There is no way I can describe all that they have. They said people take an average of 3.5 hours to go through it.
I did take a few pictures though…
A Decorated Children's Bible from the mid-18th century.
Overall, a pretty neat traveling museum. It's neat to see people put their time, energy, and resources into what they are passionate about. Neat stuff.
Today was Mother's Day! I was glad I was able to wish my mom a Happy Mother's Day yesterday at my graduation. She's a great mom and has spoiled m greatly over the years. I GREATLY appreciated the card she gave me with a handmade afghan she made for me. It was very touching as she said she often prayed for me while she was making the afghan. I feel blessed.
For Beth, I gave her a few cards – I always have trouble finding just one card that says it all. I also decided to give her a little of my time by working on a few projects around the house. We've had a leak in our bathroom, so I caulked around our vent stack because that's where the water was coming in. Water doesn't always come in, only when it rains a certain way. I hope my fix seals up our problem area.
I also cleaned out our dryer vent. Wow, a lot of stuff came out! It's been almost ten years since I installed the dryer vent and this was the first time it has been cleaned out, but I was still surprised. But, lint does accumulate. I was glad we were able to borrow this clean-out kit from a friend. I hope to borrow it again in 3-4 years.
Today was also my first Sunday away from McBIC on my sabbatical. That was weird not going to church. My original plan was to be out on the trail this morning, but Josiah wasn't feeling the best, so I stayed home. I scheduled Beth to work in Children's Ministry, so she had to go in. Josiah slept until almost noon. He is feeling a little better tonight, so that's good. It was nice to be able to spend time this morning praying for McBIC and everyone ministering their this am. It was just a different experience to not BE there to see everyone.
This afternoon, I finished off a few whoopie pies that Miss Donna graciously gave me for a graduation gift! Yummy!
Yesterday was a busy day. And a tiring day. And a fun day.
After I walked in…
And received this…
We took some pictures.
My mom and her husband Wayne also came for my graduation.
Then we traveled to Beth's parents for a quick meal and change of clothes. And a bite to eat. And I got a Derby Pie!
Then, it was off to my niece's 11th Birthday Party!
It was at a trampoline place.
The kids were having a great time jumping all over the place.
A busy, but fun day!
Yep, I did it – with God's grace and a lot of support rom my family, that is! Today was filled with many things, but the main one of the day for me was graduating!
Today was Graduation Day! I received my Masters Degree! Yeah!
My Masters is a Masters of Arts in Ministry, Leadership Studies.
Now, if seeing that I obtained my Masters Degree wouldn't be enough of a shocker to some of my former College professors, I have another, even bigger shocker for you.
The mean something special. One cord means you graduated with Honors. Two cords, like I received, means the person graduated with HIGH Honors (GPA higher than 3.75)! Yep, that means that I received High Honors.
Now, I have to admit that I didn't even think about honors, high honors, etc… But I was still surprised!
So if anyone is around Messiah College, you have my permission to print off my picture and show it around Messiah. Some of the professors whose classes I bombed or failed may get a kick out of me getting High Honors when I obtained my Masters Degree.
Thank to everyone for all the support and encouragement I've received.