Saturday, June 16, 2012

Climbing the Butte

Today I decided to take a hike. The place was another unexplored area for me called the Butte. The Butte is located just south of Palmer. I took the dog Jorge with. We left min-afternoon and drove north to the trail head.

The beginning of the trail is considerably steep. It is also covered with very fine glacial silt. The silt is so fine and so light that simply walking one cannot help but kick up dust. The silt combined with the pitch provides and added challenge as traction becomes more difficult. Nonetheless,  Jorge and I made it past the first part.

The steep beginnings (click for larger image)
After 200 or so feet of the steep silt portion one walks from under the shaded region into hot beaming sun as the terrain becomes more rocky preventing tree growth. This portion of the hike is juxtaposed with the grazing area for a nearby farm. Within 10 feet there is giant rocks and grassland quite the contrast.

You can see the edge of the graze-land pasture to the right (outlined with barbed wire fence)
Pioneer Peak, steep contrast with the pastures below.
The next portion of the trail was very tame—Rolling hills and grassland. The silt once again became the prominent trail covering. I appreciated the break but the sun was rather hot (yes it gets hot in Alaska).

We've come so far, but have farther still to go...
We marched on right up to the face of a rocky ledge. This was the most challenging part of the hike because my hiking turned into rock climbing. I had brought Jorge along with me and although he has four legs it is not easy for a dog to climb almost 100% vertically.

I was thoroughly impressed with how Jorge handled the climb. I unhooked him from his leash so he was able to maneuver up as well.  

This is the vertical rock-climbing I'm talking about

Jorge is doing the mountain goat pose. He took it like a champ.
After the strenuous rock climb there was a long plateau. It was well received as Jorge and I took a break amongst  a patch of daises. The view here was stunning. Pioneer Peak was directly in front of me and off to the left was Knik Glacier and the town of Palmer. I watched the reindeer at the reindeer farm below graze freely and the farmer move a round bale of hay with his John Deere Tractor. It was surreal with Pioneer Peak so prominent and the reindeer, cars, and buildings below so small. It was like looking into a snow globe (minus the snow, of course). I wonder if that what it's like for God to look down upon us.

You know Dasher, and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen...
“For the LORD your God has blessed you in everything you have done. He has watched your every step through this great wilderness. During these forty years, the LORD your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing.” (Deuteronomy 2:7)

God keeps careful watch over His People even those in pursuit of freedom who are struggling to find it. His Compassion and Mercy provides for you as you work your way through the wilderness (or mountainous hike) of life searching for something more or someone to satisfy your heart and soul.

God watches every step we take just as I was watching fellow travelers on the trail below. As I gazed upon those marching up the steep trail below I couldn't help but feel compassion for them. I had been in that exact spot just moments before. Sweating, and climbing in pursuit of the same destination.

Now I am not suggesting that I am God, but I believe this does paint a good image for what Christ did. I understood where the people where coming from (in a physical sense). With that said God knows what you are going through. Financial struggle, health problems, depression, He knows and understands the pain. Regardless of your current struggle God provides what you need to be successful. Success with God is not defined in attaining physical prizes or earthly glory but instead by learning to walk in righteousness, holiness and love to the Destiny that He has prepared for you.

There is the goal! The top of the Butte
With Jorge and I rested and re-hydrated we made the final push to the top. The last part was another steep and sometimes rock-climbing adventure. There was no stopping now so we acceded to the top of the Butte for the final 150 feet.

Final push
 Once on top there was a flat and rocky plateau awaiting our arrival and a million dollar view. I was surrounded 360˚s by mountains. Pioneer Peak, Lazy Mountain, Matanuska Peak, Mt. Susitna they were all accounted for. Additionally there was a stunning view of the town of Palmer and in the distance the Knik Glacier.
On top of the Butte--with the Knik glacier in the background
Panorama-click for larger view
On top of the Butte looking towards the valley
I made it--Pioneer Peak in the background
Some random guys I saw at the top-the pic. puts things in perspective
Palmer and the Knik Glacier
Knik Glacier
 Of course the journey was only half done as Jorge and I still needed to make our way back down. This is not as easy especially since we would have to climb back down the rock wall. Once again I was impressed with Jorge's ability to jump, climb, crawl down the rock wall.

I'm happy to report that we made it back just fine. My socks were solid brown with silt. It reminded me of my socks after rock picking back home. Dust and sweat made for a great tan, that sadly washed away when I arrived home. Ah well, it was still worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the lovely hike up the mountain in AL.Love the message also.