Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Watchman on the Tower

I had a week packed full of adventures this last week. I clearly am not going to write about all of them, but I figured I could list of few of them and then elaborate on one of them. This week I:

Walked behind Stewart Falls and got soaked
Jumped in the Provo River with my clothes on (again)
Went on a killer hike up the face of Timp with Jason
Went backpacking with Steve and Brian up Grove Creek
Saw my first Rattlesnake in wild on the Grove Creek Trail
Went to Amber's Cabin up Hobble Creek and looked at the stars
Went swimming everyday
Played in a river almost everyday
Went to a luau and ate some pig
Took a nap under a tree at the park
Had many, many, many great conversations with great people.

The Watchman on the Tower
I went hiking with Jason on Wed morning. I knew it was going to be hard, but I had no idea what to expect. I just knew we were going to try to get to a green rock on the face of Timp and that there wasn't a trail. We started out at Glen Canyon Park at a good pace. It was a fairly steep trail and I just hoped it would level off eventually, I was soon to find out that that would be the least of my worries.

After a little while on the steep trail we decided to leave the trail and go straight up the mountain. After a while of weaving through trees and bushes it became clear that we would have to 'bush-whack' through the Scrub Oak to continue on to our goal. I was wearing shorts and sandals at the time and after a few minutes of forcing my way through the Scrub Oak I had over 20 scratches that were bleeding on my legs and feet. As we continued to our goal we found that there was no way to reach the green rock without going through a lot of brush. It started to get frustrating as pressed through because we couldn't tell how long the Oak lasted until we would be in a clearing again. Jason mentioned that it might have been a good idea to print off the screen from Google Earth that showed where we were. I think the most frustrating part for me is that we could avoid a lot of Oak if we could just see the terrain from 30 feet in the air where it was clear the best way to go.

It became very obvious to me that we could avoid most of the pain of the Scrub Oak if there was someone on a watchtower that told us which way to go. I was reminded of my Seminary days when we watched the Watchmen on the Tower video that told us that our prophet could see things that we don't see that can hurt us. I was also reminded that as we go through life it is often like we are stuck in fields of Scrub Oak. Sometimes we can see our goal, but most of the time we are just trying to push through the next obstacle. How much easier it is to live life if we could see it from a birds eye view. I think that many of our friends and family can see our lives from a better perspective than we can. It seems we often respond to our friends by telling them we don't have time or energy to look at the big picture because we are pushing through the Scrub Oak of life. This hike made me realize that looking at our obstacles from many perspectives instead of just one could really help us avoid most of them, and the rest we can have courage that we will only be in it for a short time.

We ended up making it to the rock. From there we planned out a route to get to the bottom by going through as little Scrub Oak as possible. Sometimes when we were in the middle of the Oak we were tempted to take a path that appeared easier at the time, but we always stuck with our path that we planned when we were at the top. We went through about 10% as much Scrub Oak on the way down as we did on the way up. I finished the hike after only having lost about a cup of blood rather than a pint. I still have the wounds on my legs to remind me to get help from someone who sees each situation better than I see it myself.

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