Monday, May 24, 2010

The Road Less Graveled

Actually, there was gravel pretty much everywhere. We took a hike yesterday up above Deming, where they are logging. And even as you look at all the trees cut down and know that a tremendous amount of work goes into that, you also realize how much work has to go in to just getting ready to log! First you have to build the roads so you can get the logging equipment up there. And that is no small feat when we look at the roads and see the ditches created along side for run off and the black cloth under the gravel and then of course, how many loads of gravel to make the road sturdy and sure?

It was a beautiful day. Some clouds but no smell of rain. Breezes tousled our hair as we hiked... up , up, up, the logging road. Ok....  we did drive a ways up the road before we parked and hiked. To get there, you go off Mt Baker Hwy, on Marshall Hill Rd then turn on Cronk Rd. (We often go up there and park at the gate and hike up to a favorite overlook spot. In fact, that is where we have gone for the prayer hikes we try to do annually.)

Well, with the gate open, and so much logging already taken place along side the road, we felt like we were in an entirely different place! When we reached the gate, we just kept saying "Is this where we always parked?" it felt very weird!

We drove past the gate until we reached the spot where we would normally turn off and walk out to the overlook for the prayer hikes. It looked very  different as well. But here we decided to park the van and take to the road, going higher and higher and higher. We hadn't gone very far when we met our neighbor coming down the mountain on his motorbike. chatted for a bit with him, impressed with what he told us he had seen.

As we hiked along we just kept breathing in that glorious smell of the great Pacific NorthWest. It smelled like cedar and pine and earth and freshness. A sweetness lingered in the air too, as if berries were ripe. Wow, if they could bottle that smell, it would be better than ANYTHING you could ever get from Bath and Body stores!!

We  took twists and turns. pausing every so often to snap pictures. We read the markers on the trees that tell you the miles from the beginning of the roads but sometimes we thought maybe the beginning was from a different side than where we started. I am sure some of those roads go all the way over the mountain to South Pass Rd or somewhere near there.

We had choices often, left, right, higher, lower? We followed one road that led us to a dead end, with out much view because of the trees. If the clouds had been absent I think we would have a fairly decent view of Mt Baker.

We made our way eventually to the Spar Pole section and that was an awesome site! We could see West to the Islands, South to Acme, and East towards Mosquito Lake Rd. 

along our way we were awed by the size of the logs laying there, the careful decisions made about what to cut and what to leave behind, the danger involved with being a faller, having to know how to cut the tree s it falls the right way. We saw cables the size of my wrist.

then at one overlook we glimpsed wings below us and watched breathless as the large bird layed in the current and allowed itself to just be lifted up. It barely flapped it's wings, just swooped from side to side riding the air current, rising higher and higher. it was beautiful!

Thought at first it was an eagle-- a young one since we did not see the bald head. But at closer look, Bruce declared it a 'red headed buzzard" which i tried not to take offense to. LOL> putting red head and buzzard together sounded kinda.... hmmmm.

we made it to one overlook and the road had petered out again but we knew just over the hill behind us was the other road we had chosen to not take just moments before. So, I suggested we just climb our way up the side of that 'hill' thru the brush and save some time.

I raced ahead of Bruce and stepped over this large rock and.... Aaaaaagh!! I fell in a hole! Well just one leg but it shocked me! I wasn't hurt, just surprised. But i can laugh at myself. and since the camera was trained on me (thanks for racing to my rescue honey) I was inclined to ham it up a little.

But we made it over that hill and sure enough we found the higher road. followed that to another fork and made a choice, and followed that to yet another fork! Oh my I wanted to follow ALL of them!! Not enough time, not enough energy. I was sorry we didn't bring our water bottles!

Finally, we reached another dead end and with the knowledge that daylight would soon be slipping from the sky, headed back down the mountain.

As we hiked, we had some of our "best conversations ever" time. We talked about church and about people and about what God is doing in each of our lives and how does that feel and what do you think and would you like to do this and what about what she said and hey did you know... did you know I love you?  Yes, this is why I love hiking with my sweetie.

And reflecting on what an incredible place we live! this is just one little slice of one little cranny in one little county of one little corner of the state in the PNW.  And we haven't  even begun to explore all of that!

It was just one afternoon on a Sunday in the life of, but we came away with a deeper appreciation for where we live, who we live with and who directs our paths.

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