This year to observe the summer solstice as well as to commemorate the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, a few of us hiked to the summit of King's Peak. I have always wanted to climb to the highest peak in Utah and was grateful for the invitation to hike it with guys half my age. It required a three day backpacking trip into the remote wilderness of the Uintah Mountains. Our first day we battled with adverse rainy weather hiking into base camp. We passed several hikers including a group of 50 who decided to turn back due to the weather and snow that was falling on the higher elevations. After a wrong turn, we corrected our course and arrived at Base Camp just in time for dinner. We set up our tents which provided a great shelter from the dark clouds and rain that rolled in. The next morning we woke up to blue skies and continued on the roughly 15 mile hike to the summit of King's Peak.
It was truly a triumph to make it to the top of Kings Peak. The last couple of miles were more difficult than I anticipated, so making it to the summit felt like quite the accomplishment.
In addition to the wildlife we saw like on our hike, I was surprised to see so many dead pine trees. It seems like the aspen trees were healthy, but the majority of all the pine trees looked diseased and dead. Even along the banks of living water, the pine trees were dead. It was sad to see and can only imagine of the potential wild fires that could break out with just one lightning strike.
Here are a few more photos from the hike:
Here is a photo of the last mile stretch that one must hike to get to the top. It is fraught with unstable boulders, steep inclines and sheer drop-offs near at the top.
Here is a quick video summary of our hike: https://youtu.be/ZBmC0EAiuCg
The main reason why I wanted to post about the hike is that all too often we can glory in our accomplishments and take pride in our triumphs. But is that were we find God? Or do we find God in our struggles, our failures or our falls? Truly God wants us to succeed, but He also wants us to have a broken heart and contrite spirit. I know many who are hurting physically, struggling emotionally, straining financially, failing spiritually. I believe it is in those moments of pain that one cries out to God for help. In the end, it is a blessing to fail if it brings you closer to God.
A week from today begins the 2021 Olympics Games. It has always been inspiration to watch the athletes overcome great obstacles and still achieve their dreams on the world stage.
Here is short video that shows the contrast between those who win and those who fall. It is especially meaningful for me to watch those who reach down and help those get across the finish line.
Link to the video: https://youtu.be/6iqD2cQybbc