Saturday, June 18, 2011

How Great Thou Art

June 18 - Day 34
San Jose, CA
Written By Viking

Rev and I decided to split up the blogging duties for this post, considering that fitting 5 days into a single blog could be difficult. So if you haven't read the previous blog yet (Desert), you may wish to.

In the last blog Rev left us in Tonopah, NV on Tuesday evening. Just as we were setting off on the day's travels we saw some snow-capped mountains in the distance. I am usually pretty calm with the camera, but I was snapping a lot of pictures because I thought they were great, and I didn't know when I would see snow-capped mountains again. Yeah.

Our destination for the day was Yoesmite National Park. At the Grand Canyon I was told of a beautiful hike there that Rev and I wanted to experience. We also saw that parks were ideal places to share our ministry, as the patrons of these parks are generally in a more casual, laid back, talkative mood. So that was the plan. At our first stop for gas and a bite to eat, we were informed that the east gate to Yosemite (Tioga Pass, for you Yosemite veterans) was still under 15 feet of snow. In June. I was disappointed that I hadn't thought to call ahead like I have with many other potential problems, but there we were. In looking at the map we saw that the next quickest route would essentially add a day to our travel time. Rev and I figured out that we still had time to make it to the park, and we both knew it would put us in closer proximity to reachable people than anything else in the area.

The detour was disappointing, but I think we were handling it well, knowing we would still be at a church on Sunday. On roads with lots of elevation changes Rev is always faster on the uphill parts, and I can always pull far ahead on the downhills. I think that most of this difference is related to our difference in body weight. Needless to say, there was a bit of elevation change on this road.

In Bridgeport, CA we turned west on highway 108. If you've never been on highway 108, sell your computer and go visit it. It is, without hesitation, the most beautiful, breathtaking, awe-inspiring road I have ever been on. I believe Rev resonates those feelings. We climbed to an elevation of over 9,600 feet. Remember those snow-capped mountains I was so excited about? At one point the road was so steep I had to get off and push my scooter, and I was pushing it next to a wall of snow three times taller than I am. What beauty! AAhhhhhh!!!
At the peak of our climb our roles changed, as I was now screaming down the hill at the breakneck speed of 45mph. I felt bad for going so fast. You could walk this road and still miss so much of God's beautiful handiwork. There was a mountain 'stream' alongside the road that was pounding down the mountain with intimidating force. There were many, many times when I would see a part of the mountain, and I would have loved to just stop and climb all over the untrodden landscape. Next time. There was a song that was stuck in my head throughout this entire day, and as we would go on I would just sing it louder and louder.

I could write a whole book chapter (hmm...) about this road, so I will stop. We made it within 40 miles of Yosemite before stopping to sleep.

Thursday. (Sorry this is long, but I'm enjoying recalling the week's events.) Thursday was our climb into Yosemite. We arrived just before noon. As we entered into the Yosemite Valley, speakable words left our lips. Rev and I would see something and just grab our helmet and scream and point. We were both giddy with excitement and joy at the magnificence that was before us. I was nearly in tears as we would pass by waterfalls that were cascading for thousands of feet. That same song continued its constant repeat in my head. My lips were speechless, though.

We confirmed that our desired hike was not buried in snow and grabbed a bite to eat. Our goal was a hike to the top of Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America, and the fifth tallest in the world. As we set off, Brady realized that his knee was hurting too much to climb very far, but he graciously let me continue on. As he hobbled around the valley floor to explore (he was legitimately in pain, so there is no grief being given on my part) I was climbing to the top. It was beautiful. If you haven't been there, sell your dishwasher and go visit it. Just like the Grand Canyon, though, my greatest joy came in the climb up and down more than the view. Nevertheless, the song in my head continued.

Soaked in salt and sweat, I met back up with Brady and we packed up to head out of the Park. So we spent maybe 7 hours in the park, but we got our money's worth.

We camped in a National forest that evening and continued west in the morning. It was fun to get to cities that were becoming familiar to me, as I lived north of the bay area for three years. One last story, and I'll be done.

If you take 130 from Modesto to San Jose, prepare to lose your lunch. The road was at least 60 miles, and.. using a very conservative estimate.. I would say there were at least 735 curves in that stretch. 5-10 curves is good. 30-40 is intense. Hundreds of curves is just plain awful. We weren't getting sick, but we were exhausted after it was over. Our already aching tailbones are driven even harder into the seat in the curve, and every pebble you see could be the pebble that causes your wheel to slide our from under you. However, the risk was well worth the reward, which is a beautiful home to stay in, wonderful fellowship, and a queen-size bed to type this blog from!

As we enter a densely populated stretch of travel, please pray for an influx in opportunities to speak with people about what God has laid on our hearts. Pray for unity between Rev and I. Pray that God's light will shine through us.. through our words and our actions with each other and with others.

My scooter has earned a name. Sojourner. I will explain my decision in a later blog, if I remember.

Oh Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works thy hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy Power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, My savior, God, to thee!
How great thou art! How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, My savior, God, to thee!
How great thou art! How great thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
when I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
and hear the brook, and feel he gentle breeze;

And when I think that God his son not sparing,
Sent him to die - I scarce can take it in,
That on the cross my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home- what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim, my God, how great thou art!

I could spend my whole life searching, but no mountain pass our National Park can compare to the all surpassing joy of knowing Christ as my Savior.


  1. AMEN!! Thank you for letting us taste the beauty of God's creation vicariously through your description!

    "For the Lord is a great God,
    and a great King above all gods.
    In His hand are the depths of the earth;
    the heights of the mountains are His also.
    The sea is His, for He made it,
    and His hands formed the dry land.
    Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
    let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!" (Psalm 95)

    Praying you will have many doors of utterance to bear witness of our Creator, and of Christ! Thanks for letting us share in your journey.

    Hmm, I wonder how much my computer and dishwasher are worth...


  2. Stop apologizing for the length & depth of your blogs...they are both are eloquent story tellers. It's been amazing to follow your is as though we are there with you! You are a true blessing to those caught in the evil trap of human are their collective voices and most assuredly representatives of Jesus!