MINISTRY UPDATE: Only two months since my last update, and here I am, back already. The Latest? I'm settling in as manager of the sober living home, coming up on a full house (10 beds filled) as of today.
I'm also looking for guidance from the Lord and prayers from my friends as I consider a possible new ministry this July: I have been asked to facilitate a weekly 12-step meeting at a Pasadena convalescent facility, where I hope to be able to pass on some of what I learned at Church Army Branson. The next couple of weeks will determine whether the time for this action has come to pass. I am praying for a partner among the clients of the facility and another from the staff.
|Ridge leading to Iron Mountain|
But the late start came back to bite us. Richard summited and we started back down the mountain, but we were unable to reach the improved portion of the trail before darkness fell. We found ourselves looking down a 10 foot cliff near the top of the 150 foot high ridge pictured here and saying, "This doesn't look familiar. Could we be off trail?" (We weren't.) We ended up breaking out our survival blankets and spending the night on the mountain.
But we did spot some Bighorn Sheep tracks and scat the next morning. And we got a chance to field test our survival blankets.
|Swimming Hole near Switzer Falls|
|Fr. Richard Menees atop San Gorgonio|
|Dripping wet after cave crawling|
|Brown Mountain Debris Dam|
|Abp Duncan with Bp Bowers|
|Owens Lake seen from Horshoe Meadow Road|
At Horseshoe, the two car-side campgrounds are oriented towards backcountry hikers, offering 18+ tentsites each for a first-come-first-served one-night stay limit. I unloaded all my food into the bear boxes and payed for Sunday's stay ($6) at Cottonwood Camp, waiting for my hiking companions to arrive the next day to register for Monday night.
|Me at Cottonwood Creek|
I took this photo on an exploratory trip in early May, and was unable to proceed much higher due to snow and ice on the trail. No such snow was in evidence in July, except for some isolated icy patches on the shady side of the trail higher up.
Although this peak is a thousand feet lower than the trailcrest ridge behind it, it obscures the view of the top country for much of the early portion of the hike.
|Back side of Wotan's Throne|
In the previous photo, this lake is off camera to the right.
Anyone for a swim?
|Marmot looking for a handout|
But don't get farther than about six feet from your pack, or the marmots will be inside rummaging around in a jif!
|Pika among the rocks|
They and the pikas are much shyer than the Marmots, but they will still try to share your food if they can.
|Constitution Lake from 13,000 ft|
|Trail Crest 13,650 ft elevation|
|Hitchcock Lakes in the upper Sequoia Wilderness|
NOW WHAT? I'm going to do a little leisurely car camping, then when the weather cools down, look for a mountain bike and try some of the back country roads in the Angeles National Forest. And, it looks like, I actually will be facilitating an AA meeting in a convalescent center. Praise God, who knows his plans for me.