We are half way through our trip today! I have no down time, other than when I’m lying in bed at night or on travel days when we switch drivers. With limited cell access, I have not posted to the blog, but I’ve tried to document some memorable moments along the way…especially teaching/learning moments. So bare with me as I catch up on posts today!
For many people suffering from physical or emotional ailments, the best medicine isn’t found in a pill bottle or an IV drip, but rather in the magical forest filled with Sequioa trees, at a Canyon overlook, spotting bison and elk, prairie dogs and coyotes, brown bears and antelope, begging burrows and big horn sheep. It’s found at the shores of a shimmering lake or at the top of a mountain. It’s healing out here. We have the same challenges on the road as we do at home…in fact, it’s twice as hard here without the convenience of “home” and equipment left behind. The demands on my time and energy are increased substantially and yet God has granted me the ability to not only survive it, but thrive out here! It is HARD. But it is worth every second! With every hardship comes amazing memories that are being etched in our memory banks forever. We have something to look forward to every single day. Adventure! Fun! Excitement! Exploration! I think I can safely speak for all of us in saying, our bond is stronger, we love harder and the outdoors is healing and soooooo good for us.
Working through very real and tangible challenges in nature — like figuring out a fridge that stopped working, a nail in the tire of our tow vehicle, crossing a scary pass across Yosemite with an RV, cliff jumping 30 feet into icy waters, riding “the bull” on a whitewater raft, trad climbing in Yosemite, getting caught in a frightening thunderstorm on a mountain top, and summiting Half Dome (16.5 miles of extremely difficult and dangerous terrain) — can boost self-esteem, self-confidence and self-efficacy. We are doing HARD THINGS out here together in nature and we are doing HARD THINGS in life. Spending time in the outdoors and the anticipation of completing more challenges over the next 3 weeks helps to counteract the hopelessness we feel. I don’t want this trip to end, but knowing we have all of you waiting for our return makes us smile.