Photos: To and At the Campsite

I parked the car and got on the trail somewhere around 2:00 in the afternoon. I didn’t have very far to go to get to the campsite (only about 3 miles according to the ranger). I had two choices, actually: there was a second site that was about 6 miles down the trail. But this one had access to water… and I tweaked a muscle in the first mile, so the closer one definitely won out.

There really wasn’t much to see in this first leg of the trip. The foliage still hadn’t emerged on the hardwoods and there were many fallen trees. But some of the colors were great. I really liked these two, one of moss and one of a small creek:


And this one gives some idea of what the trail was like:

After trudging along with my tweaked muscle, I finally made it across a small creek and up a short incline to the campsite. I think it took me about two hours to go my three miles. Like I mentioned the other day: Really out of shape. The muscle didn’t help either.

So I went around gathering wood for my campfire. I’m not sure why, but the campfire is always one of the highlights of the camping trip. Without it there’s not much reason to stay up past sunset, and that’s usually around 8:00 (or earlier in the winter).

After I had amassed a nice quantity I went back down the incline to the the creek a couple of times and got water for cooking and for drinking. Then I got out my food, my pots and pans and stove, and my… and my… (sigh) no lighter or matches. I assumed it was with my stuff when I moved it to Louisville, but I must have taken all that stuff out when I put my pack in the apartment building.

No worries, I thought. I’ll just start a fire à la Tom Hanks in Castaway. I’ll get some nice dry wood and brush, make that little crack for air to get in, and start rubbing two sticks together. Easy. Well, an hour later I was a very different, more frustrated person. It just doesn’t seem to work like in the movies (surprise).

So I faced the prospect of no campfire and mere pop-tarts for supper (instead of smoked salmon in parmesan pasta). I wasn’t very happy. But, instead of giving up completely, I decided to start searching the campsite in case someone had inadvertently left a match lying around. Well, I didn’t find a match… I found a lighter! I was never so happy to see litter at a campsite! My campfire and dinner plans were back on.

Can’t you see how happy I am in this picture?
Watching the Campfire

No really. I am happy. Campfires just make me pensive. You’re alone with your thoughts and there’s really not much happening in the fire. So what was I thinking about?

1/ I was thinking about how nice it was to be in the woods and away from everything.

2/ I was thinking about finding that lighter. It was my own sorry fault for not checking my gear before I left home. I had no reason to expect to find a lighter. I actually deserved to be disappointed with no campfire or hot dinner. But that’s not what happened. Despite what I deserved, I got a blessing that I didn’t even ask for. I don’t want to overspiritualize this, but it greatly reminded me of God and what he does for me everyday. I don’t deserve the many blessings he showers on me (sunshine, health, family and friends, purpose, his Word, food, drink, and a hundred other things). I don’t even ask for most of them. How ungrateful I really am! I wish I could say that I found the lighter after I had uttered some amazing prayer of faith and expected God to provide for me. But that isn’t really what happened. I didn’t say that prayer, although I should have. I should ask God to show me his good blessings. And I should thank him for them when they arrive and give him the glory for them. I don’t want that to sound like some kind of prosperity gospel. The point is not that I get a bunch of stuff, but that God gets a bunch of glory for his providence. And that can be as simple as finding a little stick of butane in the middle of the woods.

Also passing through my mind was how like salvation this little event happened to be. I had been working and working, rubbing two sticks together to try to make a fire. But it didn’t happen. No matter how hard I worked it wasn’t going to happen. Fire was impossible for me with sticks. But God gave fire when I stopped trying to work for it and looked for his provision. Salvation is like that. We can’t earn it. We can only accept it as a gift from him. That was greatly encouraging.

3/ Why didn’t I bring marshmallows? Maybe that’s why I look so dour. Okay, I didn’t really think that at the time. I was pretty happy with my thoughts.

See all my pictures from this trip.


4 Responses to “Photos: To and At the Campsite”

  1. 1 Corina April 15, 2008 at 4:09 AM

    You helped us experience this alongside you. Nice camping trip. I’ve never been camping. I hope I will, one day.

  2. 2 glennal April 18, 2008 at 7:49 AM

    Thanks. You should go camping, even if it’s just for one night; a day-trip hiking in a National Park is a great way to start.

  3. 3 David April 21, 2008 at 12:51 PM

    Nice blog. I vowed to go camping or hiking this summer. Can you recommend any places in Southern California or Northern ?

  4. 4 glennal April 21, 2008 at 1:01 PM

    I’ve never been camping in California, although I’d like to one day. Here are some resources for finding a spot:

    National Park Service – California Parks

    GORP – California Destinations

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