Monday, June 22, 2009

Will we hike in Heaven?

Last week between my birthday and Father's Day, five Allred's, five Hansen's and a Crane did a quick hike from the North rim to the South Rim. The timing was terrible and it cost too much money, but I relished every minute of it. Hiking wears the body, but invigorates the spirit. Hiking reawakens the wonder and reverence for the majesty of God's creations. Hiking forcibly removes those narrow blinders required by a career and broadens our view of what's really important. Hiking is an old man's opportunity to prove that the old legs can still set an imposing pace. Hiking is embracing the challenge of a 3:30 AM start and watching the gradual sunrise awaken the wonderful colors from the shadows of the night. I have no doubt that Heavenly Father takes time to enjoy the grandeur of his creations, but does He do it with boots on? It's one of those questions that will have to wait until the next life to get the answer.

I owe a lot of thanks to a number of people who allowed me to really enjoy this weekend:

Tami and Anna - Tami for letting me go and Anna for understanding that she's just not big enough yet. Make it through sixth grade cross-country and we'll talk again.

Leland Hansen - The man has boundless enthusiasm and makes things happen. Thanks for committing me to come and bring my kids.

Grandma and Grandpa Hansen
- Our chauffeurs. They drove us to the North rim and met us back at the South rim. I love talking with these two wonderful people. Our roots go back to the same parts of Northern Arizona and we can feel the connection.

Emily and Molly - This picture will explain it all. Emily flees to her fantasy world whenever trauma should be unavoidable. Molly always seems a naive victim of circumstances beyond her control. (29 degree weather and no jacket or long pants.) Both provide unending humor. Who else would spend their Friday night in the Grand Canyon earning their Junior Ranger badges?

Jonathan and Landon - An hour or so of wonderful dad and sons conversation sitting in the Bright Angel Creek soaking our anguished feet. Thanks for breaking away from work and school to be together. It's been too many years since we got to spend time with each other and just talk in a quiet environment.

Mom, Paula, Grandma - Food, lodging and family time on either end of the trip.

Kate and Ellie - Giving up Jonathan for a few days and even better bringing him down and spending a hour with me. This grandpa loved it.

Next year - A location where all can come, but still a challenging hike for those that dare. Banff Canada????

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