Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Friday, August 21, 2009

Mt. Hood 

Left Beijing 9 o'clock Wednesday morning, and got into Portland just before 9 on Wednesday morning. I don't usually sleep very well on planes, but I really did my best to get some sleep, because jet lag always bothers me more when I am flying east. Going against the sun, I guess. Arriving before you left, you know.

Yesterday morning I got up to go get some coffee and do some reading, because Melissa had to work pretty late the night before. I walked out to the main street and decided to walk across to the old city park. I was a bit frustrated when I was trying to cross, because there was a car parked right in the middle of the street, and I wasn't sure if I should go ahead and cross. I waited for awhile and then looked in the other direction, and saw another car doing exacly the same thing! It suddenly dawned on me that they were waiting for me. That would definitely not happen in China. Two cars and both are stopping for the only pedestrian on the street. Never. In China, if they saw me trying to cross, they would have speeded up in order to intimidate me into backing off.

Mark looking at Mt. St. Helens, with Mt. Hood in the background.
After Melissa got up we drove up to Lost Lake north of Sandy, where I taught many years ago right after I graduated from college. Jason had gone up in the morning to stake out a campsite. Problem was, that campground is pretty big--lots of sites, and cell phones don't work there. Mark was also supposed to be meeting us. When we got up to the campground, it was starting to get dark, so we were in a hurry to find Jason, but it was really like looking for a needle in a haystack. You know how those things are--not sure what to do, and feeling really frustrated. The first thing I usually do is to start trying to figure out what to do. But there was no figuring. We needed God's help. I don't know why it always takes me so long to come to that point--I guess it's the weakness of my faith. If we really believed God would help us, wouldn't we ask Him first thing? Anyway, I prayed and asked God to guide us.

As soon as I finished praying, I saw a white car, and told Melissa to stop so I could ask the guy for information. The guy happened to be Mark. He told me that they had come earlier that day. They were not able to find Jason, so they had spent the afternoon hiking, and they were just about ready to give up and go into Hood River and find a motel. As we were standing there talking, Jason drove up in his pickup. He had decided to go out looking for us a few minutes earlier. We all went back to the camp and had something to eat.

This morning, we hiked up the trail to view the mountains. The campground is right near Lost Lake. I lived in Oregon for eleven years, and I had never heard of the place. Really pretty. The trail brings you up an extra 1500 feet or so to an incredible view of the North Oregon moutains. It's really quite impressive, and very quiet.

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