Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Saddle Mountain with My Love

Last August, Grant (our oldest) and I hiked Saddle Mountain.  It was a first for both of us and we had a blast.  When Curt saw all the pictures, he let us know that he wanted to take this hike as well.  This weekend he got his chance.
about 1/3 of the way up the mountain
Curt and I were headed to  a conference in Cannon Beach.  We literally were driving right past the road to the Saddle Mountain trailhead.  We decided at the last minute to risk being late for dinner and squeeze the hike in.  Curt didn't want to sweat so I chose not to tell him that the hike was rated "strenuous" until we were already on the trail.  We definitely worked up a sweat, but it was worth it.
Curt, nearing the summit, and demonstrating how strenuous it was.
It was supposed to be raining and overcast, but God changed the weather.  Over the course of the hike we experienced scattered blue skies with sun breaks and patchy cloud cover.  As we inched closer to the summit, we prayed for the clouds to move out and low and behold - they all started moving.  Talk about an unnecessary but super fun blessing.
Stud.  Ladies - he's taken.

about halfway up the mountain

Curt in the saddle.  HUGE drop off right behind him.

Not a bad place to stop and tie my shoe.
The most stunning part of the hike were the wildflowers.  They were in FULL bloom all over the mountain.  The meadows were filled with vibrant color.  Even the rocky crags had dew-drenched flowers poking through them.  We were amazed at God's creativity and exquisite attention to detail.
drenched with dew along the trail

in the saddle

mountain meadow

the clouds were swirling around these flowers at the summit

one lone flower clinging to the edge of the summit
The view from the top was awe-inspiring, even though one side of the mountain was socked in with clouds.  I sat and watched wispy clouds come up from under the mountain, swirl over my head, and dissipate in the air wherever the wind took them.  Jaw-dropping, crazy awesome goodness.

summit pictures - thank God for self-timer
This hike was the highlight of our mini weekend getaway.  Life moves at such a rapid pace.  It takes intentionality and purpose to connect in meaningful ways.  Three hours of alone time together, exercise, and admiring God's handiwork was so satisfying to both of us.  I'm sure we'll be back.
"Ewwww" was the kids' response to this picture
If you haven't hiked Saddle Mountain yet, I highly recommend it.  It is a CHALLENGING hike (read my review of when Grant and I went for more details) so bring a backpack with water and snacks and be prepared to take your time.  There are three picnic tables along the trail to stop and rest.  We passed four adults who had to be pushing seventy years old.  They were geared up with poles and backpacks and joked that their ham sandwich at the summit may have been their "last meal" but they were bravely and capably picking their way back down the mountain.  Where there's a will, there's a way.  So get hiking!

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