From the heart of the mountains, we went back to our "home", which was our tent in the parking lot.
I came out of the wild with new memories made right in the mountains that will stay in my heart for as long as it beats. My heart got inflated with new appreciation for such beauty in creation, a beauty that others may take for granted or may not appreciate at all because thoughts of what they consider as "better ones" blind them from seeing the uniqueness of each and every mountain that we climb.
This is one lesson that was impressed on me by the first phase of our trek. Each mountain is truly different, with a distinctive beauty that's all its own. We cannot say that this or that is better. A mountain hiking is not only about seeing or conquering the most famed ones that have been well-trodden by mountain lovers but also about finding their messages, seeking out the diverse life forms, listening to the "voice" of even the minutest of the organisms that thrive in them, and then letting their messages affect us positively.
As I immersed myself in the nooks, the crevices, the slopes, the sweeping, rolling wildness of the mountains, I savored every moment of being right in these very mountains, not wishing to be on the other supposed better mountains in other lands, not comparing their grandeur with the others, which would rob us of the joy of the moment and the delightful feelings of contentment. And that made the adventure worth appreciating and definitely worth treasuring, not to mention the spiritual uplifting that it brought about.
This lesson etched deeply on my mind, I went to sleep the night away, ready for the next day's new adventure.
This day's itinerary was to search for the powerful waterfalls in the area and have a picnic alongside it. We located it after a short walk, but the steepness of the trail down the base of the falls became an unnerving factor that thwarted our plans. And so we left the area after peeking at the falls through the trees, which was quite disappointing. But then, the rain started to fall, and that allayed the frustration that was increasingly growing inside me.
this is just the upper half of the falls
And then...as if to make up for the biggest letdown of this day, a vibrant double rainbow appeared right before our eyes as we headed back to our cars! That firmamental beauty melted away the last trace of my previous disappointment. My eyes remained glued to that spectacle the whole time we were driving to our next destination, and I felt like chasing rainbows. Along the highway by the lake, we pulled over to take some good shots of it while the intense colors lingered. My camera went clicking away, while hubby kept shooting me in the act of shooting.
Ah....the lure of rainbows! How we admire them! They're just so exquisite and divine, yes, a beautiful reminder of a divine promise!
We moved on to our planned journey for the rest of that day, which was a fishing expedition in a nearby river. We had to drive a few kilometers from our base, park the car at the mouth of the woods that we had to traverse and hike one and a half km to get to the river. That's where we were going to spend the night.
where we parked our car for the night
I took these two photos from a bridge leading to the hut where we would spend the night.
Our companions set up their tent among the trees while hubby and I decided to sleep in the wooden hut equipped with firewood to keep us warm all night long. The hut was snug enough for us to sleep in our sleeping bags, so we skipped the hassle of pitching our other tent that we carried with us.
That night, hubby and boss started fishing by the shallow stream, but it looked like the timing wasn't right because they were unable to catch fish.
As for me, I had a pleasant time watching the awesome beauty of the wild outdoor and capturing such beauty in different angles, the changing hues and the swirling mists above the surface of the river.
"Stop and consider carefully
the wonderful works of God."
The day came beautifully. While hubby and boss tried fishing again, I went taking more pictures.
At last, I've had my unexpected sensory overload from this week's trek! I have felt the impact of these words on my whole being:
"Keep close to nature's heart....and break clear away, once in a while,
And climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirits clean."
It was time to leave the place and get back to our base. Time for hubby and me to travel back to our city that evening. Time to part with our companions who wanted to stay one night longer.
We dismantled our tent and hugged our companions goodbye. It's been a fabulous adventure we've shared together.
Before wrapping up this chronicle of the week's adventure, I would like to include some of our Creator's wonderful works that I have gathered in the course of our hiking expedition.
We took a straight four to five-hour drive home. As the night deepened, the bright summer sky was gradually painted with tangerine clouds. At one point along the way, a night rainbow loomed before us, a vespertine treat that was worth-capturing. And then the ever-changing cloud formations just kept gliding swiftly toward us, then past us as we rolled toward home.
"Do you know how God controls the clouds
And how he causes the lightning to flash from his cloud?
Do you know how the clouds float?
These are the wonderful works of the One perfect in knowledge."
"All the wild world is beautiful, and it matters but little where we go, to highlands or lowlands, woods or plains, on the sea or land or down among the crystals of waves or high in a balloon in the sky, through all the climates, hot or cold, storms and calms, everywhere and always we are in God's eternal beauty and love. So universally true is this, the spot where we chance to be always seems the best." (John Muir)
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