Take Care of Your Soul, Body and Minsitry

Take Care of Your Soul, Body and Minsitry

In Phil Strout’s “New Years Greetings 2013” video he mentions that the Lord told him three things when he woke up January 1st: 1) Take care of your soul 2) Take care of your body 3) Take care of your ministry Of these three items, the one that stood out to me the most was taking care of your body. Over the last month I have become increasingly aware of the lack of exercise and movement in my daily routine. I get up, drive to work, sit at a desk all day, drive back home, eat and sit around the living room – with the occasional sprint around the house chasing my boy with the dog in tow! Luckily the new owners of my day-job (we were brought out last fall) have a program where they will pay half of one’s monthly gym membership. As such, I am in the process of locating a gym and recruiting a workout buddy. Hopefully things will fall into place this month and I will be able to get back in shape before backpacking season....

Backpacking the Seven Devils

While on the trail, I came up with lots of cool sounding titles for this post… most of which were not that good seeing that I was in a lot of pain (my knee decided to go on vacation halfway through the loop) and that the names “Hells Canyon” and “Seven Devils” make unpolite words polite. “Fighting Seven Devils In Hell” “Going Through Hells (Canyon)” “Trying to Find Heaven in Hells” – this only works if know that ‘Horse Heaven’ is the name of the half way point on the loop… “Overcoming the Devils” (did I mention I was in pain?) yeah… it was brutal 30 miles…. Tons of deadfalls (i.e. large dead trees laying on top of the trail making one either climb over, under or around – not easy when you are on a narrow cliff side trail), creeks running through the trail, rocks (lots and lots of rocks!!! I mean, it was the HELLS Canyon Wilderness after all), snow drifts (more on that later) and, well, everything else you would think to find in the middle of the wilderness. It a nutshell (hmm…how many megabits could you fit into an acorn shell?) we should have given ourselves four to five days to complete the Seven Devils loop instead of just three days (note to self, 10 mile a day walks with a 40-lb backpack is NOT a good idea!). But, on the good side, I got some great pictures! (238 of them in fact..)...
Next Weekend’s Backpacking Trip

Next Weekend’s Backpacking Trip

I finally decided on a trail for next weekend’s backpacking trip:  Seven Devils Loop. It is a 26.7 mile trail around the Seven Devils Mountain near Hells Canyon (west central Idaho). At 9,393 feet, He Devil Mountain is the highest point in the area….only thing is that the mountain plunges 8,043 to the Snake River at the bottom of Hells Canyon – making it the deepest river gorge in North America. I called the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area folks and they said the trail is fairly clear – granted, there is some snow drifts and ice on the western slopes of the mountains…oh, and there is some deadfall on the trail….but it should be doable. The temperature in the mountains ranges from the high 60s in the daytime to 30s at night (thank the Lord for mummy bags and silk underwear!). When it comes to wildlife, there is a good chance of seeing elk, deer, bear, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, cougars, bobcats, golden eagles, hawks, falcons and a variety of other birds and reptiles (not to mention the occasional wolf). To some it may sound crazy, but to me it sounds like a perfect weekend....
Frank Church Wilderness: Soldier Lakes/Patrol Ridge Loop

Frank Church Wilderness: Soldier Lakes/Patrol Ridge Loop

Not one to sit still too long, I'm off to the Frank Church Wilderness for a three day 22-mile loop through the Solider, Cut-Troat and Helldiver Lakes (all of which should have lots of trout…we shall if I catch any…) If we are lucky, we might even have time to hike to the top of Big Solider Mountain to an old lookout tower. [@more@] Here is a sightly larger view of the area – you can see the area we are hiking in circled in...
Wildlife Sighting In The Sawtooth

Wildlife Sighting In The Sawtooth

One of the coolest parts about hiking through the Wilderness is the wildlife one sees. There are mule deeres and mountain squirrel: [@more@] The small rock mice. And, of course, there are the occasional black bears: (same bear – just a different picture.) Note we are standing about 200 yards away on the other side of a small valley across the creek with the...