Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Charon Gardens hike/Wichita Mountains V-Day Camping


Proverbs 5:18-19
"Let your wife be a blessing of fountain for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love."

***Disclaimer...this topic is rated X!"

As in eXciting, eXcuberant, ec(X)static, eXtreme, and eXcessive!!! These are the things God wants you to seXXually eXperience with your spouse...That's right, I said it...God wants you to have all kinds of sex all the time with your spouse...it's great for you! It's great for your marriage! It's key to a healthy and pure marriage that honors God!

This is a topic that many people, especially the church shys away from. It's ucomfortable and a private matter...I can understand that. But it doesn't mean it needs to be ignored...shoot, there is an entire book in the bible on this topic. Ever read the Song of Songs? Solomon will put any form of erotic literature to shame in this book...it'll make you blush.

Here's the deal, God knows our desires. He knows intimacy. He designed it perfectly. We are designed to share in this intimacy...so how do many of us get away from this passion? How do many of us lose this connection with our spouse?

Follow me here...Your spouse is a blessing from God. Your union is a blessing from God. It is a gift...a precious gift to hold on to. But in the proverb above, Solomon warns that this blessing can fade. He tells us to "Let your wife be a blessing of a fountain for you..." Key word is "Let." You know what happens to our marriages? Just like anything else in our lives...we begin to take it for granted. How did you feel about your new home, new car, new job? Your excited right! You do everything right...you pay attention, you take extra care, you buy new furniture and accessories...you invest your quality time! What happens over time? You stop caring about the dusty shelves, overlook minor scratches on the hood, and really do not care if your pants are creased the right way for work. This is what happens to our marriages...God knows it, Solomon wrote about it, and it's time we admit it and do something about it.

Good news is, Solomon gives us a hint to recapture that "New" feeling again...he tells us to "rejoice in the wife of your youth." Do you remember the person you first met? It's been a while huh? Well guess what? That person is still the same...Solomon says that "She is a loving deer, a graceful doe..." Your spouse has never changed. It is you that has...Stop taking your spouse for granted. Let her continue to be a blessing...dust off the shelf, buff out the scratches, and clean yourself up...it's time to reinvest your time in your spouse.

Take time to do the things you were doing when you first met your spouse...recreate those first steps and do not let go of them. Date your spouse! Start to do these things and you will rediscover the spouse of your youth...and then, As Solomon wisely puts it...and Marvin Gaye seconds, "Let's get it on!"

"Let her breasts satisfy you always, may you always be captivated by her love." As mentioned above, God wants you to have Sex and a lots of it...it brings you closer together as a couple. It makes you more intimate. Never let go of it...Solomon says to "always be captivated by her love." I say amen to that!

These were my thoughts for this Valentine's week...I hope you enjoy and share in my thoughts...I know I needed my thoughts of Sarah and rejoice in the Sarah of my youth to get through this past weekend's freezing weather! Enjoy the trip report!

What: 4th Annual Valentine's Camping Trip (or Alf's What is Love? Marriage Conference)
Who: Kate and Matt Fisher, Jennifer and Sean Moore, Sarah (my valentine) and Me (keynote speaker)
When: 2/10-2/11/12
Mileage: 5 miles
Some class 3 scrambling, mainly class 2 off trail hiking the Charon Gardens in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.
2/10/12
The Moores and Pasquels arrived to Camp Doris Campground around 4:30 p.m after a quick 3 hour drive and a disappointing Strawberry Cheesequake Blizzard. We only had about an hour or so of sunlight so we set up camp...quickly set up the tents...gathered wood quickly...set up a nice wind shelter out of tarp...and finally struck up a fire  (Moores and Pasquels have been on numerous camping trips now...so I'm proud to say we're a pretty efficient camping team!). The temperature was hovering above freezing at this time, but sitting around the fire, having dinner, and drinking hot chocolate would be considered a balmy night compared to what we were in for the following morning...The Fishers arrived around 9 p.m. and shortly after, we all went to bed...
 ...The next morning, we woke up to 23 degrees, 15-20 mph...which equaled to an official wind chill temperature of 8 degrees! Water had frozen over in their containers, the ground was rock hard, and this poor fella pictured above was just grazing peacefully over in the meadow the evening before. It was frigid! I spilled a little bit of boiling water on the bench and within a minute, it had glazed over completely. Poor Matt, who volunteered to make us breakfast, suffered through the temps to make us an awesome sausage links, eggs, and potato medley for breakfast.
2/11/12
Goal was to hike to Crab eyes (pictured above) and traverse our way back to Elk Mountain. Pictured below is our actual hike on google earth images...
We started at Sunset Pool TH (Lower Left Corner of image above) and headed West (or towards the right in the picture above). The temps remained cold all morning long, however once we got moving on the trail we all stayed relatively comfortable. The temperature on this day never got above 28 degrees...but really, once the Sun came out...it felt pretty good out there. Unless you took off your gloves, then it got  super cold...super fast. The first mile of the hike stayed on a nice climber's trail. There was one section of the trail that disappeared but we were directed by many cairns leading you back to the trail on the other side...After about a mile of hiking, you come up on this open meadow with outstanding views of the Crab Eyes...
You can see why this rock formation is called Crab Eyes...from this point on, our hike was off trail and mainly class 2 hiking. There were a few segments of class 3, especially climbing up to Crab Eyes...but this is a good view of what our hiking involved for most of the day...
I personally enjoy these types of hikes...you can blaze your own path and scramble on whatever you feel most comfortable with. It took about 2 miles to get to the base of Crab Eyes...the two boulders are perched aboved a 60 ft vertical wall. There are several technical trad crack climbs up this wall...a perfect crag for the crack trad climbing enthusiasts...For us, there was a nice class 3 scramble to the top via a sloped rock rib...but before we got the base of Crab Eyes, were already scrambling via the North approach of Crab Eyes...sure, we could have walked all the way around to the base, but this way was way more fun...
These are the girls maneuvering their way up another rib towards the base of Crab Eyes. It was simple technique, lean forward, toe in, trust your feet and make sure you didn't fall over the exposed left side...depending where you were on the rib...the fall was anywhere from 10-40 ft. Not too bad.
So we continued on up on exposed ledges...wasn't anything too difficult, but sure was exciting. Pictured below is a better view of the route we took up it...I am pointing to the ledge we scrambled up...The boulders you see to the right of me are the ones we scrambled up to get to this point (some pictures included above).
When you get to the top of Crab Eyes, you get a full view Charons Garden Wilderness...pretty spectacular sight...
Another spectacular sight is one of the Crab Eye Boulders...If you look back up to the picture that I am pointing in...the boulder on the right is barely hinging on the rock below...How in the world it stays in place blows my mind. Crazy! Feels like it's going to tip over any second...
After we got down from Crab Eyes, we walked around towards the Southern end of the wall and were trying to figure out what this rock formation looked like...
Do you see it? It's a face right? I think it looks like an abstract sculpted face of Abraham Lincoln. Mount Rushmore has nothing on this art...anywho...I digress.

We left the area and headed East towards Elk Mountain. The terrain stayed the same and we slowly traversed over rock, cactus, and carcasses (bison head picutred above.) We all enjoyed each other's company and really were moving at a leisurely pace. I will now take this time to thank all of our wives for being awesome...there are not too many wives that are willing to celebrate Valentine's weekend braving the cold and going through rough terrain with their husbands. But more importantly, I appreciate them for having great attitudes and actually wanting to be there. I just think our wives are the coolest for not caring about hearts, chocolates, and flowers and instead serve us by being with us while doing the thing we love most. Being outside. You guys rock!
Jen and Sean
Kate and Matt

...Back to trip report. We continued towads the base of Elk Mountain. The terrain stayed the same and we had to basically navigate through boulder fields all the way over. It's easy navigating though...you always have the the Apple and Pear Boulders on the Southwest Slabs of Elk Mountain in your views...
Can you guys see the Apple and Pear? Look in the middle left of the picture above. This was our next objective and then to continue over to the top left of the mountain and across to the Eastern side of Elk Mountain. From the base to the top is only 670' climb...not too bad. But the routefinding is fun, mostly class 2 with some class 3 action, especially since many times you cannot see what is above you since you are on a down sloped slab for the most part...these are some pics of the route up to Apple and Pear...
As you can see, you cannot see very far above you...it's not until you crest over that you can tell what the next section looks like.

...after a thigh burning, calf pumping hike halfway up Elk Mountain, you finally get to the Apple Pear...
...this is Matt, finely modeling in front of the Apple and Pear...these boulders are enormous. It's not until you get right next to them that you see how big they really are. From down in the vally, they do not look big...gives you a different perspective of these beautiful rocks.

We continued up the mountain and the wind picked up...it was definitely coldest on the top of Elk. All the water in the area was frozen...Frozen solid. Here, Matt is on top of a frozen puddle...there was no break in the ice. Pretty impressive...
We traversed the table top of Elk Mountain and made our way down the Elk Mountain Trail. It took us 4 hours to complete this hike...all in all, it was a great day. But this great day was only going to get better...

Now, I know I gave our girls a lot of credit for being awesome...and they are...but what really motivated them through this camping/hiking trip was not just being a sweet and loving wife...they had something else on their mind. They had Valentine's dinner on their mind. They had Meer's famous Seismic Burger, Meers Beers, and Homeade Ice Cream and Peach Cobbler on their mind...
Yum!!!!

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