Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mariposa Grove

"Never underestimate what God can make." -anonymous hiker we met in the woods-

As we made our way through the Mariposa grove, I remained silent. I didn't know what to say. I really didn't know what to think. I knew earlier in the week, we were going to end our Yosemite NP trip by visiting this group of Sequoias. Both Sarah and Lu were super excited...but I was a bit more reserved than they. I thought Yosemite could not get any better...so I wasn't expecting much. Don't get me wrong, I knew I was in for something good...I just didn't know how wonderful, how beautiful, and how humbling this experience was going to be.
This is the Sequioa's pine cone. And inside this cone...is it's seeds. Each seed is the size of an oatmeal flake. This tiny creation is the starting size of the great and mighty tree...
This is Lu and I, right before the anonymous hiker we met on the trail...gazing in amazement, looking up 250' into the canopy of the grove. I was speechless. I couldn't believe what I was seeing...what I was feeling...what I was experiencing. I was surrounded by life,...2000-3000 years of life...thousands of years of growth. These trees have been growing for 2000-3000 years, which reveals their strength, perseverance, and character. Everything these trees have gone through and now stand for (literally and figuratively)...I want in my life. I want to grow and be mighty in strength, in perseverance, and in character.

So as I was letting my emotions get the best of me, I attempted to collect my thoughts. I could begin to hear God speak...but quite couln't make out what He was saying through my excitement. And in this moment...when I could not speak or even make out a thought, an elderly man walks up to us, looks up above, and says, "Never underestimate what God can make."

Yes!!!! That's it...Never underestimate what God can make! What God can do! Who He is!!!! What He can do in you and through you!!!! Here I am, looking up at the great Sequoia...knowing that it started as a flake. A FLAKE!!! And yet...here it stands. Refined, glorious, and mighty! God can take what fits in the small of my hand...and turn it into something that majestically towers over me! He can take the small and make it big. He can take the ugly and make it beautiful. He can take me...and make me the man I am destined to be.

Never underestimate what God can make. Regardless of how small and insignificant you may feel...how hurt or frustrated you are...how scared or alone you are...despite the things you have done...despite the things you are doing...and despite the place you are at...NEVER UNDERESTIMATE WHAT GOD CAN MAKE! You and I are destined and designed to stand as tall as the great and mighty Sequoia!!!
What: Mariposa Grove trails
Where: Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park
Who: Aaron "Lu" Lawler, Sarah Pasquel, Ugly
When: 06/20/13
Stats: 7 miles RT, 2000' elevation +/-
After completing Half Dome...we wanted a day to enjoy a nice, moderate dayhike. Mariposa Grove is the place to go. From the valley floor, it will take you 1.5 to get to...but it's worth it. There's not much of a trip report here. You park, get out...hike...and be in awe. You can go as far as you like. The farthest point is Mariposa Point (which we did and it's ok), but the attraction are the trees you hike by. From this point on...there's not much to say. I'll let the pictures define the day!
(Tallest Tree in the Grove, 292' tall!)
So this concluded our outdoor trip for the week. We climbed Shasta, backpacked Yosemite, summited Half Dome, and did some tree huggin'! But our vacation was not over...after spending 6 days outside, traveling almost 50 miles on foot, and working through nearly 28,000' of elevation gain...we finished our vacation in Napa Valley and SF...indulging:
After spending just two days in the city...I had enough. I wanted to get back to this:

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