The Ultimate Five Day Hiking Trip

This week I was speaking at a children’s revival week at a friend’s church in Waterford, Michigan. The theme was a hiking / climbing theme on “Climbing Spiritually” so I had all my climbing and hiking and camping gear as part of the stage set up and as object lessons. After the last night, the youth pastor came by, and on seeing my new backpack (purchased this week at an outlet mall for Yosemite Summit!) he asked if I was a “serious hiker.” I answered that I’m not sure I’d use the word “serious” but that I DO love to hike in the outdoors and, of course, I told him about Yosemite Summit and showed him the website.

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He then told me about a trip that he and about six other guys do every year, and then I knew what he meant by “serious!” They hike all fifty-five miles of the Paria River in Utah (crosses into Arizona). The start at night, with a silent walk in pitch black darkness! The canyon walls are so narrow and high in the slot canyon that at times the packs have to be held overhead with arms up to walk. Oh, and you are walking in water the entire five days. I’m summarizing a ten minute description of the hike… sounded very “serious.”  😀

But I also got some input on the spiritual atmosphere and some ways to encourage reflection on the trip. If you’d like to read more about this intense hike, check out this Paria River link. I did some Google Earthing of the area, but was not sure I had it correct, so I’m not posting any screen shots, but it was fun to trace the canyons in the area both in satellite and Terrain views.  They start here (I think) where the river dumps into the beginning of Colorado River, and then get a ride back 55 miles and hike back to their cars in a week of walking!

If you can’t come to Yosemite Summit… maybe this is an option for you!

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