On Thursday morning at 4am I will leave Escondido with five other guys from NCCC to attempt to climb Mt. Whitney. Mt. Whitney is the highest peak in the contiguous United States, standing at an imposing 14,505 feet. Ironically, it's just 76 miles west of the lowest point in North America–which I'm guessing is a much easier hike 🙂

Eating dried food from a pouch, camping in the wilderness, and hiking at altitudes high enough to make you vomit and pass out–that's a good time!

I've actually been on quite a few challenging hikes. But, most of them have been without a fully-loaded pack and at substantially lower altitude. So, I have no idea what to expect. I know quite a few people who have done it, but statistically, only a third of people who begin the hike make it to the summit. About 150 hikers head out to reach the summit each day. Roughly 50 make it to the top.

I want to be one of the 50 on Friday.

If I'm not, I'll take coming home with some lifelong memories and deeper friendships with my fellow hikers. I'll take 3 days amidst the heavens and mountains that declare God's glory.

But, I'm going to be one of the fifty 🙂

Today's Question: What's the most beautiful place on earth you've ever been? For me, it's a tie between Orcas Island, Washington, and the Alps. While you think it over, here's a quote from Sir Francis Youngshusband:

“… to those
who have struggled with them, the mountains reveal beauties they will
not disclose to those who make little effort. That is the reward the
wilderness bestows on those who exert themselves. And, it is because
they have so much to give and grant it lavishly, that men [and women]
go back again and again to the mountains they love…. the mountains
reserve their choicest gifts for those who stand upon their lofty

P.S. I should get back Saturday night. Sunday's three sermons should be
interesting. If they are unintelligible, I'll blame lack of oxygen (no
jokes about what my excuse is every Sunday, please).