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Summary: Spiritual lessons from climbing a mountain

“Lessons From Mount Eddy”

September 5, 2010

Isaiah 65:17-25

"Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. "Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands. They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain," says the Lord.”

Isaiah 65:17-25

Last week some of us brave souls, set aside the busyness of the season and went backpacking for a couple of days. I can condense the whole experience into one word – “delightful”! Or would it be “Awesome”! Maybe it would be “Fantastic”!

I had such a good time for many reasons. It was wonderful to leave the heat of the city and venture up into the cool mountain air. It was encouraging to me to be physically fit enough to back pack. After 4 stints in my heart and a triple by-pass operation, I didn’t know if my body would be able to carry that 80 pound backpack to dead fall lake. I thought I might fall – dead! WAIT! Do you think that’s how the lake got it’s name? Anyway - I could – and I did! What a blessing. I didn’t know if I would ever be able to summit another mountain peak.

Mount Eddy is the highest mountain in the Eddy’s, which is a subrange of the Klamath Mountains. It is the highest point in Trinity County, yes, it’s in Trinity County, not Siskiyou. And interestingly enough (for you useless trivia fans), it’s the highest mountain West of Interstate 5. It is by far the highest peak in the region… except for Mount Shasta, which is a mere 5,000-something ft. higher.

By the Way, Mt. Eddy was named after Olive Paddock Eddy, the first woman to climb Mt. Shasta. Upon attaining the summit plateau are some of the coolest mountaintop views you'll see! Almost due North, you'll see Oregon's 6th highest mountain, Mt. McLoughlin, rising from the plains. Looking southwest, the majestic Trinity Alps dominate the distant skyline. To the southeast, the tiny-looking granite spires of the Castle Crags are spotted, and in the distance, Lassen Peak shines on the horizon. Rising to the West behind Deadfall Lakes Basin are the Scott Mountains, and to the South the Eddy Range. Black Butte rises from the valley below, and directly behind that… mighty Mt. Shasta towers above everything in sight by 5,000 ft!

Mt. Eddy isn’t much compared to Mount Shasta. As I alluded to, Mt. Eddy is a little over 9000 feet and Mt. Shasta is over 14, 000 feet. But it was the only significant mountain in Northern California I hadn’t summitted. Now I can add Mt. Eddy to the list that includes Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lassen and Mt. Whitney. I guess the ol’ hoss still has some life in him!

From my climbing experience you can tell that I love the mountains. I love to backpack. I love the solitude and the beauty of the wilderness. It seems to me that when you are up in the high mountains you can almost reach up and touch God. You can see His handiwork all around you. You can see Him in the bright moon shining in the thin air and the shooting stars at night. You can see Him in the thousands of beautiful flowers flourishing in the mountain meadows. You can see Him in the awesome wildlife He created – from the cute little chipmunk to the graceful deer and even in the powerful bear. And we saw ’em all! You can smell Him in the fragrant flowers and the pungent smoke from the campfire. You can hear him in the whisper of the wind and the chuckle of the mountain streams. God is so easy to experience - and He has so much to teach us if we open our eyes and ears and senses.

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