Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Lightning Lake Camping

On our way up to Manning Park, we passed our wedding night motel. It has obviously been well kept up since it has been almost 42 years since we stayed there!
Camp fires !! We enjoyed sitting around the camp fire every evening, talking, talking long after we could see each other's faces.
I took the above picture the last camping night. Every one had gone to bed and I stood alone watching the embers die down.
Looking up I could see all around me the fir trees, like tall church steeples silhouetted against the night sky that was filled with countless sparkling stars hanging by invisible threads from the throne of God. He cut one of the threads and I saw a shooting star.
The late night air was still, the mountain breezes all holding their breath.
All the normal campground sounds were hushed.
Only an owl hooted repeatedly nearby.
I stood alone in God's cathedral, etching the moment in my memory.

But back to the beginning....our arrival at our campsite. It was a lovely campsite, as they all are at Lightning Lake Campground. Because it is so perfect, we have been going back every year. Sometimes someone makes a remark about going somewhere else and the response is...."Why?"
Standing at the back edge of our site you can see glimpses of the rippling Lightning Lake below.
The mountain you can see through the trees is Mt. Frosty, standing at a height of 7,224 ft. It is a good eight hour hike round trip. A beautiful hike with a rock scramble at the end.
We used to hike a lot when we went camping, before I had RA. It is still the best part of camping for Vic (my hubby) but this year he was most disappointed. Everyone was either work exhausted or nursing injuries -- it was the most quiet camping trip I have ever been on. It was fine for me but Vic - even though he was the oldest member of our camping group- was bursting at the seams. He finds it very hard to be inactive!! Maybe next year!!
I love when things are organized --- like big things fitting into small packages. This neat little wheeled bag has inside all that is needed, including accessories, to set up a 10' x 20' foot two room tent with 7' head room. Our kids have one too so here are the two tents set up on our shared camp site. Playing the guitar is my son-in-love and my daughter is sitting beside him. Some of my favorite pictures I can't post because my daughter has asked me not to post pictures of my granddaughters on the Internet but they were there with their dog Misty and having them all there made camping very special!!

Behind our campsite was a short trail that led down to a private beach area of Lightning Lake. Here are a couple of pictures taken just below our campsite.
Again you can see Mt. Frosty reflected in the mirror of the lake.

Of course camping you spend a lot of time either preparing food or eating- but we also had fun playing games. Elora (youngest granddaughter) and I set up a camp bowling game with botchy balls and camp fire wood for the bowling pins!
In the picture below we are playing Sequence with our friends. The girls won, of course!!
I'm not on the picture because I was safely standing behind the camera!!!

Sunday morning we had our own church service around the above table. It was a special time for all of us. Sitting in God's magnificent outdoor cathedral made Him seem very close!

Debbie, our friend in the above photo is a gifted artist and she brought her sketch pad. She and I sat in the campsite one afternoon while the others were walking around the lake. I loved watching her sketch.

Vic took this picture of a thistle. God's creative beauty is endless!
I always LOVE the little ground squirrels . They are so adorable and they will come take food out of your hand. The baby squirrels were just big enough to be running around on their own. My granddaughter is stroking two of them in the picture below. I was able to pick one up in my hand this year which I have never been able to do, which was a thrill for me.

I promised to look for things that made me thankful on this camping trip and of course there were many things to be thankful for. It didn't even take much effort to look for them !!! smile
One thing I was very concerned about was the mosquitoes, since I react quite severely to their bites and this year had perfect weather conditions for an abundant crop of the little pests!
When we drove into the campsite I asked the attendant how the mosquitoes were. He frowned and said, "The mosquitoes are quite bad!!"
I thought, "Hmmmm, but God will have the final word!"
And He did. We really did not find the mosquitoes to be a problem, although we heard that at the neighbouring campground the mosquitoes were waiting to cover you as soon as you got out of the car!
There were a few mosquitoes where we were but someone had told me about Lavender Oil and I had brought a bottle with me. It really worked! So well that everyone in our group was asking to borrow it rather than the mosquito repellent that they had brought.
So I am very thankful that I did not suffer at all at the 'hands' ('mouths' being more apt) of the mosquitoes!!
I was thankful for the beauty all around us, the quiet of being removed from every day life, the fellowship of good friends and family.
But then on Sunday afternoon, something happened that threatened my resolve to be thankful for everything!!
I was walking back from the washrooms (which were thankfully a very short walk from our campsite) and was just abreast of our site , reaching it the same time as a man walking with his dog.
The next moment happened so fast........ I caught the movement of a little ground squirrel and at the same time the dog dashed and lunged!!!
I screamed, "NO!!!" but of course I was too late. The tiny body lay on its back squeaking and kicking its little feet, the dog standing over it, watching it die!
The man smiled and spoke a gentle reprimand to his dog, "Jasmine!"
I spoke to him NOT so gently....."That's why you are supposed to have your dog on a leash!!"
The incident upset me the rest of the day.
I had determined to be thankful in everything..... How was I supposed to be thankful that the man did not obey the rules.
How was I supposed to be thankful that the dog followed his natural instincts.
How was I supposed to be thankful that the happy little ground squirrel had its life snatched so cruelly for no good reason!
The next day I was reading a book by Phillip Keller, " A Layman Looks at the Lamb of God" and a paragraph stood out to me!
He said, "Once death had entered into the dimension of life upon planet Earth, it began to condition all of is activities. This was not God's original intention......."
He states that after Adam and Eve sinned and brought death into the picture....
"Life could now come to them only through death - the death of grain, vegetables, fruit, flesh or food of any sort that once possessed life. In short, one life had to be laid down for another life. One needed to die in order for another not to die. This principle prevails to this very moment. Every erg of energy we possess, every ounce of weight our bodies carry, every element of life we own is ours only by virtue of the death of other living forms."
Thinking about it the verse in I Cor. 15:25,26 flashed into my mind. It talks about Christ reigning until He has put all enemies under His feet....and the last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
Death is such a natural part of our lives that I had never really thought about death itself being an enemy of God. But of course it is!! God is LIFE and death destroys life.
Death is the natural consequence of sin. Had God turned His back on us death would have been our eternal state of doom but God choose to intercept our death sentence by the perfect sacrifice of His Son so that death would be defeated and LIFE could save us!
Recognizing that God hates death as much as I do made me feel 'thankful' that death is not forever, that one day God will restore His creation to operate on the basis of His LIFE and death will not be a part of it!! Can you imagine living in that perfect world where nothing will ever suffer again?
"The wolf and the lamb shall feed together.
The lion shall eat straw like the ox.
And dust shall be the serpent's food.
They shall not hurt nor destroy on all My holy mountain," says the Lord!
(Isaiah 65:25)
All in all we had a great camping trip.... and I have decided that if I can just find a way to take my house with me.....I would LOVE camping!!! smile


Lovella said...

Oh I am glad you survived the camping trip. It is so beautiful there, I could almost smell it. I just love those spots. You had such perfect weather too.
How great to be able to do this annual event with your kids and grandkids. What wonderful memories you are creating.
Glad I got to see a hand of a granddaughter. . .smile.(perhaps next time we can see the arm too) snicker.
Actually I respect you for honouring your daughters wishes.

Carolanne said...

What a great recount of your camping trip and you had reasons to be thankful throughout.

The photos were absolutely beautiful! No wonder you go camping there every year!

I'm glad you had such a good time while camping. :)

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Glad you are home safe and sound and refreshed. I'm going to try lavender oil here, the mosquito population is booming after all our rain.
Thanks for the compliment on millinery...but I tip my hat to L. Green, she is amazing.

Laura said...

I, too, am glad you survived the camping! It sounds peaceful for the most part. I just love camping.
The "mirror" photo is just incredible. Simply amazing!
Welcome back!

Demara said...

Happy Returns my dear "friend who lives behind my computer screen"!!!

I LOVE your beautiful photos of the mountain's reflection in the water!!! So beautiful! And just think Heaven's crystal sea will be even prettier than that mirror image, WOW!

Kathy said...

Looks to me like you had a great camping holiday. It looked so relaxing. We are going there for a week this summer too so your your pictures got me all excited. What a great place to leave the cares behind and just relax. We are going to have a few people come and visit us while we are there, so we will entertain around the camp fire in God's beautiful surroundings. What fun. Kathy