My 1,100+ Mile Idaho Hike
I completed my 2012 summer hike! I backpacked more than 1,100 miles in the Idaho wilderness, making photos and enjoying nature all summer long. It was a grand adventure!
Some of my photos and a story about my summer-long trip appear in the September issue of Idaho Magazine. The cover photo shows me at one of my favorite spots: the Tules along the Owyhee River in a remote corner of Idaho. I have another dozen photos or so in the magazine.
As I have read my hiking journal, I’m remembering both the delights and struggles of the hike. I pushed my body hard, and I lost 40 pounds. My lower body is strong, but my upper body lost some muscle.
I did more praying and pondering than usual. Since coming home, I’ve tried to incorporate more time for prayer in my day. And so far, it’s working well.
Theology of Nature
One of the theological insights I gained on the trip was really more of an experiential confirmation than a brand new insight. I realized that nature has both beautiful and ugly elements. The beauty can be overwhelming. But the ugliness is also real.
An adequate theology of nature, in my view, must account for the beauty and ugliness, and the rather mundane in nature as well. I think some Christian doctrines of depravity attempted to account for the ugliness in the world. But I’m motivated now to construct a doctrine of creation that I think better accounts for my experience this summer. In my view, an adequate doctrine must include God’s creative activity and also creaturely responses.
The Bible verse I often quoted to myself as I walked the trail is this: “What may be known about God has been made known, because God has shown it. Ever since the creation of the world, God’s eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things that God made” (Rm. 19-20).
Photos and Stories
Of course, some of the highlights of this summer came in my artistic endeavors. I took 7,000+ photos! I plan to post some here on my blog over the next year. And I’m thinking about putting some in a book.
We’ll see how my summer adventure spins off into other projects. For now, I’m thankful for the experience and looking forward to sharing more about my adventure in speaking engagements in the coming months.
I’ve also begun to think about what I should do for my next challenge. If you have ideas, let me know.