Yosemite Drawings from 34 Years Ago Discovered!

Recently, I was going through some old personal papers in the garage – much of it was useless and finally was tossed out, but hidden in the ancient folders, binders and loose papers I found an art pad with some drawing in it from when I was fourteen years old… that would be 34 years ago. While I’ve never been much of an artist, I was surprised at how good these were. I obviously must have spent some focused time doodling these. I now commit them to the Internet for Eternity! Here is another: I am so thankful that I dated these, otherwise I’d have no idea when they were drawn. I am so thankful for this incredible place that has become my Sanctuary where I travel every year to spend some focused time walking with God and listening to what He has for me. I’ve always known that Yosemite had a special draw for me… now I know that I did a special drawing while I was there as a young boy falling in love with my Creator and His amazing displays of beauty He collected here.    

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Meeting a Miracle

Last year at Yosemite Summit, I lost my journal. On the very last day as we were doing a final group photo I had set it down on the ground while working with the camera on a tripod. Then a nice stranger offered to take the picture for us, so I ran to get in the picture. Afterward, he walked toward us to return the camera and I forgot I had set down on my journal. I have written in this journal for the past 10 years on every visit to Yosemite, so you can imagine there is a lot of sentimental value in that one book. I did not notice it missing until it was too late. I registered it missing with the park’s lost and found service, which usually only makes you feel better, but rarely brings results. I prayed for a miracle. My Miracle came in a man named John, who found my journal. He called the phone number inside, but because I completely unplugged for the entire week, my voicemail was full. He resorted to email. We did not connect until after I was back home in Colorado. KHe kndly mailed me the journal, and said…

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Taking the Path Less Traveled

You’d miss it completely if you weren’t looking for it. Most walked right past it. But we enjoyed a rare treat because we were looking for the path less traveled. I kicked off 2017 with a week of hiking in Yosemite National Park with a good friend. I lead the Yosemite Summit retreat for pastors every May, but we were eager to see this incredible place in winter. God blessed us with both fresh snow and temperatures that made hiking surprisingly easy as we stuffed hats, gloves and jackets into our backpacks… not needed! Ahead of time we did some research on the best spots to see in winter. We discovered a secret spot off the Upper Yosemite Falls trail that afforded an amazing view of the middle falls that otherwise are impossible to see from any other location. It was amazing! We marveled that the slight detour leading to this spot was missed by most, but at the same time enjoyed that the secret was ours alone as other hikers walked on by, just a few feet away and missed it completely. I won’t even name it here, its worthy of secrecy – but if you ask me in…

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What Re-Creates You?

The 9th annual Summit is now only one month away. It will probably seem like the longest month of the year as I anticipate my annual pilgrimage with God in Yosemite National Park with six other pastors for a time of re-creation, renewal, recharging, refocusing and restarting for the next season of life and ministry. I am often asked, “What’s so special about Yosemite? Why do you go there every year?” While I have answered that countless times and in many ways on the YosemiteSummit.org blog, let me share with you my first entry in the journal I have now taken to Yosemite on every trip. WHY YOSEMITE? This place is beyond description, though of course, I will try. As I often say, it is the closest God ever got to sin… because he sorta showed off His creative abilities! Our language lacks adequate words to do Yosemite justice. Incredible. Amazing. Spectacular. Breath-taking. Beautiful. Magnificent. I suppose the best I can use is awe-inspiring. Awe at the sheer size and height and depth and distance and beauty and splendor that hits your eyes all at once. And no matter how many pictures you take (and I take a lot) you…

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Finding the Reflection of God

One of the highlights of Yosemite, is seeing the reflection of towering granite cliffs in the water of the valley. In fact, one of the lakes in Yosemite earned the name “Mirror Lake” due to the beautiful reflections upon it’s surface. While not technically a lake, visitors enjoy seeing in its smooth surface the mirror image of the cliffs towering above. Mirror Lake it actually a man-made lake, from a time when sand and ice were exported from the area for use down in the coastal cities. Today, it is being allowed to return to it’s natural meadow conditions, so each year this once famous lake reflects less – and becomes filled with more grass and rock as the surface drops and widens into a meadow. Nevertheless, a creative photographer can still find places to capture a reflection of Half Dome that rises majestically above it. The reflections can be amazing… but to be seen, something is required. Without this one thing, there can be no reflection of the grandeur above. Waterfalls and flowing rivers and creeks pour over rocks and around bends throughout this incredible park, all working their way to the Merced or Tuolumne Rivers and ultimately to…

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