Trail Report: Las Trampas

We celebrated my last day of an extended Presidents’ Day weekend vacation (students are so spoiled these days!) with a hike up to the ridge line via an East Bay trail not too far south of us.

Doesn’t it look like the hills we hiked are adorned with purple wildflowers?

In reality, though, these are merely collections of common shrubs. This is evident from up close, and also as the shrubs scratch against your ankles if you are foolish enough to wear capris (as I was).

Isn’t it somewhat redeeming, though, how scratchy shrubs can form a gorgeous hillside? I think it’s a lovely picture of humanity.

Surprisingly, I found another way in which we try to mimic nature in the form of thorny plants juxtaposed with a barbed wire (and metal) fence. In ways both natural and unnatural, we often try to keep others out when we need them the most. I know my own journey took on new hope when I tore the fences down and let others in.

When we got close to the summit, Mr. Petite Peaker asked me if I wanted to turn around. He could tell I was pushing myself. I was dealing with unseasonably high temperatures (nearing 80 in February!).

But turning around didn't feel like an option. And the view from the top was so rewarding!

The ancient Mesopotamians used to construct ziggurats in order to bring themselves closer to the gods, and to allow the gods to descend the step-like temples down to earth. On the one hand, it’s ridiculous: God doesn’t require some sort of stepping-stone path down to where we are.

On the other hand, being this close to the vastness of the sky and so far above my starting point made me more appreciative of the nature all around me (yes, even the thorny, shrubby variety) and more thankful to the God who brought me upward to this very spot. It made me feel small to be surrounded by the greatness of God. And I think that’s the way I am supposed to feel.

Wishing you beautiful climbs, fences torn down, and humility in the face of the large, incredible world around us.