It's Good to Get Out Alive
Pastoral ministry isn't about our success and fame; it's about God's power to help us survive.
The tourist brochure said that you can catch the bus to Yosemite Lodge up to Glacier Peak. When you get there, you can stand on the rock where a hundred years ago, Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir had their picture taken. And then you can go to the trailhead, where you'll take a left. It's just an 8.8 mile hike called the Panorama Trail, which earns its name from the unprecedented spectacular views of Yosemite's most famous landmarks. You'll hardly get down it when you'll turn to the left and immediately take in a picture-postcard view of Half Dome. Then, 2.2 miles down the trail is an overlook of Illilouette Falls, a ribbon of whitewater cascading 370 feet down on the rocks.
Next, you'll cross over the Illilouette bridge and slowly climb 800 feet to Panorama Point. Five-star breathtaking vistas stretch into Yosemite Valley, all the way to the Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls and beyond to the Royal Arches. After that, you'll go left and descend more than 10 switchbacks. At the three-way junction, you'll bear right on the John Muir Trail and soak in views of the granite baldness of Liberty Cap. As you go further, you'll see the Merced River and the frothy spout of Nevada Falls dropping nearly 600 feet to the valley floor. At milepoint 6, you are there by the Mist Falls, where the rocks are baptized by water and rainbows appear in the air.
You'll enjoy your hike downward on a series of 600 steep granite steps. After you cross the Merced River and climb more stairs upward to the 317-foot Vernal Falls, the trail turns to pavement, and longer views unfold of Illilouette Falls. After crossing the Happy Isles Bridge, you'll hike to the trailhead parking lot—and it's all over.
This enticing description sounded like ...
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Dr. Joel C. Gregory is Professor of Preaching at Truett Seminary, Distinguished Fellow of Georgetown College in Georgetown, KY, and the founder of Joel Gregory Ministries.