I was unsure of myself… as to whether or not I’d be able to handle Death Valley, but I leapt at the chance to go when my buddy Mack announced that he’d be going down there for a camping trip. After all, Death Valley was on my list of places to explore in California.
Finally, after making all the arrangements to secure mine and my husband’s spot for the adventure, we were on our way to Death Valley, late Saturday night.
I dozed off several times throughout our drive up to our destination. As hard as I tried staying awake to enjoy the drive, it was way past my bedtime.
The next thing I know… a sky filled with stars appeared before me.
Death Valley. We had arrived.
I was beyond tired, but I couldn’t keep my eyes off of the sky.
The first thought that popped into my head was, “Wow. What now?”
Truth is, I didn’t know how to react to this phenomenon.
Should I be excited or surprised? Should i be scared or comforted?
What IS the right reaction to the mystery and beauty of nature?
I tried taking it all in, but dozed off once my head hit the mat.
Next thing I knew, it was morning. And the other adventurers and I had a whole day of exploring ahead of us.
One thing I love to do when I go on an adventure is to stop at various random places just for the heck of it. And thankfully, the group of adventurers I was with had that same attitude. We stopped at random locations before continuing on our journey to our next camp ground.
A couple of wine and beer burgers, repetitive jokes about internet memes, sponge bob references, and a few hours of sleep later… we were off to another adventure under the stars at Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.
My plan was to stay awake to get a beautiful view of both the milky way and the sunrise. Yet, lying down on the soft sand inside my comfy sleeping bag under the night sky gave way to heavy sleep. (I had to agree with everyone when it was later said that my whole trip mostly consisted of sleep. HAHA!) I couldn’t help but feel engulfed in the beauty and peacefulness of creation.
The stress of life and work had drained me mind, body, and soul. Out in nature, I was able to recharge my system.
At times the adventure felt a little scary.
You see, spending so much time in the city had given me the impression that I was in control of a lot of things. And why wouldn’t I have that impression? With the push of a button I could have an uber driver pick me up at least within 15 minutes or I could even order a pizza and pay with a card in less than 5 minutes. Technology is at my disposal. I decide what I do or don’t want to watch online. And I have people ready to assist me when I need help…
nature, however, is different.
Nature doesn’t discriminate.
And if you’re not careful, nature can be dangerous.
No one is exempt from dying because of a heat stroke or a gust of wind that can blow them off the top of a mountain.
In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.
As I made my way through every stop with the rest of the pack, I couldn’t help but feel incredibly small, weak, and fragile. I realized my lack of real power and control.
I felt intimidated by the elements since there was no telling when it would be kind or dangerous.
As I laid on my mat, wrapped in a fluffy blanket, inside my tent on the last night in Death Valley, I felt a tiny bit afraid and yet in awe of nature.
One thought crossed my mind as I heard the roaring wind pick up and clash against the tents, “There is something/someone bigger than any one of us out there.”
My creator. My maker.
And I, his creation, was in the midst of his creation- nature. What a privilege!
Creation/nature teaches me the same lesson over and over- it teaches me who is in charge.
It teaches me that I’m not in control. It shows me my limits.
As my trip came to a close, I was sad to say goodbye to one of the hottest places in the world. It taught me a lot- about myself, nature, and my creator [God]. I enjoyed an adventure with an amazing, talented, and hilarious group of people. And I now have an annoying tune stuck in the back of my mind- the theme to this whole adventure- Shooting Stars by: Bag Raiders.
[Special thanks to my friend Mack Murdoc for this amazing opportunity.]
What kind of adventures are you into? Do you enjoy camping out in nature? If so, what lessons have you learned from it?