Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Shades of Death

My wife and I took a camping trip last weekend, continuing our 'vacation at home.' We went to Shades State Park, about an hour and a half west of Indianapolis. The Shades is a beautiful park on Sugar Creek that offers camping, fishing, nearby canoe rentals, and several very good hiking trails. The forest in the park is primarily oak, beech, poplar and pine. There are many glacial ravines and canyons, and most of the trails require you to either hike up or down these along the stream beds. The forest is extremely dark in the evening and morning, which explains its original name, "The Shades of Death" (hence the title of this post).

We also learned many things on this trip. I had never been camping before, and my wife had not been camping for twenty years, so we both were pretty green. We learned how to start and tend a campfire and how to cook over that fire. We learned how to steer a canoe (and how to tip one over; my boots are still drying out), and how riding a horse really does take buns of steel.

We also learned that we can sit for an entire evening without saying a word, yet feel as close as if we had a deep and meaningful conversation. We learned that there are untold wonders hidden in our state for those who take the time to seek them out, and that the glory of God is revealed in even the smallest spring welling through a crack in a rock face. We learned that the stars are prettiest when viewed from a blanket stretched out on the grass.

We hiked a lot of miles last weekend, climbed many hills and descended many valleys. It was nice to get home and sleep in a real bed, but we're both eager to do it all over again.