The Young Buck on Baldy Mountain

It is in the quiet of the woods that I hear and feel God’s presence without distraction.

Cori Strathmeyer

The Space Between is a marvelous blog I discovered recently that focuses on experiencing God in the great outdoors. On the site, Cori reflects on faith, family, hiking, yoga and other life pauses.

Her April 3 post, Walking with God, is a true gem that brought back memories of hiking in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico over 30 years ago.

What ignited my vivid recollection was the author’s statement, “Hiking is moving meditation: miles of opportunity for prayer and reflection on scripture.”

I spent the summer of 1988 working at a Christian conference center near Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was an exquisite setting, with huge conifers, cold water creeks and mountains in every direction. There were also dozens of alluring trails in the area. I became a compulsive day hiker.

After several beginner and intermediate treks, this young buck (me) yearned for a challenge. One of my braver hiking buddies suggested a 12.4 mile (out and back) route, in the nearby Pecos Wilderness Area, that was rated difficult. It started at a picturesque creek and ended near the 12,000 foot summit of Baldy Mountain–a 3,000 foot elevation gain.

Piece of cake, right?

Please stay with me, kind reader. I promise to come to a good biblical point.

We started at sun up. It was early July, but at 8,600 feet the temperature was in the upper 30’s. You could see your breath! I shivered under my thin sweatshirt as we meandered up the narrow, winding trail.

Stands of pine and spruce trees towered above us, hiding the view of the valley below. Just when it seemed we’d been swallowed by the forest, a window appeared.

Farther up the mountain, where the trees and the air grew thinner, the trail became steep. There were so many switch backs I lost all sense of direction.

Finally, the top of “Old Baldy” came into view. I took off my backpack, next to a crystal clear lake, and sat down. That’s when it hit: EXHAUSTION. The euphoria of reaching the trail’s end suddenly gave way to wilting fatigue. Despite being 20 years old, and in top physical shape, I could barely move.

I ate the 80’s equivalent of a Power Bar and laid back on my pack. “Dear God,” I prayed, “please help me get down this mountain.”

The view of the summit (taken while sitting on my backside).😊

The next thing I know my buddy kicked the sole of one my boots, “Wake up, Dave. We need to start back.” I’d been asleep for an hour!

Thank God, I was able to stand. My strength had returned! Getting down the mountain turned out to be much easier than getting up it. This provided a fine opportunity for meditation on the move.

Have you ever had an experience that lined up with scripture word for word?

“Even those who are young grow weak; young men can fall exhausted. But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed.” — Isaiah 40:30-31 (GNT)

It’s deceptively easy to walk up a mountain–for real, or metaphorically–only to find yourself exhausted.

Jesus gets it…

“Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” — Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

Rest, THEN get back on the trail.






28 responses to “The Young Buck on Baldy Mountain”

  1. davidsdailydose Avatar

    So true, Dawn. God has strengthened me at just the right time over and over in my walk with Him. Thank you for stopping.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dawn Avatar

    I agree David, being outside in nature is always a nice way to connect with the Lord. Your post has reminded me how the Lord will give us strength for our journey. Thanks, and blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Yep. I’m still adventurous, but not quite so foolhardy. God was definitively the wind beneath my wings (feet) that day.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My Life in Our Father's World Avatar

    Ahhh….the energy & excitement of youth.

    I love how God speaks to us through nature. I have always enjoyed a good walk in the country or in the woods.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Tina Avatar

    Good point. 🙂 You’re right, Mount Doom can’t grow any taller.

    Thanks for the prayers and love, David. Back at ya. ❤🙏

    Liked by 2 people

  6. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Even Mount Doom can’t grow any taller. We will eventually get to the 🔝.

    Yes, I didn’t realize I’d overdone it until I overdid it, if that makes sense.

    God is great for week legs.

    Thanks for sharing, Tina. 🙏❤️ prayers and love.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tina Avatar

    Such an encouraging post for someone who feels like she’s been climing Mount Doom forever. At least when I get to the top I can enjoy the view and the way down will be easy peasy. That sounds really good. Glad God helped you down the mountain, David. It’s good to have the Lord as a guide and a rescuer. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  8. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you, Marie. Good bless you too!


  9. davidsdailydose Avatar

    You’re welcome, Bridget. Thank you !
    🙏❤️ prayers and love.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Bridget A. Thomas Avatar

    Thank you for sharing this. I found it very encouraging. We all face mountains in our lives. And often times, we try to cross them in our own strength. We need to need to remember to rely on our Heavenly Father and His strength.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Marie Avatar

    Great message. Loved the views you saw that day. Walking in God’s country and meditating on Him, can’t get any better than that. God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Amen, Gary. How does the old saying go? “A mans reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”

    Thank you, and God Bless.


  13. Gary Fultz Avatar

    Wow, Lots of memories came to mind but sure enjoyed yours. I’ve read that Isaiah 40 passage often through my life and with deeper understanding every time after biting off too much. I’m convinced there is only one cure for thinking we can do more than we can or thinking we are more than we are. Heaven.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. davidsdailydose Avatar

    It was the concept of meditating while on the move that intrigued me as well, Manu. Thank you for reading and sharing. 🙏❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Perth Girl Avatar

    I am not much a hiker but like to take a walk and worship God with music in my ears or pray as I walk. I like the description of hiking being moving meditation.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, brother Alan. We are on holiday from school today; that’s why I am so quick on the keyboard.

    “Obrigada” I will remember that!


  17. Alan Kearns Avatar

    What a great experience I just had reading your post David, I could hear the call of the eagles on the high thermals I am sure. It brought back many memories of walks over the years, and the spiritual blessings they brought. Thank you (“obrigada!” in Portuguese) brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Yes. I had these in an old photo album from that summer. All three pictures were scanned.
    The young man ,standing on the side of the mountain in the first photo, is me.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. pastorpete51 Avatar

    Love the photos. Just curious if these were snapshots you scanned into digital form.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Long walks both wear me out and quiet my heart, as well.

    Thanks, Pete. 🙏❤️


  21. pastorpete51 Avatar

    Rest then get back on the trail! Love that Dave and though my legs can’t take real hiking anymore I love walks that wear me out enough to quiet my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you, Manette. I read both in several translations, but settled on these two.

    I am grateful for your input, and for the way you delve into the scriptures in your posts.


    Liked by 1 person

  23. musingsofmanettekay Avatar

    David, I like the scripture selections, particularly from the versions you chose. They really are fitting.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. davidsdailydose Avatar

    It resonates with me as well. I am really impressed with Cori’s site.

    I’m more into long distance running these days, but her moving meditation idea struck a chord. I suppose you could call it medication 💊.

    🙏❤️ prayers and love. Thank you for stopping by!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Don't Lose Hope Avatar

    “Hiking is moving meditation: miles of opportunity for prayer and reflection on scripture.”
    What a great quote! As someone who hikes regularly, and loves to be in the mountains, this really resonates with me.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Merci, Betty. (I’m experimenting with new ways to say thank you).

    I really like Cori’s blog. She’s obviously been hiking, and writing, for awhile.


    Liked by 2 people

  27. Betty Avatar

    Both your post and Cori’s post are beautifully written. Nature is truly divine! Have a good week, David!

    Liked by 3 people

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