Desert Rat Ranger
The River Rat Ranger has been off line for almost a month. There have been inquiries by phone, email, and on the blog, even one from a Ranger Reader and fellow blogger in Malaysia! But now the truth can be told:
Mrs. RRR and I have since May sought to make a retreat to the wilderness to seek physical healing and spiritual renewal. May was when we found my Hepatitis C had returned despite the year on chemotherapy. We had two ideas of destinations, one was to head North to the Alaskan wilderness, the other to go south to Big Bend Texas to the deep desert.
On Tuesday, June 7th this quote was part of our daily devotions: “While the world rushes headlong to its doom with its fingers in its ears, the Lord says to His own, 'Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place and rest a while' (Gospel of St. Mark, 6:31)”. The die was cast and we sat our eyes on one of the last wild, empty spots in the continental United States. The experience changed both of us. Over the next weeks I will write in detail of the adventure. In a way the story starts in the 1830's.
A famous mountain man upon whose life the movie Jeremiah Johnson is based, is said to have spent much of his time scaling mountains in the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone Park regions and there would stand with the beauty of creation spread before him and shout to the Creator, “Almighty God, look at what you made!”. Likewise, several weeks ago, after a trek on foot through burning desert, I stood in the pool below a waterfall and with the water from the rock pounding down on me like hail, raised my arms to heaven and shouted with tears running down my face, “Almighty God, look at what you made!” Should I not be healed and Hepatitis claim me tomorrow, I will recognize him in an instant as the one into whose face I looked that day. That moment validated the whole journey for the both of us. You will read more about our trip as time goes on.