It was a step back in time. Chronologically. Physically.
As I drove to the National Park, I passed into the Mountain Time Zone – a chronological 60 minutes into the past. But it was more than that. I passed the 1880 Town – a true west town that exists to allow those who (those who pay in the certain months they are open) with Indian artifacts, and more.
It was interesting to see the prominent place the saloon and the church north places hold in the town. Just spirits in an ongoing battle I guess. That was the same then as it is now.
The day started wonderfully. Cold, before freezing but clear and crisp. The sunrise was at my back as I drove west. Snow was scattered in drifts and piles everywhere.
As I pull into the park, a coyote ran across my path and disappeared into the brush. Though most wildlife was sleeping warmly underground, I did see some deer on the walk – and evidence of other wildlife.
The area made me think of Dancing with Wolves – spread out, lonely (I saw one person on the trails), and beautiful.
All trails started icy, solid, crunchy. As temperatures rose, it turned to slushy, mushy, muddy. Very muddy. Snow drifts were on the trail that were solid when frozen but your feet sunk 2 feet down over the ice warmed up.
Did mention Muddy … I learned a lesson …
LESSON – this is IMPORTANT
The mud. It was obvious, mostly. And the slippage was very real . But the mud that got me and caused those ‘whoa’ moments was the mud hidden under a dried covering of clay. It looked dry. It looked okay upon which to place your weight – but Noooo. Major slippage.
Sin is like that. Oh, it’s easy to avoid temptations when you can discern it clearly. But it’s the hidden traps, the areas you think are safe – then you slip and can even fall really fast and really hard. My trusty trekking poles kept me from it on the mud, but in my spiritual walk – sometimes it’s a big ‘whoa’!
I’m glad I made it here. I’m glad I had this experience. Gods is an artistic creator and nature declares His glory. But that Durant have to be at big places like The Badlands – it’s right where you are too . A sunrise. A slow falling snow. The glow from a fire. The smile of a grandchild. God’s glory is everywhere.
In the end – a few final thoughts –
My shoes got muddier than my car. This was a true muddy shoes experience.
The end of the trail is not the end – keep exploring – keep the adventure going.
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