Wednesday, October 10, 2007

View From the Mountain Top

View From the Mountain Top, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
This past weekend my dad and I enjoyed another festival. We drove down to our cabin Friday evening, and attended the West Virginia State Forest Festival in Elkins, WV. There were funnel cakes, corn dogs, crafts, quilts, locally grown foods, and plenty of parades to be enjoyed by all. But interestingly, that wasn't the highlight of our time.

It was really hot Saturday afternoon (I think it may have been a record high for the area), so instead of standing in the hot sun for the whole afternoon, we decided to walk along the parade route when it started. The grand feature parade of the festival lasts up to 2.5 hours. So we walked along and probably saw 1/3-1/2 of it, and then headed back to our cabin.

You see the owner of the property had told us about a couple of cool places to see, so we made it a point to go check em out. Our cabin is just inside the Monongahela National Forest, and there is a road near our cabin that takes a person to the top of Bickle Knob. You drive on a narrow gravel road for several miles along the edge of a steep hillside, and it is simply a beautiful area. I think we passed 3 or 4 other cars on the road. (that part wasn't so fun).

But we were able to look out at any moment and see the valley spread out below us. And then, we finally made it to Bickle Knob. The knob is the site of an old fire tower, so folks could see and respond to fires breaking out in the forest. Bickle Knob's elevation is 4020 ft, and the firetower probably takes a person another 75 ft in the air. It's really cool because not only is the line of site clear all the way around you, you can see really far away too.

There's something about big views that leaves us in awe. Sunday night, at h2o, I couldn't help but think about this as we talked about the tower of babel. Those folks were attempting to build a tower into the heavens, but the intention of their heart was a little different than the folks who built the bickle knob fire tower.

There's something else that amazes me about this area. This view was convienently hidden out a road my family has driven by dozens of times. Again, it seems like there are treasures all around us if we only take the time to look. Maybe the best thing we folks could do is to take a little break from our regimen of productivity from time to time, and blaze a trail somewhere. When I look back on my fairly short life, the moments that have been most defining have been the ones that have put me out of my routine.

So what can you do today to shake up your routine a bit and explore? Maybe you need to drive out a country road, but maybe it starts for you by a conversation with a stranger. Or maybe, it starts by stepping out of the routine to spend some time with the Creator of the universe. Will you call time out from the rat race for just a little while? It may give you the perspective you crave.


BigMama said...

I absolutely love those "big views."

I'll never, ever forget going camping in VT with my family when I was in high school. We were at a surprisingly quiet campground. Not a lot of people or other distractions. It was dusk and our family was probably playing Skipbo at a picnic table outside. It eventually got too dark, but being in a large field, we all just laid down on the ground and just looked up. It was magnificent. Almost our entire field of vision was just SKY. There was very little light pollution there, so we could just soak in the beauty of the night sky.

I don't know if I've ever experienced that majesty of God in such a tangible manner.

Anonymous said...


sorry about that day..there were family and logistical issues..none the less...your picture just me...HOME


Seth said...


Just wanted you to know that I have attached your blog to my "blogs you may want to read" section on my blog. I always feel "invested in" after I read your posts. Take care friend.

Pam and Mike said...

It's the "Mountain State Forest Festival"....not WV State Forest Festival. Sorry...I lived in Elkins and was part of it for a long time and just had to make that correction.

BigMama said...

BTW, I wanted to let you know that I chose your blog as one that was a large encouragement to me. Posted about it on 10/13 at my blog.

Thanks for your discipleship!