Technically, the students came for hiking camp. So we did a little hiking on the second day. We left with backpacks full of water (at least the Americans did) and our lunches and off we traveled. We walked about 1.5 miles or so to get to the trail head just on the outside of the town of Rabka (where the camp is). We then trekked about another 2 miles through two small towns to get to the bottom of the mountain.
The scenery was beautiful and breathtaking.
We then hit the actual trailhead and began our ascent. We hiked up and up and up and traversed boulders and changed scenery for the next few hours and quite a few more miles…
all to catch a glimpse of the view from the top. It was marvelous.
I felt like we could see for miles. I for sure sweated through my shirt. At the top we regrouped and one of our students, Eric, gave his testimony. It was a nice time of reflection and rest before we began the trek down the mountain.
Then began the descent, and we had a long way to go. Along the way we made sure to take plenty of breaks, visit with a local pregnant dog/mutt, pretend we were sound of music in a field, learn to count to 10 in Polish, and
get lost! Yes, the small group I was with missed a turn somewhere along the way and ended up adding a few more miles to our already lengthening trek. In total I think we ended up doing about 13 miles (a few more than the promised 12km).
We missed a turn by the railroad tracks and went up this long hill trying to find the next trail marker only to realize it was someone’s driveway. Oops. So we kept walking along the road until we found a town. We figured there at least we might could get some help. Off in the distance we saw a large steeple and thought, let’s go there because that should be the center of town. It took a while but when we made it to the church, we realized we were in Rabka, and we were overcome with gratitude. I probably had a tear in my eye (or 2) knowing that we at least made it back to the town. Even with our extra time out on the trail, we stayed positive and really did enjoy our first day of hiking (and the 2 ice creams (lody) some of our group had once we reach town probably helped too).
This picture is of the mountain (off in the distance) we hiked to and climbed up from the sidewalk right out in front of our camp.
I’ll have you know, even with all of our triathlon training, I have never hiked 12 miles, run 12 miles or trained for 12 miles… But the Lord is faithful, no matter the task.