Called to Serve

We have loved traveling and being with family for the past two years but we felt the call to serve another mission so here we are in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania for the next year.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Best Two (Hiking) Days of My Mission

For several months I have been looking forward to going on a Boonie Stomp that was scheduled for this Saturday then President Dowdle mentioned that he was going with a group that was climbing Mount LamLam on Friday. He saw my eyes light up and invited me to go along. The group was a bunch of church employees from the service/distribution center in Guam that have been working on their fitness and this was one of their goals.

We traveled to the Southern part of the Island to start the hike. Mount LamLam is 1,332 feet above sea level but from where we started hiking we only had to climb 750 feet in elevation to make it to the top. Mount LamLam is the highest point on Guam, and measured from the bottom of the Marianas Trench to the top of Mount LamLam makes this the largest gain in elevation on Earth, approx 38,300 feet. So I guess we climbed the tallest mountain on earth, no oxygen required!

The route follows another trail that goes to an adjacent peak
that has a display of several crosses at the top so our trail
had markers of the stations of the cross.

Other than the first quarter mile, that was very
steep, the trail was gradual and easy to climb.

We turned North and entered a jungle area
before the final climb to the summit

Pandanus tree & fruit.

Bill Davis, the service center director and
our fearless leader, is on the left.

The final climb to the top.

The top at last! Only took about 1.5 hrs.

Bill raised the Guam flag and we all paused for a snack.

This is towards the West, can you see the Philippines?

We could even see the Northern coastline
in the distance, and beyond that are
the Northern Marianas and Japan.

To the South is Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Back through the jungle.

The adjacent peak with a display of crosses.

I then drove home, cleaned up, and got back to the office by 1 PM. I love Guam. You can be in a beautiful remote area in the morning and get back to work by the afternoon. That evening we went to the Dededo Ward Boy Scout fund raising dinner and both ate way too much. My head hit the pillow and before I knew it, it was time to get up and get ready for Saturday's Boonie Stomp.

The Guam Boonie Stomp organization has been perfect for me. They have an organized hike each Saturday and go to all sorts of interesting places that I would never have gone to on my own. I have gone on one hike almost every month we have been on the island. This Saturday the hike was from Gun Beach North along the coast under Two Lovers Point ... and it was spectacular.

Gun Beach is named for (duh) a WWII
Japanese gun that is still pointed out to sea.

We hiked along the beach towards the Two lovers
Point lookout until there was no more beach.

It was low tide but there were still some places where
we had to walk through up to 8 inches of water. All
the mud from the previous day's hike magically
disappeared from my shoes.

In several places the surf has eroded the base of the cliff
and formed a ledge just wide enough to walk on
and avoid much deeper treacherous water.

The path is not slippery since the volcanic rock is sharp and jagged.

A beautiful view on a beautiful day.

Even with some moss the pathway was not slippery.

As on Friday, I made it home by noon and have been able to post this blog, help clean the apartment, wash clothes, and finish working on a talk for church tomorrow. Two great hikes on two beautiful days on this beautiful island. The best two hiking days of my mission.

I'm not counting the days till we leave, I'm ready to stay longer!

1 comment:

Evan Excell said...

Sounds like a great diversion from the routine. We, tow, are not counting the days until the release. We are loving our time in Boston.

E/S Excell