Monday, December 27, 2010

The Road Block at Devil's Punch Bowl in Ramona

My excitement faded to disappointment as I approached the trail to Devil's Punch Bowl the morning before Christmas.  A large sign blocked the entrance to the trail with the words, "Road Closed."  Several of the people ignored the sign.  They walked around it and jumped over a large gorge that cut the trail due to five days of torrential rainfall.

My friend Doug, the local tennis pro, and his wife, Kim, who was nursing a broken arm, chose a path nearby that eventually linked up with the others in our group.  As we made the one mile descent, I shared how this hike is similar to the journey my wife and I are undertaking.  'Many obstacles, but always a way to surpass them,' I told Doug and Kim while we made our descent.

After hiking for about an hour, we reached another obstacle, another one created by Mother Nature.  The creek had transformed into a small river and it was flowing rapidly.  Doug's brother, Greg, another tennis pro in our town, offered his rope when I volunteered to check out a possible crossing point for the group.

'No rope needed,' I said as I stood in the middle of the ice-cold creek.  'We can do this if we proceed with caution.'

Slowly, each member of the group waded through the rough water.  Greg carried the younger hikers to keep them dry.  We crossed the meandering creek two more times in order to reach our final destination.  As I approached the Devil's Punchbowl, I thought, most people would have given up when they saw the first road block.  I remembered saying to Greg's daughter before deciding to cross the creek, 'all things are possible.'  Jessica recognized the quote and finished it, ..."all things are possible...with God."  Suddenly, the raging waters appeared less daunting and we moved forward to our destination.

The obstacles we faced on that morning hike are similar to the ones we encounter in our lives.  Adversity is meant to be confronted.  No matter how big the barrier, remember this...with God, all things are possible.

Here is a video clip of Devil's Punchbowl, a 90 ft waterfall located in Ramona.  Five miles beyond this waterfall is a 300 ft waterfall I did not know existed until one of the hikers pointed it out.  When I complete this book I will take a full day off and enjoy this hidden wonder.  I never would have know about it if I had turned around at the first road block.

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