Katie struggled to secure her hiking bag on her back. It was heavy with the weight of her blow dryer and curling iron. No one in her family had mentioned that she would not be able to use these items on their trip up Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Katie’s little brother Jeffrey snickered at her. He was enjoying watching her suffer. She pulled out a mirror in an attempt to keep her make-up in place.
“I still don’t see why we couldn’t have gone somewhere civilized.” she whined.
“Then would we would miss seeing the beauty of God’s creation”, said her father after taking a drink from his canteen. Katie’s mother was snapping a picture of him and he made a very manly rustic face for the camera.
She turned the camera towards Katie.
“Ah, don’t take a picture of me now. I look horrible!” She covered her face with her hands while Jeffrey put his arm around her, sticking out his tongue.
“Great family memories”, her mother sighed putting away her camera and picking up her hiking bag.
“Well gang, let’s move on”, her father declared loudly. “We should be at the top soon. Ahhh…smell that pine. We have a great God!” Katie rolled her eyes as they all began to move, her bringing up the rear. Her dad had to bring God into everything. It must be at least twenty times a day that he uses the statement “We have a great God”, and it drove her crazy.
She swatted at some mosquitoes thinking about how horrible this vacation was. All her friends got to go places where they enjoyed hotels, shopping, and room service. Yet, every summer her family spent their vacation camping and hiking in some God forsaken wilderness.
“We will all probably die of starvation, or be eaten alive by bears or...mosquitoes.” She complained under her breath, slapping her hand down on her leg killing one and almost losing her balance in the process.
“Having trouble beauty queen?” Jeffrey mocked a few dozen feet ahead of her. She gave him an evil look, making him run to catch up to his parents. She could not help that she was gorgeous. Pulling out her brush from her pack, she attempted to brush her now very tangled long blond strands, while walking. She almost ran into her family who had stopped. They were standing at a dead end with nothing but massive faces of grey rock.
“Now where do we go?” she said in a sarcastic tone.
“Straight up”, her dad pointed and Katie’s eyes followed the vertical face of the rock that seemed to go on forever. A very narrow path zigzagged up, and had metal poles attached to help hikers keep their balance.
“You have got to be kidding me?”
“Nope, get ready for a climb, campers. Isn’t this scenery amazing? We have a great God!” Her dad led the start of the steep climb.
“I’m going to die”, Katie said to herself as her fingers touched the first metal pole. She held onto it with all her might.
“Don’t look down”, she whispered glancing toward the bottom after just a few minutes climb. They were climbing higher and higher. Her Dad was yelling encouraging comments down that she was trying to ignore. All she could see was Jeffrey’s backside. She could feel her mascara running down her face. It seemed to go on for hours.
“Just a few more poles!” her Dad shouted down to them. She was breathing hard when they finally reached the top and rounded the last boulder.
A cool breeze hit her face and her mouth fell open at the scene before her. Katie looked down on the beautiful Yosemite Valley shining in the sun. Giant waterfalls bounced over rocky cliffs, splashing to the depths below. The enormous mountains in the valley shimmered with bright colors of green and purple. The trees danced in the wind and she saw grand eagles and hawks soaring on the fresh mountain air.
It was the most beautiful thing that Katie had ever seen. Her eyes filled with tears as she wondered at the beauty of God’s creation. She bet that none of her friends had seen anything as lovely in their fancy hotels behind cable televisions.
“So what do you think honey?” her dad placed his arm around her, gazing at the wondrous view. Smiling her mother reached for the camera.
“Its great”, Katie said.
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