Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sky Watch - Twin Peaks, CA

We just got back from a trip to California with the kids.  While we were there we visited my home town town in Twin Peaks, California....and I took my kids hiking in the Strawberry Peak National Forest.  In 2007 a fire had climbed the mountainside up towards the peak, and I wasn't sure when we went out how much of the forest it would have claimed.   Our last trip was soon after the fire but it had been winter so we didn't hike very far in.  This time I took a trail all the way back to see if the big tree we used to hike out to see was still there.  On the way I was surprised by another result of the fire.  Where there had been no view to speak of, only forest, there was now this...

You could see all the way down the mountain, if not for the clouds! While the fire had taken many trees it had left a beautiful view in their place.

And, the fire had spared our favorite old tree. I was so happy to find this giant still there, and be able to show it to my kids. They were amazed at how big it was.

I learned after creating this post that  Klaus Peter, the person who had been the owner/maintainer of Skywatch, has passed away.  They asked that to honor his memory we dedicate our posts in his honor.  I think it might be fitting to leave the post as is, and only ad this...

When the fire ravaged our mountain it left scars -- houses gone, thousands of tall pine trees burnt to the ground.  It left ugliness where beauty had been.   But in the brief years following, the ashes gave way to new beauty and new growth.

Our trip out to California was not just to see treasured places and escape the Texas heat:  Our main reason for going was to visit my Dad, who's body and mind are giving way to Parkinsons.  Walking in that forest and seeing the beauty there...not in spite of, but in many ways because of, the fire which had taken so much...seemed a hopeful symbol of what our family was going through.  I hope that God brings the same hope to Klaus' family and loved ones.

When sorrow seems to surround you
When suffering hangs heavy oer your head
Know that tomorrow brings
Wholeness and healing

God gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

(From the song Beauty for Ashes, by Crystal Lewis - paraphrased)


  1. a fitting tribute post

  2. Anonymous6:58 PM

    A lovely post of strength and renewal.

  3. Beautiful post with such beautiful thoughts, words and photos. Thank you for sharing a piece of your life.

  4. It's a lovely tribute. I'm glad you were able to visit your father in California.

  5. Very beautiful photos for SWF and a very interesting post!Thank you for sharing and have a nice weekend!

  6. Nice post and your photos, too.


  7. Beautiful photos, and what an incredible tree! I'm sorry to hear about your dad.

  8. beautiful post with great words!

  9. It's very special if you can show one of your favorite things to your kids! Glad that giant tree was spared:)

  10. Beautiful pictures! Hopping over from Mrs4444. It's great that you could show your kids a little of your childhood.

    I'm a Californian living in Missouri. I guess that makes me a Calissourian or a Missofornian?

    Thanks for sharing a piece of my home state!

  11. Anonymous1:59 PM

    Lovely post. Also hopping over from Mrs4444. Great to be able to share your former bit of forest hiking with your children.

  12. Hope your dad is doing allright and it's good that you had such a nice trip!

    I came on over from Half past kissing time! Glad to "meet" ya and i hope to see you sometime on my blog! ;-)


  13. Beautiful pictures...beautiful words. And a fitting tribute.