Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Amphitheater

So a lot happened in the last two days. I left Bend, OR a little later than anticipated, because of hanging out with Jack and getting my stuff together. I ended up leaving right after 12 o'clock. The high desert was not what I expected. I'll be honest, I don't know what I expected really, but what I rode through was definitely not what I thought of. Well they were calling for rainstorms. Any person with eyes could have seen there was supposed to be rain. I don't really know what happened. I had a 60 mile day planned, and riding it out in the rain sounded terrriiibbllle. Here is the deal with the high desert. Once, you climb the initial 4 mile climb up to the plateau, the only thing up there is little brush plants and mountains in the far, far distance. If you have never been in a truly flat area, you don't understand what a rain storm looks like in this description.

Let me paint you a picture.
You are on a road. The road stretches as far as you can see forward, and as far as you can see backwards. There are no turns. There are no buildings. There are random mountains in the distance and that is it. Because of this, you can also see every single cloud in every single direction. Kinda scary sounding? no? Now imagine turning around and there is a cloud that is almost literally black. This cloud starts on the ground and shoots up as high as you can see. It goes on infinitely to both sides. It is a giant wall of greys and blacks. You can see where the rain is an opaque sheet falling from the clouds. Now you goal is to outrun this cloud. You only have one direction to outrun it. Forward. Forward into a cloud almost equally impressive, with the same amount of waterfall falling from it. All you want is to not get rained on so you pray that it doesn't. You pray like crazy for 4 straight hours that it doesn't hit you.

You catch up to the cloud in front of you. The cloud splits a 10 minutes ride away from you. The ground is still wet from downpour, there are still puddles flooding the side of the road. The right split disappears. The left side split drifts further North. You never get wet. You bike another hour. Turn around, the giant wall of death rain is now following the other cloud to the North. All you can see is a sky that could end all skies. A blue deeper than any body of water. Snow capped mountains within miles on both sides of where you are standing.

I talked to a guy named Tone (short for atonement). He called it The Amphitheater. Everything is magnified. Everything is bigger. It is beautiful. It is aptly named.
The sunset looked like a wall of fire. The death cloud was back-lit in reds, oranges, and yellows that would put a Clemson sunset to shame. I read some Psalms out loud. Shouted them too. Such a beautiful thing. There is no reverb to any noise you make, no echos. Every sound is swallowed up. It was intimidating and incredible.

O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise,
of you enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet:
all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Psalm 8

That was only a picture that my feeble attempts at writing could produce. Words couldn't describe it. I set up my hammock and rain-fly in an empty horse fence on the side of the road. The stars looked like powdered sugar. No ambient light in 60 miles in any direction. The only thing brighter than the stars was the moon, the size of a bowling ball.

So I had a great nights sleep. Until I woke up. I woke up to 30 degrees and snowing. That was miserable. I should have slept in the tent. Everything I owned was pretty wet. I started biking the 70 miles for the day. It stayed around 35 degrees all day. It rained. It snowed. It hailed. It was pretty miserable. I tried to hitch a ride several times, but I don't think the beard was helping me much, cause no one stopped. So I gutted it out, (while contemplating what life without fingers would look like) and made it to a truck stop about 25 miles from Burns, OR. I took a two hour hiatus from biking and drank a couple hot chocolates, took a nap, got a little dry. I got my dad to get me a hotel for the night in Burns. If I had camped tonight, I would have frozen to death, everything was so wet. As soon as I left the truckstop, of course the weather was beautiful. It was giant blue skies and huge puffy white clouds (blueberry skies and marshmallow clouds). The weather here is so jacked up. Anyways. I am now sitting in my hotel room with my entire trip draped on anything I could hook it on, with the heater set on the inferno setting. I am tired, but feel great.

Life is lukewarm. Crank dat heat up.


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  2. Hi Daniel, My previous post was too darned long so I pulled it. Just want you to know that there is an anthem "The Majesty and Glory of Your Name" by Tom Fettke that you can listen to on youtube. Mostly from Psalm 8. Thanks for blogging...I am in awe at your tenacity, I am praying for your safety and I am totally enjoying your adventure. Hope Fletcher is better soon. I love you so much!!! Aunt Karen

  3. Hey Dkal,

    Sick Sick Sick DKal! Sounds like some Tony Evans Sermon Jam with Little Linda action, I LOVE IT! There is power in calling on the Name of the Lord!