Renewal in the American River Canyon

This past week I discovered yet another beautiful facet of northern California - the American River Canyon. A few weeks ago I bought a Falcon Guide at Barnes and Noble called Best Easy Day Hikes: Sacramento. One of the hikes listed is the "Mountain Quarry Railroad Trail" in the Auburn State Recreation Area. I had been wanting to run on this trail but never found the right opportunity.

Wednesday morning I went to watch Laura Camille at her week-long soccer camp. While there I met and had a great conversation with a guy from our church. We talked about "guy stuff" and when I left the park I just couldn't bring myself to go directly to the office. I was really sensing that I just needed some process time...and I needed it outdoors! So, I dropped by the house quickly, picked up the Falcon Guide and my camera and headed "up the hill" to Auburn. Once I began to descend into the canyon in my car I could already feel myself being refreshed and renewed by the scenery around me. I parked, found the trailhead and began about an hour and a half journey that my soul had been so thirsty for experiencing.

We just finished the second week of a new sermon series (and art gallery) entitled "God's Good Earth." We have been hearing and singing about our role as inhabitants, stewards, and recipients of so many incredible riches in God's good creation. In less than two hours in a beautiful, natural setting my mind and soul felt so refreshed. I couldn't capture enough images. The whole time I was going "Wow, that's gorgeous!" I took the trail down to the American River and followed the old railroad trail, passing old trestle abutments now overgrown with oak scrub and inscribed with the dates they were poured - 1915, 1921. The trip was one of natural and historical discovery.

Sometimes we simply need to create space for reflection and discovery in God's good creation. We were created with a innate rhythm for labor and rest. When was the last time you took an outdoor "sabbath" for your soul? Maybe it's time.

Interesting fact...the hightest bridge in the photo above is the location of Vin Diesel's "car launch" in one one of early scenes of the movie "XXX" (Columbia Pictures, 2002).


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