Mountain High

My wife and I set out on an adventure going from Salmon, Idaho to Dillon, Montana. Separating the two towns was the formidable Rocky Mountains. To get there we were to travel the Lehmi Trail used by Lewis and Clark to cross the Rockies. It was an ancient route used by Shoshone Native Americans to go from their home range in Idaho to the plains of Montana to hunt buffalo. As a young Lehmi Shoshone girl named Sagaweea had traveled it. For that reason she knew of it and later led the Lewis and Clark expedition on the way west.

We soon found out why it is still called a trail. It didn’t qualify to be called a road. About an hour out on the trail I noticed there were no car tracks and I soon learned why. At points the trail which was one vehicle wide ran along cliff edges with dramatic drop offs. Belatedly I realized it was not wise to travel it.

When we finally topped out we were captivated by the vista that lay before us. How thrilling it must have been for the Shoshone each time they looked at the Montana plane teaming with buffalo. They hunted there and took their store of meat back to Salmon at no little effort. It was a supplement to their salmon diet.

On the summit was a small National Park of only a few acres with a picnic area. In the park we were amazed to find a small spring with water trickling down the mountains. I stood with a foot on each side for a reason. That trickle flows into the Jefferson River which flows into the Yellowstone River which flows into the Missouri River, which flows into the Mississippi River and into the Gulf of Mexico. I can say I stood with one of my feet on each bank of the Mississippi.

I was reminded of a story I heard when living in New Orleans. A young man was seen running across a wharf and jumping as far as possible into the Mississippi River. He swam back and did it not once but three times more. When asked why he was doing it he said he was offered $10,000 if he could jump across the river. When assured that was an impossibility he said he thought so, but it was too good of an offer not to try.

Had he only known that if he had gone further north it was small enough he could have jumped it.

That comparison has lived with me. There are some offers too good not to try. We often frustrate ourselves by not thinking of how to accomplish things.

“Seek” is still good advice. Show me how Lord is a good appeal. Don’t give up on that daunting challenge facing you without a trial. The trail may be challenging and the mountain high, but try.

Perseverance is often a cause for success, therefore, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)     

Keep jumping.