Widening the trail(s)

trail maintenance 1.jpg

Echoes did a service project in the Mt Baker area yesterday. I was pumped to sign up for this one because it is my favorite fall hike: Yellow Aster Butte. A section of the trail had been wiped out due to a slide this winter. The trail maintenance crew of the previous day had cut out the path, and our job was to widen it. This entailed cutting back the brush on the upslope, then using grub hoes to cut into the slope and eventually level out the path. After a fair bit of work, the trail became wide enough to traverse, helping people to enjoy creation a bit more safely. And, the more people who enjoy the backcountry, the more who will strive to protect it. Hikers of all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities passed us yesterday as we dug in the dirt and moved rocks, most of them thanking us as they moved up the trail.

The work was enjoyable, the sun and breeze rejuvenating, the view of Baker spectacular, and the camaraderie encouraging.  


Today Echoes hosted a booth at Bellingham Pride. In a way, it's another widening of trail. Four churches and a center for spirituality had a booth. All of us were communicating in our own ways that the path on which God is found (or, more likely, the path on which God finds us) is probably wider than most of us think. The Echoes booth received a fair amount of attention because we were offering glitter tattoos. People requested hearts, stars, rainbows, wings, and the occasional name to be temporarily tattooed onto cheeks, hands or arms, illuminated by neon glitter. It was a privilege to be welcomed into the personal space of so many others, sharing paths, ever so briefly.

The work was enjoyable, the sun and breeze rejuvenating, the people-watching remarkable, and the camaraderie encouraging.