Golden Autumn

Each fall we head out to see the aspen trees. This year my husband, youngest son and I found another favorite spot to add to our tradition. I’ll get to that in a bit. For now I’ll will share the photos of the aspens in the Hope Valley area of California off HWY 88.

All of our usual places to stop and wander were glorious as usual, but this year we headed home a different way. We took the turnoff toward South Lake Tahoe through Myers. We decided to visit Fallen Leaf Lake off of HWY 89 toward Emerald Bay. We have heard great things about this area, but never imagined this kind of beauty! We have missed out on this treat for far too long.

I had been in this area years ago while visiting Angora Lake (I need to go again), but had never explored this lake (Fallen Leaf) and it’s surroundings. Thankfully, we traveled too far up the road from where we should have turned. We saw meadows and aspens and horses in ideal settings. Sometimes missing your turnoff yields fruitful results.

We found the day-visitor parking lot (one spot left) and headed up a short trail to the lake. We were amazed at the vibrant scene before us. The water and sky, deepest of blues, and bright golden aspens tucked into impressive pockets to stun the eye and fulfill their glorious purpose.

It was our intent to walk around and explore a bit. This was our last stop after an already fully satisfying day so we didn’t anticipate spending a whole lot of time here. Thankfully, we readily tossed our intentions aside and spent a couple of hours walking on trails in and around the lake.

We crossed over the dam to a wonderland of trees and trails. We just kept walking, unable to part with our surroundings.

We came across an enormous chimney that stood in the middle of a rock foundation. You can see the scale of its size if you are able to spot my son sitting on the ledge in the middle of it (hint: He’s in the second chimney photo).

There was a spooky cabin, long abandoned, that would have made the perfect holiday lodging.

Against my advice we took a different trail and what ended up being the LONG WAY AROUND back to the car. We even needed to walk across the creek over a huge log in order to get where we needed to go. These moments are the most fun and memorable.

No doubt, the story will be told three different ways, but I get to tell my side first 😂. I suppose if they had listened to me we wouldn’t have had the extra adventure.

A perfect day with fun companions, to be sure!

He Never Leaves (updated post with song attached)

I wrote the verses to this song (video at the end of this post) some time ago. I found Psalm 13 in the midst of constructing this song and that is where the chorus and bridge/ending came about. I have written honestly about feeling alone and wondering where God is in times of darkness. At the same time I deeply desire that God be glorified.

Read the words of this Psalm and see how David runs to God for his foundation when all seems lost. Whatever path we walk, may we choose as David did to trust in God’s mercy and rejoice in His salvation. He will never leave or forsake us.

How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O LORD my God; enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed against him;” lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in Your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 13

He is All-Powerful God. He could bring us up and out of our difficulties in an instant. It is not easy to reconcile when He allows us to walk through the dark valleys, but here He lovingly displays His mercy in rescuing us from dependence on anything that we may value or lean on above Him. Our brokenness forces us to walk in His strength. We need not despair when we come to the end of our own resources, we need only to know that wheat remains is eternal. He hears our cries and draws us nearer to Him. God knows that our only hope of peace is our total dependence on Him. He in His wisdom allows for us to come to that conclusion – leading us to the abundant life He came to give.