Close Encounters

In Big Sur there is a popular hiking trail called Valley View. It goes up the mountain ridge and then gives you a stunning view of the valley and the ocean beyond. However, the viewpoint is usually crowded with guests jockeying for the best photo-op.

At the beginning of the summer, I found a giant tree near the end of the trail that I would climb that gave me the exact same view and a lot of privacy.

This is where I went for almost all my quiet time, and it was here that I had almost all of my close encounters with God. I remember one specifically where I was reading the ACMNP devotional and it quoted the second stanza in the hymn “How Great Thou Art.” It was so amazing because I was quite literally living what the song was saying.

Close Encounters

From my tree, I could look down from the grandeur of the mountain, in the middle of a forest glade filled with songbirds, and listen to the breeze and the babbling Big Sur River a few feet away. I don’t believe I have ever so honestly exclaimed to God “How Great Thou Art!”

Kate L., Big Sur State Park, 2015

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