Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Surpassed agendas at Holden Village

We've all got agendas, right?  Even when we're on vacation there are usually things we want to accomplish.  I had five agenda items for my visit to Holden Village that were all met or surpassed.

Rainbow trout at Holden Lake
1.  Relax and recharge.  I finished up 27 years working with the Kinship mentoring program recently, 21 as the executive director of Kinship of Greater Minneapolis.  I was needing to charge the batteries.  At Holden I was able to read, relax (including a hot tub with view of the mountains), enjoy wholesome food (yummy fresh baked bread), and even get in some successful trout fishing in a mountain lake. . Just being a part of the Holden community was inspiring.

Harvest moon via blind contour
2.    Renew.  I was looking to nurish the soul. This was acheived from attending  interesting classes while at Holden, including studies with Diane Jacobson, from Luther Seminary and Susan Briehl, an inspiring Lutheran pastor.  Daily evening vespers and morning matins were also part of the village experience. Much to my surprise, my favorite class was lead by a wildlife biologist, artist and nature writer, Heather Wallis-Murphy.  She diminished our inhibitions of drawing and painting by teaching us to draw blind contours.  This requires quickly sketching by only looking at the subject and not the paper. It was a great way to get the artistic juices flowing.  I translated this exercise with my camera by doing a freehand picture of the full moon.  I simply spelled out love in cursive while my camera's exposure of the moon was still open.

10 Mile Creek
3.  Take Pictures.  As evidenced in this blog, I was having a blast taking pictures.  Thanks be to God for digital photography.  I snapped 785 shots while at Holden and another 50 or so on the train ride home.  In days to come I'll be posting pictures from the trail.  There were times the beauty literally just about took my breath away.  The weather was mostly ideal, with highs in the 60's. The fall colors were in full regalia.  I was pleased to meet a new friend, Chip Mays, who also wanted to take pictures. We experimented with camera settings and had fun taking pictures of some of the mountains and the many waterfalls around the village. 

Well worn boots
4.  Breaking in boots.   I had a new pair of boots that had been sitting looking rather forlorn for years in my basement.  I was eager to get them finally broken in. It seems they weren't to be broken easily.  I had a couple of toe nails that ended up bruised, but I was able to avoid blisters.  My biggest hike, to Upper Lyman Glacier, I used my running shoes.  These worked well, save for the long trek on some rather sharp rocks. While fishing at Holden Lake I walked in the water with my boots to retrieve a lure.  Hiking back to the village with wet boots added the final touch to their breaking in ;-) 

Renewed trail to Honeymoon Heights
5.  Hiking.  I did a lot of hiking.  Some of the trails I went on included Monkey Falls, 10 Mile Creek, Copper Falls, Holden Lake (3xs), Honeymoon Heights, Hart Lake, and the granddaddy of them all, Upper Lyman Lake.  In addition to hiking I was pleased to work with volunteers from the Washington Trails Association on the trail to Honeymoon Heights (pictured right).  This was a fun group of volunteers that works hard to maintain trails throughout the state for others to enjoy.  I would highly recommend volunteering time with them.  It was a blast.

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