What's Tony Thinking

Back from the Mountains, Back to the News


Enjoyed a wonderful three day backpacking trip with son, Nick, and grandson, Levi (age 8) over the weekend. We went into the Eagle Cap Wilderness from the Two Pan trailhead, up the west fork of the Minam River to Minam Lake. On Saturday we went a little higher up to beautiful Blue Lake. Here are a couple photos.

The first is the view from our campsite. The second is an 11″ trout Nick caught, and returned to the Lake. The reproduction here doesn’t get the whole photo or fish, but you can see the beautiful markings. The third photo is of the sunset on the lake on Saturday evening.

I slept “out,” which means, without a tent. I did that for two reasons. One is to reduce the amount I carry in a pack. The other is to enjoy the stars. It was a good plan, and the stars were amazing, except that it dropped below freezing on the second night. I’m not sure a tent would have kept me a lot warmer. Out under the stars was beautiful, but pretty damn cold.

Then I came back to the news. Including Trump’s use of the White House (a.k.a. the people’s house) as a prop for his re-election campaign. Let’s see, what hasn’t he used? Not much. The Bible. A church. Mt. Rushmore. Today, Kenosha, Wisconsin.

And the news of a Trump caravan in Portland, Oregon confronting protestors with one person, a counter-protester, getting shot and killed. As I noted in a previous post, this is a nation stuffed to the gills with firearms. And a lot of the folks who’ve been stockpiling weapons and ammo have probably been getting pretty itchy trigger fingers. You only have guns around for so long before they get used.

I think Joe Biden is taking the right approach in implicating Trump as the prime sower of the seeds of division and mayhem. Certainly not the cure for the same. But I worry if anyone can be the cure. Biden’s on the right track to speak of “lowering the nation’s temperature.” But that will take a lot more than a couple aspirin or whatever their political equivalent may be.

Anyhow, coming back to the news kind of makes you want to head back into the mountains.

But it also makes me want to cling more firmly to faith. I had a nice conversation this morning with one of my good friends in faith, Rick Floyd. Based on his own experienced of a traumatic brain injury that forced his retirement from ministry, a decade of being pretty sick, and now a new chapter of life and health, grandchildren, and (like me) a daughter in ministry, he lays hold of a great affirmation of faith you hear in the black church, “our God makes a way out of no way.”

It’s hard now with Trump, the right-wing, and the COVID pandemic to see the way forward. Many days it can look like there is no way. We’re at the foot of the cross not seeing any way to Sunday. But God makes a way. A way out of no way. Trust this.


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