I am blessed to live where I do. All around me are some of the most beautiful and unique natural places. Places that I find wonder and joy. Places that bring me peace. Places that lift my spirit up.
Places…that I call Church.
I try to go to Church on a regular basis. It has become a huge part of my life and who I am. And so, you can frequently find me at Church.
It is in Church where all things seem possible. Where the stresses from every day life melt away. Where quiet contemplation and reflection remind me of what is most important in my life and where gratitude replaces fear.
It is here at Church where I feel closest to my heart and to my soul.
It is here where I feel free. It is here where I find grace.
And it is here where I lose and find myself.
Over and over and over again…at Church.
I tried to get to Devil’s Gulch last year, but along the way I was distracted by Ritterbush Pond and never made it any further.
This year, I was determined to hike there and to see this unique natural feature on the Long Trail near Belvedere Mountain.
It was a beautiful day when we set out. Ritterbush Pond appeared, and we did linger there for awhile. How could we not? The calm reflective waters invite lingering.
But it was Devil’s Gulch that was our destination. The trail there is deceiving. It travels down instead of up. Down, down, down. Deep into a narrow valley.
A ladder leaning up against a rock face is the first clue that there is more to this place than meets the eye.
At the top of the ladder you look down into the gulch. Devil’s Gulch. I expected something dark and sinister. But what I saw seemed more like an entrance to a magical and enchanted place. An opening into another time and dimension. It captured my heart immediately and completely.
Huge rocks and boulders lay scattered about before me. Some resting precariously and others seemed as if they had been there forever.
Thickly coated in emerald green moss and lichen. Tree roots embracing and holding them in place.
An altar appeared. Made of rocks and moss. It felt almost church like. And I wondered why. Why was this beautiful place named Devil’s Gulch?
As the sunlight filtered through the overhead trees and we explored this captivating place, I realized it didn’t matter why. To me, it felt more like Heaven’s Gulch.
A place of serenity, peace…and a little bit like heaven.