**Everything in italics are journal entries I made during the trip.**
The Night Before
When I finally committed to this camping trip, I started to feel a lot of negative emotions and discouraging thoughts went through my head. I felt like I was being dragged down into a depression again. It made me wonder if these were signs to not go since everything felt like it was telling me no. But I knew it wasn’t from God because if God didn’t want me to go on this trip he wouldn’t have told me by making me feel like trash. So while combating all these thoughts, emotions, and a last minute change in campgrounds I packed. And whenever I started to feel overwhelmed I prayed. It took all night just to pack a backpack with the items below. I kept packing, repacking, and second guessing everything. At the end, I threw in a thick blanket in my bag and prayed that whatever I didn’t have, the Lord would provide.
(Not pictured: Sleeping bag, bluetooth headphones, and travel mug)
- Blue Tank + Leggings + Calf socks + Converse + Sunglasses (car outfit)
- Knit Hat + Blue Tank + Leggings + Spandex pants + Knitted Sweater + JLY Sweater + Calf socks + Scarf (Travel Towel) + Converse (ya girl was cold.)
- Knit Hat + Romper + Spandex Pants + Sweater + Sport/Water Sandals (Hiking at Fern Canyon)
- Red Tank + Shorts + JLY Sweater + Calf socks + Converse + Sunglasses (car outfit)
- Drivers Licence and debit card
- Lip Balm
- Water resistant watch
- Reusable Straw
- Stainless Steel Water Bottle
- Travel Water Bottle
- On Guard
- Sleeping bag
- 1 ankle – activewear
- 1 short – activewear
- 2 tank tops
- Knitted Sweater
- Calf socks
- Foldable Raincoat
- A Visor
- Knit Hat
- Hair Tie
- Glasses + Case + Eyeglass Strap
- Pen + Journal
- Carabiner Clip
- Collapsible tote
- Travel Mug
- Toiletry Bag
- Travel Towel
Craft bag (wip):
- Yellow Socks
Things I should have brought:
- Sweat Pants
- Fuzzy Socks
- Packable Winter Jacket
- Bar Soap
Meet up at 5am
I hear a noise that is repeated over and over again. My mind wakes up and tries to figure out what it is. As the drowsiness lifts from my mind, I recall setting an alarm last night but I couldn’t remember what for. Slowly, I roll over from my side to my stomach, bringing my knees to my chest, and pushing myself up with my arms. Suddenly I remember the word ‘camping’ and the memory of it all comes rushing back to me. The months of planning, from picking the dates, to the destination, to the budget, and constantly checking the weather so I know exactly what to pack. The dreaded packing, unpacking, and repacking. The constant wondering of whether or not I have everything I needed, stressing out so much that I just gave up and accepted that whatever I didn’t have, I probably wouldn’t need. Recollecting how fed up I was with things I couldn’t control and refusing to micromanage the things I could. Being fully awake now, I reached for my phone and turned off the alarm, the time was 4:00 am.
I dragged myself out of bed, thanked myself for packing everything the night before, and started my morning routine. After getting ready the only thing I needed to grab was my travel mug, and out the door I went.
While driving to the meeting place I listened to Not Afraid by Mosaic Music over and over again while singing at the top of my lungs, embodying the lyrics of Raise A Hallelujah. I felt all the negative thoughts and feelings I was having that said, “You are not going to have fun.” melt away since I decided that I was going to sing louder than the negativity. All else fell away save for these truths,
‘I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.’John 10:10
“It’s okay to live life and enjoy it even though everything seems so uncertain.”Whispers of 2020 – John 10:10
After arriving, I used the flashlight on my phone to gather my things and the next thing I heard was, “Psst, psst! Olguine is this you? If it is then flash twice.” I couldn’t stop laughing and the trip hadn’t even started yet.
When I looked at how stuffed the car we were taking was I was glad that I didn’t over pack. The back of the car was stuffed to the brim and we had used up all the nooks and crannies. We even store some of our drinks under the driver’s and front passenger car seat for easy access.
Before hopping in the car and heading towards our destination, I told the gang of my troubles and asked for prayer and they all declared over me that, ‘Olguine is going to have fun.’ That prayer was answered almost immediately. From that moment on there was non-stop laughter throughout all 4 days.
Driving the to campgrounds
The drive was filled with nothing but good times. After we left the city the view outside the car window mostly consisted of farmland from livestock to crops. Even when we pulled over to grab coffee there were some goats in the back of someone’s pickup truck.
We talked about various things during the ride. Everyone was shocked to hear that I never hear of the song Thrift Shop. According to them everyone has heard of it. They were convinced that I probably heard it playing somewhere but didn’t know the name of the song. We played it and I am here to say that I had never heard of that song until that moment and it didn’t sound like I was missing much.
When we switched drivers, I became in charge of the music. The genre changed depending on the driver. Sometimes it was rap and indie other times it was folk and musicals. I learned that oldies were now 80s and 90s and no longer 40s and 50s. But for me, 80s is ‘old school’ music and oldies will always be the 40s. I played Frank Sinatra every chance I got. I also learned that every song that didn’t fall under rap, old school, and christian I would categorize it under alternative. It’s not because I didn’t know better. It’s because I didn’t want to bother making a separate list for each genre. I discovered the song Cuz I Love You by Lizzo and I stuck it in my alternative playlist with Paramore, Florence and the Machine, and Post Malone. It’s most certainly a mood list. When I’m in the mood to listen to anything other than rap, old school, and christian.
After leaving the farmland scenery, we lost cell signal as we started driving up mountains and winding roads which called for some Mumford and Son. Did you know they released a new album? I didn’t. My favorite album is Babel. The song when the banjo hits is everything. I discovered that they were the ones who started or at least spearheaded folk rock.
After coming out of the mountains roads we gained cellular signal again and the genre changed to musicals. I’ve never heard a musical sound track other than The Sound of Music and High School Musical. I was not at all impressed with the latter. I was introduced to Hamilton but quickly was told to watch the movie before listening to the album (which made sense for me since I am a visual person) . There’s a movie coming out on July 4th so I made a mental note to watch it later. You should do the same, it really is life changing.
At some point in the journey I decided that I was going to turn every sentence into a bible reference. I.e, “Are we almost there?” “My child, we are never too far from the Lord.” For some, it got old real quick but it was refreshing to know how much information I had retained from all my years walking with the Lord and how He tied into all the words being spoken.
The last leg of the journey included driving through the Avenue of Giants. Or at least it would have if we had gone that way. We missed the turn and didn’t bother trying to find it again because we were already surrounded by massive Redwoods. We called it our Avenue of Giants since it led to our campgrounds.
Setting up camp
We got to camp almost 12 hours after we left Los Angeles, got the information from the front desk, and went to our campsite. After looking around to determine the best spots to pitch our tents we got to work. We (we meaning the men) pulled the shelter gear out of the car, and when we started to pitch them, we (meaning the men) noticed that a piece of one of the tents was not missing. Luckily. we had brought two tents and two hammocks and decided that two of us would sleep in the tent and the other 2 slept in hammocks. We finished setting up the tents and started pulling out all of the food and cookware and placed it in the bear box which was already at the campsite. What else do you expect to be at your campsite when you are camping somewhere called Grizzly Creek Park.
As it got later on in the day, I could no longer deny that I was freezing. In fact I told everyone around me repeatedly that this Florida girl was cold! Being in the redwoods means that sunlight does not shine through the trees so I add much needed layers I went from wearing Blue Tank, Leggings, Calf socks, Converse, and added a Knit Hat, Spandex long bottoms, Knitted Sweater, another Sweater, Scarf (Travel Towel) because ya girl was cold.
Getting supplies from nearby town
After setting up camp, I realized that I didn’t tell any of my family members that I would be out of cell phone range for the next few days. So when we drove into the nearest town to pick up ice, I gave my mom a call and asked her to let everyone know that I wouldn’t be available for the next few days.
I also looked up a sock pattern that I wanted to knit while I was there. I had the yarn and needles with me but I didn’t download the pattern. While in service range I took numerous screenshots so I could start the pattern later on.
By this time a fellow camper was making bible references! It was nice to see that it had taken hold.
The rest of the day was filled with good times and laughter; the joy of the Lord. I ate a chili dog, learned what a head lamp was, learned how to identify poison oak, and learned that you are who you hang with.
Oh and I also set my tea mug on fire. How? You ask. Easy, I was standing next to the camping stove after the water had boiled and went to go pour water into my travel mug and while pouring the water next to the open flame of the burner, water trickled down into the flame and it jumped up to meet me and my cup.
The paper tab end of the tea bag that was in my hand caught on fire. I just stood there, watching and thinking; “I can’t drop the cup because I’ll drop my tea as well. If I try to move my cup to my other hand I might touch the fire by accident and burn myself.” My tired brain asked another camper what to do but the fire burnt out after consuming the tab. Other than being on fire (for the Lord) I also had my first official s’more. It was alright.
At 9:00pm I left the warmth of the campfire, crawled into my sleeping bag, and let my dreams take me.
This morning I woke up early, grabbed my journal, and sat on a fallen tree facing the camp. From where I was perched I could see our entire camp, into the distance, the trees beyond, with the mist as the backdrop. Being able to see into the distance without anything to obscure my vision was a forgotten sight for me. In the area where I live you could look out to the mountains but nothing passed that. It felt as if I could see what the future held. In my journal I wrote about the previous day. How the thoughts “Not going to have fun” had plagued me almost into submission. How I almost chose not to come. How I had almost let these thoughts become my truth. With a thankful heart I wrote down my gratitude to the Lord for bringing me to a quiet place.
Slowly the camp started to wake. They had coffee to brew and breakfast to make.
Today’s breakfast was pancakes, bacon, sausage and eggs; délicieuse!
And apparently, camp food isn’t normally this luxurious. The Lord wasn’t joking when He’d said that He would provide and that I would have abundance.
After breakfast a few of us walked over to the river nearby to skip some stones. This was an endeavor I did not excel at but I found joy in watching my companions do so. While cheering them on from the sidelines I noticed a bridge that led across the river to the other bank. I was curious about where it led to, I told the others that I was going to go across it to find out.
They came along with me and when I went to the other side I found myself staring at the side of a mountain. I was prepared to turn around but everyone else started trekking up the side, finding their footholds among the dead leaves and fallen pieces of nature. Not wanting to get left behind I dared to see if I could do the same and followed them up. We climbed up the side, over fallen trees, and through the woods. There was something dreamlike about being in the stillness of the morning walking along a path less taken. There was beauty everywhere you looked.
We ended up walking down to a grove like clearing. With brown below our feet and green above our heads, we rested and chatted for a bit. I listened to crazy stories, dreams, and passions. It was probably here, listening to how everyone chose to use the beautiful moments from their past to mold their future with their own hands made me start to think on how I’ve limited myself to only pursuing things that made sense to the world but not to me.
During the expedition, there were parts of the trail where I had to follow and other parts where I was told where to step. The differences between the walks were when I was following I trusted myself and those around me that I was being led in the right direction. When I was told where to step I trusted others to tell me where to put my feet. There was a brief part where I had to walk side by side and hand in hand with another through the rocky river to get to the other side. Even then, the Lord showed me that was a glorious picture of my walks with Him. Walking and exploring all the things. I thought of my journey to Los Angeles and everything that had occurred up until now.
‘Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.’Psalms 119:105
I mentally thanked the Lord for showing me an actual river and leading me through it.
We walked along the rocks, back to the campsite where lunch was being made. Rolls with pickles, mustard, and salami. I had mine without cheese. We packed lunch and headed out to the Forest Moon of Endor.
Okay so the actual name for it is Cheatham Grove, but if you are a Star Wars fan then you would know it as the Forest Moon of Endor.
Strolling along the path to the grove, I was surrounded by numerous Redwoods. It was quiet, peaceful, and away from the busy streets and loud city noises. I roamed around and listened to the stories these Giant 20 million+ years Sierras had to offer.
I walked through Redwood trees, avoided spiders, balanced along the trunks of fallen trees, stepped down into the holes left behind by uprooted trunks and continued to explore this truly magnificent setting.
After drifting down the paths, we finally came into the cathedral-like grove. By this time I had warmed up. I had left my knitted hat in the car because I never really needed to wear one before. I ended up regretting that and had to use my travel towel as a head scarf to keep me warm. Gotta love the travel towel, although at this point I took it off and tied it to my shoulder bag. Then the picture taking commenced.
Pro tip: If you are an indie rock bank in need of a cover for your next album, this spot is for you.
For some reason I could only get one good picture of me in the grove on my phone because it was too bright…in the Redwoods. I know, weird right?
Fun fact: Redwoods burn from the inside out so there are several hollowed out trees that you can enter into and explore.
Ferndale, California and lunch
Since we were out of the Redwood forest, it got warm real quick so I stripped off my extra layers and kept my hat on (I wasn’t going to make my previous mistake again.)
By the time we finished up it was already lunch time. We headed towards the Fireman’s Park for lunch. While gazing at the hills of Redwoods we heard the story about The Samoa Cookhouse and how the Redwoods are now protected.
After lunch we headed back towards the camp site. During drive I was talking with one of my companions about enneagram numbers. Telling her about my personality, a 6w7, revealed to me more about my relationship with the Lord. Our relationship is strong because He is constantly reaffirming that I am his child and that He is my father. He is constantly telling me that He will provide for me and being true to His word.
By doing these things has made me feel more than secure in our relationship and I have never doubted His love for me because of this. I mean even if I do He reminds me of all the times He has been faithful. Realizing that God has been communicating with me in this specific way changed my perspective of our relationship and I felt so known.
With these new thoughts and feelings in my mind we got back to camp. I chose to lay in the hammock and try to finish reading a book. That didn’t last long because the view from where I laid was amazing. I just wanted to lay there and take everything in.
“You are my child,
Every step you take, I know,
Every decision you make, I am aware of.
Every little detail in your life I take care of.
Every prayer is heard.
Every cry will be comforted.
You are mine and I call you by name.”
Jeremiah 29:11, Isaiah 43:1, Psalms 23.
As I started to fall asleep I decided that I should go for a walk. One being that I didn’t want to ruin my sleep schedule with a nap and two being that it was cold that I would have had to crawl into my sleeping bag to keep warm. So I maneuvered my way out of the hammock and shivered. I embarked and made laps around the campgrounds in an effort to keep warm.
I decided to stop by the river first before starting my circuits. I sat there and listen to the water flow, forced my mind calm, and started thinking about the lessons the Lord was teaching me through rivers, streams, and flowing water which was living water since it didn’t stay in one place. I looked around and right in front of me was a pile of stones and it reminded me of what I read in Exodus:
‘If you use stones to build my altar, use only natural, uncut stones. Do not shape the stones with a tool, for that would make the altar unfit for holy use.’Exodus 20:25
Altars were built in places where people encountered God, where they spoke to Him. Here I was in a place God brought me to, where He taught me, where He showed His love for me. And in front of me was a piled of stone reminding me that He loves to tie things together. That details matter to Him.
Oh and I also found a cool rock.
After I left the river I started my laps around the campgrounds. By my third round I shouted out happy anniversary at a couple as indicated by the sign in front of their camp. It turns out the wife was walking the same way I was going so we started chatting. I had learned that she and her husband met at college. They were both originally from different states and 30 years later they are celebrating their anniversary with their college-aged daughter. Before parting ways she also told me not to miss the Avenue of Giants and I told her about Cheatham Grove.
After my fifth round around the camp I decided to call it quits since I wasn’t getting any warmer and I didn’t want to have to put on my Campfire Sweater as an extra layer. Spoiler alert I did layer it after the sun went down.
One of the other campers was setting up wood to light it up the fire pit and I was curious on how it was done. He taught me the way that he does it and allowed me to ignite the fire starters. It was a lot of fun especially since it lit up on the first try. Not at all like the movies where all they have is a stick and some bark.
Tonight’s dinner was Jambalaya. It was great for warming me up. I’m not someone who gravitates to spicy food but I’d do anything to keep me warm. That included putting on my Sweater, grabbing my blanket from my tent and wrapping myself up in front of the fire.
This evening was quieter than the last. The mood was serene. The others chatted in hushed tones and the only illumination we had was the fire at the center. I watched the fire’s light reach high into the night’s sky, the embers crackling upwards for one final leap to reach the stars.
Renew your mind, focus on whatever is pure, spend time with me and in my presence, the kingdom of darkness has no place. Seek me first, not an answer for whatever problem or circumstances that may arise. It is I who knows all things and I want to share my wisdom with you. Jesus went out into the wilderness to be alone with the father. My father brought me out into the wilderness to spend time with him.
I finished writing this morning’s journal entry and went to grab breakfast. This morning was bagels and cream cheese. To warm up my bagel I put a skewer through the hole and held it over the fire. Sure enough it got burnt but that’s how I like it, crispy and crunchy. We hung out until midday and then started prepping to head out. That only thing we were told was to bring our “River Shoes.” I thanked God again for packing my Sport/Water Sandals even though I had kicked myself earlier for packing those kinds of shoes in this kind of weather but God knew.
First we went to eat lunch at a farm with King and Nova. The menu was a casserole of rice and chicken with blackberry cobbler with ice cream.
Following lunch we played some foosball and after playing 4 rounds I decided it was a great time to start knitting the sock pattern that I had screenshot on the first day.
Surprisingly, I didn’t find myself knitting a lot or even wanting to knit during this trip. I attempted to start the sock pattern and was perfectly okay with not getting passed the cast on step. I was content with teaching myself Judy’s Magic Cast on and playing with yarn. I found that I was enjoying the stillness of nature a lot more than becoming focused on anything else. Being outside and breathing was enough for me in these moments.
Some time later, we set off to Fern Canyon which is a ravine that runs through the coastal bluffs. With it’s 45 feet of wall to wall greenery. From moss covered walls to an abundance of ferns.
On the way there I was still in my own headspace. Just enjoying tuning in and out of everyone’s conversations. The drive took nearly an hour. When we finally got there I had to decide what I should take with me. I didn’t know anything about this trail other than the pictures I saw on the internet. I didn’t know if it’d be cold in the canyon or if it was going to be sunny.
“Do I wear my visor or my knitted hat? Do I bring my sunglasses or leave them behind. Do I need my travel towel? Oh wait, it hasn’t fully dried yet so I’ll leave that behind for now.” These thoughts were racing through my head. I decided to bring both my visor and knitted hat and my sunglasses and just stuff them in my small cross body bag.
We walked on the paved path at the beginning of the trailhead. Then went off into a path on the left that led into an area with some steps to nowhere and a tree which I proceeded to climb, which seems to be becoming a trend whenever I see a climbable tree. Afterwards we returned to the footpath that led into the canyon.
From the start of the canyon path, I walked over temporary plank bridges to cross the creek on several different occasions, climbed over a handful of fallen trees, and ran my hands over the moss covered walls while chewing on Redwood Sorrels.
Eventually, the planks started becoming less and less until they were gone, the banks on either side became narrower and shorter, and all types of fallen vegetation blocked my path. In time, I gave up on finding dry paths to plunging right in the creek. The water was ankle deep and freezing but I had moved around enough to warm up.
Hiking this trail really helped me get out of my safe zone and become more adventurous with the paths that I decided to take. I had no interest in taking the path of the planks anymore. Instead I scaled trees, trudged through water, and wasn’t afraid of getting left behind.
After getting back to the car I had a sense of accomplishment. I was no longer the same person who walked into the canyon. I was less worried about having what I need and was more focused on the experience. Setting caution to the wind and creating my own flow of things was daunting, exciting, and was the only thing I really needed.
On the drive back once more I listened to talks of dream jobs that seemed unrealistic but why do they? Just because someone hasn’t done it doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. Just because it’s someone’s dreams doesn’t disqualify it from becoming a reality. It made me start to think about what I wanted to do. What I truly had a passion for. At the time my only thought was to blog and travel. So I thought the only option was to become a travel blogger.
I had read other people’s travel blogs and travel videos and I didn’t know if I could do the same, be the same. And then I realized that I didn’t have to, because I wasn’t going to limit myself. I thought about what it would be like for me to write about my travels. Not just to tell you the popular spots to hit but to tell you the story behind the places I’ve gone to. To tell you the facts and as much information as I can but in a story-like way. And that’s what I attempted to do with the Redwoods Guide. This guide is what travel blogging looks like and is like to me.
On the latter half of the drive I was faced with tears of laughter, peeing my pants, and $5 pizza. By the time we got back to the camp it was nightfall and the fire was roaring. Tonight’s dinner was Kebabs; meat, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and other vegetables that I can’t seem to remember. I do remember going back for seconds and thirds. Probably because one of my skewers caught on fire when I left it to roast over the open fire. This evening was radiant. The campsite was alive with chatter, no one wanted the night to end. But eventually it had too.
After dinner, we cleaned up the camp site and packed up almost all our things and prepped for the long drive home. To save time in the morning someone suggested we pack up the tent and sleep in the car. Anything to catch some extra ZZZ and we agreed. I locked the doors before slumber took me because I didn’t know if bears knew how to open car doors?? They do have thumbs.
Packing up camp
Since we packed up all the food, cookware, and shelter last night waking up this morning just meant going through the morning hygiene routine and setting off.
I stretched myself out in the back seat. We had used up most of our supplies which meant after we packed the car we had plenty of room to spare. I was in charge of the music again so I shuffled the praise and worship and nodded off.
Most of the morning my eyes were shut and my mind played with fantasies that I wouldn’t remember when I awoke. From the times that I did rise above the slumber I heard chuckling in the front seats and then I’d be off again. When I finally fully awakened I asked if they were still enjoying the playlist. They were in a more upbeat mood so I hit shuffle on the Alternative aka mood playlist.
“I feel so close to you right now it’s a force field.” Calvin Harris’ voice came through the speakers as we headed towards San Francisco. In no time we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and drove into town in search of the Blue Bottle coffee shop and a restroom. Two of us were coffee drinkers and were excited for the drinks. I waited while they ordered their drinks and took the time to enjoy being in the city.
We hopped back in the car in search of a restroom and this Florida girl was not used to going up and down all the hills. Seeing cars parked on those hills had me worried that they’d just roll down because of gravity. It was a whole other experience for someone who knew nothing but flat land before.
After driving around a bit we finally found one of the automatic public toilets. It was God sent for us because we were driving around for a while before we found this spot. It was really convenient because a lot of places were closed at that time.
The way the toilet worked was when the door was opened you’d step in and hit the red button to close the door and an occupied sign would show up on the other side of the door. After you go in and do your business, the toilet flushes itself. Moving to the sink you hold out your hands under the faucet, soap and water is depense, after that in the same area the hand dryer engages. When you finish you hit the green button to open the door. The door closes after you and the automated self cleaning begins. The future is here! The best part about the experience were the workers nearby. They explained to us how the system works and how it’s the mayor we had to thank for making this free self cleaning toilet available. They had so much pride for their city.
We left San Francisco behind and continued on Highway 1. All of us were fully awake now and we exchanged pictures and reminisced about the camping trip.
We stop by one of Moss Landing Harbor’s many fruit stands,
pulled over near Carmel-by-the-Sea for an iconic picture of the coast.
During the last leg of the drive we talked about our spike(s) this year.
(Expression58 has been talking about 2020 being a Spike year. Spike being a volleyball term meaning “the act of scoring a point by slamming the ball over the net into the opposing court effectively and aggressively…[Or] the slam dunking in the sport of basketball or smashing in the sport of tennis.” Source)
And I realized that I was living my spike at this very moment. Back in January I had asked God for a solid group of friends and to travel more. In fact, before I even moved out to Los Angeles I told God that the only thing I wanted was a church and a support system. And here I was on a group camping trip with people I hold dear to me. I wanted to cry because I remembered the loneliness I felt in January and the hopelessness I felt in February.
I left the door open
and my enemy walked right in.
Along with him came,
Depression, who made me reject anything that could bring me joy.
Confusion, so I won’t know what direction to go.
Worthlessness, so that I feel as if I am not doing enough.
Anxiety, so I can feel that everything is working against me.
But God with all His love came in and surrounded me with His truth.
Those months were a time of growth where I pursued the Lord and spent time in His presence. From March onwards it felt as all of my prayers were getting answered. From traveling locally to developing meaningful relationships. It was an unforgettable moment of triumph. I remember hearing that it takes more than a year to make stable relationships in LA, that traveling would be very expensive and my bank account agreed,
“I was made for heaven. I was made for Jesus. I was made to walk in the cool of the day with you.”John Mark Pantana
God used what is viewed as a pandemic to answer all my fears with love. Nothing that I have done thus far from creating digital wall prints and writing poetry to storytelling about my past travels and writing out guides for those who would like to travel in the future
On this trip, I learned that I needed to renew my mind. To filter my thoughts and exchange the ones that aren’t serving me for life giving ones. This trip reminded me not to forget about God no matter what happens. On this trip my biggest take away was that there is beauty in the preparation. The beauty in not remembering to pack pants was seeing that the Lord really did provide me with all that I need.