Revelation Trip 2015 Conclusion: A bitter sweet symphony

By Grant Boatwright, ED Veritas Life Adventures

I know, a really cliche throwback reference to a great song; both dating myself and hopefully giving you a bit of a chuckle at the same time.  However, I cannot think of any better way to sum up the 2015 Revelation Trip with our graduating (well graduated now) Seeker men.  And much like a symphony's crescendo, the trip delivered a beautifully harmonized and emphatic climax to all our time, trials, growth, perseverance, setbacks, and triumphs that brought our Seekers 'there and back again'.  No great journey is accomplished without pain, both good and bad, and only the truly great ones continue on past their destinations.

I believe I can honestly say that for these 3 men, they were able to accomplish their journey with Veritas Life Adventures through the pains of growth, physical and spiritual hardships, and nutritional barriers better than anyone could have hoped or anticipated at their acceptance into the program.  In addition, I know that is not the end for these men as they returned home graduated Seekers of the program, but their true beginning into the lifestyle and application of all that they have learned over their terms in the program.

May the Lord bless you and keep you, triumphant men of God, and you always hold fast to those people, lessons, and your relationship with Christ that have brought you thus far!

Now, off the box, and onto how the rest of the trip went:

Let's see where did we leave off...oh yeah 31 miles of hikes including

Workouts in the morning to get the blood and muscles prepared for the beat down to come.

Thin air, 15 min AMRAPS, not easy.
Thin air, 15 min AMRAPS, not easy.

A 13 mile hike to Latir Mesa with breathtaking views stretching all the way to Colorado.

LatirMesa
LatirMesa

A 4.6 mile plunge and return in the opposite direction down the Rio Grande Box Canyon, complete with a 'legal' swim across the Rio Gande with a current that took us about 100 feet down river from where we started!

The top of the box
The top of the box
Contemplating the swim
Contemplating the swim
Erik having a thought half way across on our 'wow that was harder and faster current than I expected thinking rock'.
Erik having a thought half way across on our 'wow that was harder and faster current than I expected thinking rock'.
Conner's swim underway
Conner's swim underway
Jathan's survival pose after swim.
Jathan's survival pose after swim.

The 13 mile culmination, climatic, revelation single day hike to Wheeler's summit that....of course ended in us racing down the hill being chased by storms; including, but not limited to hail!  However, it did also have some the best weather, skies, sweeping panoramas, and greatest challenge with greatest reward!

Ummm...gorgeous Wiliam's lake...nothing more.
Ummm...gorgeous Wiliam's lake...nothing more.
One of those sweeping views I mentioned. This one at Williams Lake below Wheeler.
One of those sweeping views I mentioned. This one at Williams Lake below Wheeler.
The panorama from Wheeler's summit.
The panorama from Wheeler's summit.
Last one, I promise.
Last one, I promise.
Yep, we made it!
Yep, we made it!

Now for excitement on the way down: skiing (in the summer), hail, you know...the typical stuff.

Who says you need skis, or winter.
Who says you need skis, or winter.
Umm, the little white things, yeah that's hail.
Umm, the little white things, yeah that's hail.

And so ended our day mountaineering section of the trip, having survived the elements of mountain storms and swift currents in spectacular fashion.  We also gained and lost over 8,000 feet in elevation.  Also, if you are keeping up with the millage, you'll notice it is not quite 31 on the Garmin tackers; however, we started them late on a couple of the hikes so we added what is not recorded on to make it accurate (no, we are not cheating).  Naturally we ended with a most amazing meal of meat and mashed potatoes; only we did it Veritas style and sear/baked 24 hour marinated lamb chops instead of steaks, and mashed cauliflower and parsnips instead of mashed potatoes.  Extremely hearty and delicious after such a treacherous and tumultuous hike, so I will be sure to share the recipe on our blog page shortly!

Now we took a well deserved day off from our intense activities to recuperate and rest....NOT!!!!!  With all the rain the Midwest and Mountain regions have gotten this year the Rio Grande was finally up enough in volume to allow us to brave class 3 & 4 rapids down a 13 mile white water rafting run near Taos, NM called "The Box Run".  While paradoxically serene and peaceful at times, allowing you to enjoy the sounds of the river, gazing up at circling birds of prey returning home to their nests in the canyon walls,  and watching playful river otters and leaping big horn sheep; this run could turn instantly into a gauntlet of adrenaline pumping, wave crashing, paddling for survival torrent of adventure that clears the mind, focuses the senses, and leaves you rung out and giddy with fearful joy all the way to the end!  Thank you Cottam's for another amazing water adventure down the river.

The deep breath before the plunge.
The deep breath before the plunge.
Pure elation having survived all in the boat (Rule #1).
Pure elation having survived all in the boat (Rule #1).

Driving back to the cabin content, sore, and basking in the revelations of all we had accomplished, thoughts and memories of the past four years swam through my head.  I am truly a blessed man to have been able to guide these 3 young men along the path they have journeyed with us and God.

I was quite depressed that I missed their high school graduations a few weeks back and had been told that it was impossible to get video of them walking across the stage.  However, being the cheeky little devils that they are,  they were but toying with my delicate emotions as they sat me down after all our extreme adventures were over and told me to watch something they took it upon themselves to put together.  What brought me to tears in the next few minutes was as follows...

I understand it may not move you as much as it did me, but to have these men do this for me, show us all they have experienced and learned, and do this of their own volition speaks volumes.  It speaks to the men they are now: men of action, men of principle, men of faith, hope, and love, and men ready to step into the world prepared to be the leaders of tomorrow.  Cheers brothers!

As we sat down together reflecting on all the nights journals we wrestled through and reading together what it was all for in His book of Revelations; we ended with the promise of a new name on a white stone, known only to him that He gives it, and only revealed to him that believes, accepts, and follows.  And so concluded our time together on the Revelation 2015 Trip, and so concludes our time together in the 2015 Veritas year with only our woman's Seeker graduate trip to go.  So be on the lookout for her trip blog detailing her adventures soon.

And thank you on behalf of the 2015 Veritas Seeker men for sharing in our adventure!

The men after completing their first hike on the tip at Cabresto Lake.
The men after completing their first hike on the tip at Cabresto Lake.