A Display of Grit

Eating lunch in the True Grit Cafe, famous for… its collection of John Wayne posters. And big glasses of tea.

True Grit. I haven’t seen the movies yet but the name alone says a lot. It takes grit to live in the west. Deserts, mountains, storms — curious bears — chipmunks — there are dangers everywhere! It also takes grit to camp in the west. While I may be living a life of luxury in a tent — I’m still in a tent.

Speaking of grit, it’s gonna take some to “git” through this chicken fried steak. When they serve you food with a Bowie knife… keep grit handy.

I’ve needed quite a bit of grit to endure this trip. So far I’ve driven some 1400 miles and camped at five campgrounds, setting up two tents and a kitchen each time. I must confess that I hit the wall three days ago. It takes 90 minutes to set up and 90 minutes to take down a campsite. That’s three hours a day. Couple that with less than a full night’s sleep each night and … Grit. My body is very beaten from the physical exertion. My joints are aching. My brain is slipping from fatigue. It’s very interesting, actually, how the brain reacts to fatigue. Fingers don’t go where they’re intended, words slip the mind, and short term memories follow. Camping is fun, too, mind you! The fresh air, the Pine and Aspen trees, the mountain views… All is worth it in the end. And there are no airplanes taking off or landing overhead. So I endure.

But I look at trips like this as exercises in endurance. Endurance is needed on the path to spiritual (and emotional) maturity. Saint Paul wrote in Romans 5 that tribulations bring about perseverance (endurance) and endurance brings proven character. For me, I hope so.

Grit. An important part of the journey. The steak never stood a chance.

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Next up for me is Ouray, Silverton and Durango.

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