The “Bare” Went over the Mountain…

The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain,
To see what he could see

To see what he could see,
To see what he could see

The other side of the mountain,
The other side of the mountain,
The other side of the mountain,
Was all that he could see

Was all that he could see,
Was all that he could see,
The other side of the mountain,
Was all that he could see!

I used to like that song..until this last weekend! 

I have had dreams of going to Philmont with my son.  I envisioned climbing Baldy or the Tooth of Time with him and just sitting there contemplating life and happiness together….until this last weekend!!!

I had a lot of things going on in my mind…until this last weekend!!!

What happened to change my perspective?  THE MOUNTAIN!!!

It all started when my son was born…but we’ll fast forward to 3 months ago.  My son is a member of the Stripling Warrior Patrol of Troop 311.  This is a great place to explain the origin of this most unusual name. 

Years ago, an ungodly group of warriors who had killed many people and loved to fight found Jesus and committed to live in peace.  A few years later, their country was assaulted and almost to the point of being overthrown by evil forces.  The fathers were about to break their covenant of peace to defend their country.  The Young Men of the tribe stepped up and took up arms though none had battle experience.  These 2000 Youth were called “The Stripling Warriors.”  They did not doubt they fought for a righteous cause.  Their mothers had instilled in them FAITH.  They believed in God and fought for their families….and just like that, they answered the call to duty, took arms, and prepared to defend their country at ages under 18.  They engaged an army of ferocious, battle-hardened soldiers who numbered 1000s more than them….and they FOUGHT knowing the Lord would protect them. 

Here’s the cooler part….in the many battles they fought in, NONE DIED!!!!

Several months ago, these Warriors had a camp out.  I got called into work and had to miss the whole thing.  My son was mighty disappointed.   I promised to be off for his next camp out knowing it would be in late October when temps were more suited for camping…WRONG!!!!

The Scout Master realized these boys needed more camping time to fulfill their rank requirements.  So, July 30 was the chosen date.  Menus were planned.  Gear was assembled.  Boys out camping when the temperature was only about 10 degrees cooler than lake of fire and brimstone saved for those lost souls condemned for an eternity with Beelzebub!

One requirement needing fulfillment was a 5 mile hike. So at 11 am on one of the hottest days yet, off 8 11-year-old boys and 3 Leaders went.  We made splendid time blazing through the first flat 2 mile section in just under 2 hours!!! 

Then, we went off road…and down into the valley of doom.  I call it this because ahead lie a half mile of the steepest grade known to mankind.  But at least it wasn’t rocky and had a soft, grassy trail.

We made it to the top of the incline and hung a right into the wood onto another trail that was fairly flat.  I thought the hard part was done… WRONG!!!  About a quarter-mile later, we were climbing the outside of the Empire State Building.  

Here is where the inner fat Tuba player came out.  I was looking for an excuse to turn around….and almost had an out…until I saw him!  It was the Scout that was me at 11… He was struggling to go further and was looking for a reason to quit, too… Just like I did so many times when things got a little too tough to handle. 

The other 7 boys were way ahead of us…and bouncing down the trail came my son to check on us. 

The 3 of us, fought our way up that hill…a battle against our inner demons.  All I knew was THAT boy was going to the top!  We walked 10 feet….then another 10….then maybe just a few inches that felt like 10 feet…but we slowly and surely made it to the summit.

We could see for 15 miles around from where we sat panting on the log.  Our sweat was sweating sweat.  We were tired and worn down…but we were there and had beat the mountain. 

I told the other boy, “When life sucks and everything looks its worst… remember THIS DAY!  Remember the day that no one thought you could climb this mountain…AND YOU DID IT!!!

We found out later the elevation was only 350 feet above that of the valley of doom…but to me it was a mountain.  It was that day that I realized I might never make it to Philmont….and somehow, I am okay with that because it was that day I was proud of my son for coming to MY rescue and helping another person (one who he doesn’t get along with some of the time). 

I saw a “bare” go over that mountain and come back down an Eagle!!!

(In a few years, I will recount this tale at my son’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor…I hope I don’t tear up too much!!!)

4 Responses to “The “Bare” Went over the Mountain…”
  1. Aaron's Loving Wife says:

    awwwwww…. but you cryed just reading it to me. Not sure you could do it in front of a group of people.


  2. Mike Brannon says:

    Wow I think that dust gets around. Awesome story. Hope your thinking book of short stories some day.


  3. Kym Muse says:

    We call that a “pay day”! How sweet, for both you and Justin….him for being so thoughtful but you, Aaron, for relizing how important it is to “keep going”–on so many levels!!! I love this story, it’s a keeper!


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