That trip was a three day fasting trip. I hauled my gear on my back, since the only food I took along was Zeke's dry dogfood. :) I had a small pup tent, a sleeping bag, a flashlight, and a few other essentials. I loved the challenge of getting everything across the creek dry, with Zeke on a leash as required by park rules. Zeke loved the rugged terrain, and acted like a crazy fool, grinning at me from ear to ear after drinking the creek water. He was so strong, he dragged me all over the place, but I managed to wrangle him back onto the trail. After dark, the second night, I sat on the side of the mountain looking at the lights across the valley floor. I could see Chatsworth and Dalton...clear across to Duggap Mountain on the other side. There on the shoulders of God, I felt like I could see the universe that God had created me within...the world I had been born within, for Dalton was where I was born.
That night, I lay in my tent, with the wind blowing fiercely all around me. Zeke whimpered outside the tent, with his body leaned up against the wall. He was afraid of the storm and wanted in the tent. I prayed there in the solitude of nature and felt the presence of God like I have rarely felt in my life. I had no radio or anything with me, but found out later that a few tornados had touched down all around the mountain that night. The larger storm raged in my soul. I longed for God's presence.
I would probably be too afraid to camp alone now, and am not physically able to go camping anymore, let alone a backcountry hike, like just five years ago. And, Zeke is dead. That was my last fast, ironically, that I can remember. I went crazy and ate a Big & Tasty meal at MacDonalds topped with a Reeses Blizzard from Dairy Queen after that fast and shortly afterwards had to have gall bladder removal surgery...probably because of that sudden binge. Stupid, I know, but true. I didn't usually eat like that. And, right after that I began losing weight and got into the best physical shape of my life. I also continued to pray regularly, two and three hours a day for the next two years. Then the early morning prayer was replaced with going to the gym at 5am. Not on purpose, but without really thinking about it at all. I still prayed, just not at 5am.
It's all about focus, you see. When we can get away from everything else and focus on God, then we find Him near. When we turn our focus on the peripherals, then we lose our way. That's the biggest loss.