I will quickly tell you there is no comparison to the views when hiking to those you see by other means of reaching the point of attraction. It is incredible the views you see when off the beaten path. Since Pike's Peak summit is WAY above the tree line, the trek to the top had little to do with seeing golden aspen leaves and a lot to do with getting to the summit on foot.
It does not take a genius to realize you are in no shape to climb 14,000 feet. Even after the hike was changed from one day to two with a camping stop over, I knew I would never make it. Moving has not allowed any time for training. My failure to prepare came with a steep cost. SO I dropped the Three Amigos off bright and early on day one of their two day hike, with the understanding I would stay around town until I heard they had made the camp site. Our cabin was 45 minutes out of town on winding mountain roads, so coming back if there was trouble was not a hop, skip and jump.
By 2:00 they had made their camp, but surprise---I have made the decision to ride the Cog to the top of Pike's Peak. The three hour round trip took you through the glorious terrain of the mountain and---I got to see the sight of the mountain top. It seemed much smarter to ride the train than to drive---keeping your eyes on the road to the top of the peak is a MUST!
Beautiful as the train ride was--I missed the glory which is only associated with climbing the mountain slowly and relishing every step of enjoying God's majestic creation. The summit of the mountain was breath-taking (literally at 14,115 ft) The girls who made the hike experienced the whole enchilada and did not miss a moment of all there was to savor. We all reached the summit, but their trek allowed them to enjoy so much more than I possibly could on a train ride.
As I thought through this experience, I realized how closely it resembles walking our trek through life. We have the opportunity to choose the route we traverse. We can walk with Jesus by our side, and experience the glory of His perfect path for us, or we can walk by the side of man and miss the fullness and beauty of experiencing God's perfect path. Who we walk by is entirely up to us, but the price we pay when we wander from His side is missing the wonder of His perfection. What a price we pay when we stray from the path!
So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him.