The trees get scrawnier and the path gets sketchier as we near the treeline. Then we roll out of it, over rocks, with the mountain climbing to our right and falling to our left. The moon shines on the valley floor thousands of feet below us.
We come to the end of the trail and park, get out and walk around. It's all gray rock and a little scrub pine, orange and green lichen on the ground. We can see the Milky Way and the Big Dipper and the other fourteeners around us, the moon casting shadows on their faces. In the valley behind the peak, a campfire flickers; other than that, there is no sign of civilization.
We gather around a cross someone placed there and open the Bibles on our phones. Gordon reads Psalm 19; I read Psalm 8:3-4.
When I consider the heavens,
The work of your fingers,
The moon and the stars,
Which you have set in place,
What is man that you are mindful of him?
The son of man that you care for him?