At Trail’s End—in Memoriam…

Maureen’s “Hometown” Girls—Prayer Hikes and other adventures…

The most unlikely of friends in many ways… Wild and crazy Maureen, helpmeet to a hard-headed but God-loving logger and student of the Word. Always ‘up for’ an adventure, or at least a new trail, a little further out, a little higher up…She had the truck. She sent out the weekly invites to join her on a prayer hike. She was always there with the backpack full of papers to keep us on task—scrawled prayer requests, newspaper clippings, lists of topics to cover in prayer…And she had the spray paint so we wouldn’t get ourselves lost, and the watch so we’d put in the full hour before a lunch break…that was Maureen.

She was away this past weekend with an old friend of hers. Her last words affectionately addressed to us ‘hometown girls’ were: “…hopefully be out on the trail next week. another person asked jesus into their life this week plus an amazing encounter must tell you all about. god bless, m.” That was Maureen, always looking for opportunities to ask people if they knew Jesus and to challenge ones who had wandered from the teaching they’d heard as children…she knew so many people in our town. She reached a whole sector I never rub shoulders with. She stepped on toes sometimes. She faced rejection. But she shed tears over the thought of people going to hell and she just couldn’t let a chance to mention Jesus pass. “God Bless” was on her lips… But Maureen was mortal.

An email message came from our pastor this morning (May 28). “This email is to let you know that Maureen Hein passed into the presence of the Lord about midnight on Sunday.” Just like that, a massive heart attack. And unbeknownst to me, as I was tucking my chin under the covers Maureen was waking in Jesus’ presence. She won’t be out on the trail this weekend. She’ll shed no more tears of angst for wandering souls in need of Jesus. The job is left for someone else. I’ll have to wait for the story of her ‘amazing encounter’. Maureen always had stories, of real people whose lives she’d brushed up against. She had a way of intersecting with people in unusual moments. And she always had a word of encouragement, often written on a scrap of paper so you’d not forget it. I have such a scrap tucked away somewhere….

Maureen was one-of-a-kind. We didn’t see eye-to-eye on everything. Our backgrounds were as different as they come. I got under her skin at times. We argued our doctrinal differences. Drove each other a little crazy in spots. But we always parted friends, determined to walk together, to pray together, to respect each other and to care for each other’s interests.

Maureen knew the kind of good-time I love. She liked to introduce her friends to the worlds she knew best. She invited me to tag along on errands for the logging crew and I got to see a logging operation first-hand and visit remote lakes I’d always wanted to see…She took me on a walking tour of the island neighborhood where she grew up…including a peek over the edge of a precipitous spot and a swim in the fabled Texada quarry….Maureen was like a seal. She loved water, be it ocean, lake or stream. If it wasn’t the dead of winter, it was ‘warm enough’ to dive in. We usually watched. On occasion I had to try it too… Brrr. And we took off in the motor boat a time or two, once with bikes aboard which we rode to the end of Savary Island, just to see how far it was, even though we had next to no water and no good sense how long it’d take. We lived to remember the adventure… Maureen introduced me to mushroom picking in earnest. And sent me home with a scary looking bit of fungi to try. She was right. It was delicious, whatever it was!

She was more daring than I, more tough, more zealous… But she always asked, always cared about my family. Always cheered me on. Always rallied us ‘hometown’ girls to get moving on Saturday morning, rain or shine. And now she’s among the witnesses that have gone before to mark the path of faith. Maureen wasn’t perfect. Wasn’t even always ‘nice’. She fumed and ranted, cried and agonized. She was real. But she never let her want of perfection keep her from offering to Jesus what she had and reaching out to take others with her on the trail… I’m going to miss her.


Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Heb.12:1,2


Loggin’ Bloggin’

Had a phone call from a friend the other day asking if I’d like to come along while she ran an errand–delivering a newly machined part to her husband at his logging site.  She knows I’m always eager for a chance to see all the wilderness lakes hereabouts.  There all ‘out there’ for me, way down logging roads on which I never venture for want of a hardy vehicle and a two-way radio for navigating…For her, they are a work-a-day drive.  So off we went!


I quickly learned the necessity of having a two-way radio.  This is logging truck territory.  They have the right-of-way.  There’s no arguing to be done on a narrow muddy road around a blind curve.  You had better know who’s coming and pull out ahead of time… It is a bit terrifying to look ahead and see an industrial size dump truck barreling down on you unannounced. He’s got places to go, and fast.  You are welcome to take to the ditch… We hugged the shoulder and lived to proceed…

IMG_6700 IMG_6701

As we reached the site this lumbering monster had to take to the hillside to make room for us to pass and deliver our part to the sleeping giant at the top of the hill…

IMG_6703 Funny how much bigger these machines are close-up.  Am I big or small?  Depends on your perspective?IMG_6710

Hmm…could be an analogy there somewhere.  Things aren’t always as they seem.


Speaking of which, let me introduce the man-in-charge of this operation.  He’s a logger, a biker and a terrific Bible teacher.  I’ve never met anyone quite like him.  He’s passionate about knowing and conveying Truth.  And under that rough and tough exterior is a compelling love for Jesus.  


Rain or shine, trees must come down as surely as phone poles go up.  The tagged poles in the foreground are prospective phone poles.  (And my camera is getting wet.)

And here’s the fellow that does the felling–hugs ’em and hews ’em down in one fell swoop. TIMBER!!!


Tour’s over, gotta get out of the way.  First a quick shot of Nanton Lake from above…


As we head back down to take a closer look at this beauty I begin to learn the two-way radio protocol. It’s more than a cool pastime out here:  “Pick-up heading down Stillwater at Mile 12″…
—“Logging truck heading down Stillwater at Mile 13”  (He’s following us!)
—“Gravel truck heading UP Stillwater at Mile 10” (Yikes, he’s headed our way!)
and heres’ our part::
—“Pick-up CLEAR on the Stillwater at Mile 12 1/2 (We pulled out to let the trucks ‘duke it out’. ) The logging truck did likewise.  And moments later the gravel truck appeared and roared on by heading up the Stillwater… 

And then there was the turn-off for Nanton Lake.  We hopped out in the rain to  soak up some raindrops, some silence and some beauty– our mission accomplished.



“And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight…” (Gen.2:9)

Life as we know it…

My trails of late have mostly ended with water.  We’ve had a record breakingly wonderful hot summer– the likes of which we have never known here in Powell River.  It has brought back memories of summers growing up when days were hot and corn grew tall…
So, we’ve been heading to the water a lot to brave its chill and celebrate its getting warmer with each successive week of sunshine.  The day I want to highlight here was an all-girl adventure.   We set out with our bikes to fetch a friend’s boat out of Okeover Inlet…  The tide was w-a-y  low so the ramp to the dock was rather precipitous…IMG_2262
But we got the bikes all tucked in at last and donned our ill-fitting life jackets for the cruise out to sea…


We picked our way along slowly, sharing the job of deciphering  the charts and determining which rock was which!  We missed them all (whew!) and here’s the view–the gateway to Desolation Sound.


But we were headed the other direction–towards Savary Island, fabled land of  white sandy hot beaches,  home to summer cottages for people from far and near…

But first a stop at the Copelands–designated a ‘marine park’ and more affectionately known as the Ragged Islands.  We tucked into a little cove there for a picnic lunch and swim in the brisk ocean water! (brrr! good thing the sun was hot at least).  This cove was the first one we discovered as a family in our sailboat so it’s full of happy memories…

(in the cove…)
(looking out to sea)

Then we were off to Savary Island…dropping our bikes off at the dock,  anchoring off shore,  waiting for our ‘captain’ to swim in, and then setting off for the little wee church to have some focused time to pray… (this was in fact the purpose of our trip)

Next notion was to pedal to the end of the Island; not sure how far that was going to be we took our cue from signs (and passersby) along the way.  The island was all set up for a triathlon on the coming weekend so we had the bonus of mileage signs to count down our distance.  It was about 8 km. to Indian Point, the island’s westernmost tip.  And it was all adventure, esp. the running out of water and the prospect of no stores on the island– but surely someone would give us some water?…

Had to pause for a photo of this whimsical knight adding decor to someone’s private drive…
And then there was Indian Point–snack time with what we could scrounge.  It was now actually supper time  and time to get going home but first one last dip in a very cold ocean…

Oh, and we did find water at last–a tiny house store with a shingle out– the price? $2.00 a bottle.  But what’s a little money when you’re going to die of dehydration otherwise?!  And somehow the pedaling back seemed shorter than the coming and the hills not as foreboding as we’d thought.  We arrived safe and sound at the dock and after fetching the boat and loading the bikes we headed off across the sea to the dock at Lund just down the highway from home.  We were met by our gracious escort with not only the boat trailer but watermelon and Sesame snaps besides–sweet pleasure to end a sweet adventure.

“In [His] presence is fullness of joy;  In [His] right hand there are pleasures forever…” (Ps.16:11) and to think we haven’t seen anything yet!!