Archive - July 2011

Hawkeye Blog for July July 07, 2011

One of the most memorable experiences of our recent trip to the Middle East was the climb up Mt. Sinai in the middle of the night. This is purportedly the setting where Moses received the Ten Commandments. I now have an even greater respect for this patriarch. After all, he was over eighty when he made the trip (but it did take him 40 days). We were picked up at our hotel on the Red Sea at 11PM and rode for 2 hours to get to the foot of the mountain at 1 AM. We sleepily stumbled off the bus into a surreal world of Bedouin camel drivers, desert smells, sounds and pitch-black night, punctuated with billions of stars. A tall Bedouin man straight from central casting met us and led us into the dark. Each of us was directed to our own camel which we rode for an hour and a half. I saw at least 3 shooting stars from my slowly rocking saddle. It was cold, in the forties and when we dismounted we went into a warming hut where we shared hot tea and tales of the last hour with our young camel drivers. Later we began the trek up the remainder of the mountain. There was a fingernail moon peeking out from the scudding clouds. We walked the rocky trail, pausing to rest periodically until we reached the 7450 ft. summit. And it was worth the trip to see the sun slip through the surrounding mountain tops to greet us with a changing array of colors. We may not have come away with two tablets as Moses did but unforgettable memories came with us.