The longcut to the best view in town

Years ago we took a longcut. You know, the road less travelled.

We had just visited family in the Sacramento area and had to drive back to Kansas, where Craig was stationed in the Army at Fort Riley.

He was a year or so away from finishing his four-year commitment, and we had yet to decide where to settle and raise our growing family. Rebekah was not even yet toddling, and I was expecting #2.

Craig always wanted to live in a valley surrounded by mountains. We had visited areas in southern Oregon as well as Scotts Valley in northern California. He wanted to check out the Sierra Valley.

So we took that windy, less-traveled road: the Gold Rush highway, California’s historic Highway 49, named for the ’49ers who rushed to California to find their fortune. From Sacramento we traveled to Auburn on Interstate 80, then diverted to Highway 49, which took us through Grass Valley, Nevada City, Downieville, and Sierra City before we drove over the Yuba Pass and stopped at a vista turnout.

Our first view of the Sierra Valley was jaw dropping. The headwaters of the Feather River, it is the largest alpine valley in North America. Situated about an hour north of Lake Tahoe, it’s sort of like the Tahoe basin . . . except without the bowl of water. Our valley is filled with meandering creeks that move toward the northwest corner, which is a wetlands area for birds. Italian Swiss dairymen settled this area in the 1800s, because it resembled the countryside from which they had come.

The dairymen became cattle ranchers over the years . . . and my husband is now one of those.

We are blessed with a beautiful view of the valley–and I even more so because my second-story office has French doors that open onto a balcony that has the best view in town. With all the recent May rains, it looks like the Emerald Isle out there, with layers behind those fields of mountain grays, puffy white clouds, and a perfectly blue sky above.

God is the ultimate artist, worthy of our praise for his creation and his provision each and every day. Thank you, Lord, for all the beauty around me!

Janet McHenryJanet McHenry is an award-winning speaker and the author of 24 books, including the bestselling PrayerWalk and her newest, The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus. She would LOVE to be considered as the speaker for your next event. 

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