Kairos 2 & 4 Sierra Camping Trip, Summer 2008

Can anything beat camping in the breath-taking Sierra Nevadas in sunny July, kayaking and rafting on pristine lakes, and star-gazing on the rocky beach at night? Well, we did all that with all the lovely folks of Kairos 2 and 4 from Gracepoint Berkeley! Alright, don’t be jealous, for those of you who couldn’t make it — at least you can see 1/100^100 of the beauty from the pictures.

Kairos 2 on the rocks

Kairos 2 on the rocks

To start off my best summer weekend, I started from Berkeley on Friday with the three Kairos 4 staff: Jully, Rich and Rich (Yen and Dongses). It was a great time for inter-Kairos bonding as they told me difficult riddles for the three-hour drive. When we finally met up with the rest of the group who arrived the day before, we immediately loaded kayaks from Sierra Lodge and headed for Lake Spaulding for some quality fellowship time. After a short time of peaceful kayaking on the glittering lake, a raging water war broke out between anyone and everyone. And as Amy proclaimed loudly her innocence, Andy, sitting behind her, was attacking with full force at every kayak and boat that came near. Although I saw many pretty rainbows as water was flung towards me at the intensity of 3 quarts/second, I learned a very important lesson: never sit in the front of the kayak because that seat is reserved for human water shields.

Thanks, Pastor Ed and Kelly, for letting us use these awesome Kayaks!!

Even though I wished I could float on the water forever, we had to move quickly to our campsite so we can set up before night fall. But before leaving, the brothers struggled to take their “strong men” picture with the kayaks. As an afterthought, the sisters decided to show them what strength was made of.

Posers -- I mean, brothers -- with kayak on Lake Spaulding

Posers -- I mean, brothers -- with kayak on Lake Spaulding

Sisters with superhuman strength

Sisters with superhuman strength

Our good and faithful trucks caravanned us to our campsite at Donner Lake via some very rocky roads, and the brothers, being experienced and skilled, set up four tents while the sisters prepared a devastating dinner way too luxurious for a camping trip. But you know, this is the Kairos way. After dinner, we did not lose time but trekked in the moonlight to the nearby lake. It was honestly the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. The mountain peaks stood majestically on the opposite shore, and the moonlight was crisp. I couldn’t help but marvel at Our Creator God who made all this. Do humans really belong here? Yet there we were, sitting on the rocks, listening to the rushing water and lost in the stars of the velvety sky. After some quiet time of lying on the beach and staring into the canopy of stars overhead, we gathered to sing praise to God, accompanied by guitar music from two talented brothers, Andy and Robert. Although the guitarists suffered from lack of practice, we enjoyed the time of worship. Sometimes it is so easy to get lost in the daily busy-ness and forget to treasure and appreciate the gifts in life. But I will remember the wonder of knowing my Creator and His love for me that night.

Zoe and Lauren cooking at night with a trendy headlight

Lauren and Zoe cooking at night with a trendy "headlight"

Andy leading the praise (with the trendy headlight)

Andy leading the praise (with the trendy headlight)

Lake Bowman the next day

Lake Bowman the next day


Jully excited by waterfall

Jully excited by "waterfall"

I woke to the chirping of birds on Saturday morning. After breakfast we set off in the search for a legendary waterfall, which was supposed to be “devastating” according to Andy. We got some good hiking training as we made a couple of wrong turns, and then we came across a waterfall! The only thing is the water fit in the palm of Jully’s hand. So we trusted our leader and navigator once more to search for the REAL waterfall. Just before I was about to give up, the sound of crashing water filled our ears. We found it! The water was clear to the bottom but very cold. The brothers again decided to take a “strong men” picture in the freezing water. I think they’d look stronger if their legs weren’t shaking.

Kairos 2 and 4 join forces

Kairos 2 and 4 join forces

Brothers standing in the freezing water

Brothers standing in the freezing water

Sisters sitting on a log (above said freezing water)

Sisters sitting on a log (above said freezing water)

We had spent half a day hiking but there was one more thing to do before we left—we were going to have lunch on an island in the middle of Lake Faucherie. It was truly an amazing sight, and all of us hiked around the island after lunch, which was a great work-out. Before I knew it we had to start heading home. I really wish time could stop so we could stay there longer but reality is, school and work awaits us in civilization. Even though I am physically away from the mountains and lakes, my heart keeps wandering back to this memorable weekend. I can’t wait till we go camping again!

Rafting from an island in Faucherie Lake

Rafting to and from an island on Faucherie Lake. A Gracepoint Berkeley first!

Sisters resting on the island

Sisters taking a break on the island


Editor’s Addendum

Ron relaxing as other bros struggle

Ron relaxing as other bros struggle

Since Lin arrived with the later crew on Friday, I’ll take the liberty of filling in what we did on Thursday. The highlight of that day was going to Island Lake and journeying up some rocks. Although that doesn’t sound terribly exciting, the view from up there was breathtaking. From those rocks, we fed ourselves both physically and spiritually.


Memorizing parts of Isaiah 40

Memorizing parts of Isaiah 40

Ron and Cheng blessing the rest of us with their (somewhat) impeccable memory

Cheng and Ron blessing the rest of us with their (somewhat) impeccable memory

Before we left Island Lake that day, we had to do our annual rock skipping challenge

Ryan on how not to skip stones

Ryan vs. Andy

Redemption: Champion Rock Skipper


13 Responses to “Kairos 2 & 4 Sierra Camping Trip, Summer 2008”

  1. July 22, 2008 at 9:45 am

    Thanks for writing up this great post, Lin. As always, you can check out our photos on our web gallery (who knew we’d see llamas at Island Lake?).

  2. 2 andy
    July 22, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Awesome summary of our trip and even more awesome pictures! I’d like to say for the record that the brothers were not struggling with lifting those kayaks 🙂

    With the rock skipping, I’ll admit that every other time, Ryan completely dominated me. He was averaging over 10 rock skips and i was around 5. However, in the one that counted, in the one that was recorded, in the OFFICIAL challenge, “experience beat out youth!” HAHA

    I can’t wait to go camping again and to set up tent on the island in the middle of Faucherie Lake!

  3. 3 Richard Dongses
    July 22, 2008 at 10:39 am

    Cool. Thanks for the recap, Lin and Abe. Speaking on behalf of Kairos 4, we had an awesome time. The tag-team duo of Kairos 2 and 4 was perfect. Fun fellowship, beautiful nature, and intense water wars. What more could you ask for? Ahhh… maybe more time, because it was just way too short. But as what Lin said, the reality of of school and jobs await us. I’m sitting in the air conditioned office right now, thinking back at the fun weekend, and wishing I was sitting on the island, with Lake Faucherie all around me. Instead, I’m sitting at my desk, with monitors all around me. 😛 At least we got pictures like these to remind us! Thanks Abe (and Amy) for taking pictures! They look great!

  4. 4 Robertkim
    July 22, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Good times. Next time, I’ll be prepared with songs practiced, I hope. haha. Man, just remembering the scene which you described so vividly just brings chills to my body once again at the splendor of the King.


    Lin Ni is nominated for the Jim Kwak award xD
    (think, car ride home)

  5. 5 Lin Ni
    July 22, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Thanks Abe for the picture inserts! I wish we can go back soon.

  6. 6 Lin Ni
    July 22, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    I was just kidding Robert, you guys were really (surprisingly) good! it shows you’ve got talent

    What is the Jim Kwak award?

  7. 7 Michelle
    July 22, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    The camping trip was really fun! Thanks Andy for all the planning and sorry for being a hater and being doubtful when you first presented your ideas to us. I think one of my vivid memories is being on that raft with Donna, Andy and Cheng trying to get to the island in the middle of Lake Faucherie. That was quite an experience and I think we are all truly thankful that we made it safely to the other side! Thanks to all the brothers who did the hard work of rowing!

  8. 8 andy
    July 22, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    Wow, I never thought I’d hear Michelle admit that she was a “hater” 🙂 Don’t worry, I know you weren’t really doubtful, it’s just safer to doubt because then you’re that much more pleasantly surprised when things turn out great!

    At any rate, it was my pleasure to think through and plan our trip. I’m also thankful for all the staff for helping with all the logistics from prep’n food, gathering camping gear, securing trucks, planning rides, and much much more. Truly God gives us the church to spur each other on and to work together to accomplish greater things than we could have ever done alone! Plus it’s a lot more fun together!

  9. 9 Michelle
    July 23, 2008 at 9:55 am

    haha, hmm maybe, i shouldnt have written that part about being a “hater,” i have a feeling that is going to haunt me…

  10. 10 Ernie
    July 23, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    OMGosh, you guys are HILARIOUS!
    I heard from the “hater” that you guys had bundles of fun! Hahaha. sorry, had to do it. Yeah, it’s already haunting you, isn’t it?

    I’m SO EXCITED for our very own Kairos 1 & 3 Sierra trip this upcoming weekend after hearing and reading about your trip!

  11. July 24, 2008 at 10:14 am

    For anyone planning on going to this trip — especially if you plan on going to that island in Lake Faucherie — make sure that the pair of oars for your raft are even in length. There’s a certain pair that looks and feels the same, except one is slightly longer than the other. A few of the brothers were going in circles in the beginning before they finally figured it out (and by “they,” I mean “we”… and by “we”… I mean “me”).

  12. 12 Ernie
    July 24, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Oh dear.

  13. 13 andy
    July 29, 2008 at 12:21 am

    Yea, you can either bring matching ores or brothers like Ryan, Robert, Ron and Cheng who can do all the rowing for you! It was a joy to see Ryan row both rafts, one tied to the other, back to the island by himself in order to shuttle people back to land. Even though I beat you in rock skipping, I’ll admit you one-up’d me at rowing 🙂

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