CATHOLIC FINISH STRONG
Steve Timm's Blog
It is necessary to walk down a long tunnel in order to enter the Holy Cave of Covadongo. There are a few openings in the side of the tunnel wall and we found this one especially beautiful. The three crosses are very striking when viewed from the tunnel. Notice the Basílica de Santa María la Real de Covadonga in the background.
After arriving at the Covadonga, we got out of our bus and looked around. The Basílica de Santa María la Real de Covadonga was simply an amazing sight, with it's twin spires reaching for Heaven. The incredibly steep Picos de Europa Mountains in the background complete the scene.
The first thing we did at Covadongo was to celebrate the Holy Mass in a tiny chapel on the right side of the Basilica. It was an especial Mass, one celebrated with friends of our common faith.
At the end of the tunnel, the pilgrim must turn to the right. It is from this viewpoint that the Holy Cave of Covagonga can be fully seen. In the center of the cave mouth is the ancient statue of Our Lady of Covodonga that was left by Our Lady after She appeared to Don Pelayo. This is one of the earliest Marian Apparition sites in the world and it is visited by tens of thousands of Catholics annually.
Kneeling in prayer before Our Lady of Covadonga is an incredible faith experience.
After we'd explored the Holy Cave and prayed before Our Lady of Covadongo, we walked back down the tunnel. About a third of the way back, we saw the Tomb of King Don Pelayo and his wife, Queen Gaudiosa.
The language was foriegn to us, but we could see the words "Rey Don Pelaio." Near the bottom of the monument is the notation "Anno 737." King Don Pelayo died while he was holding court in his castle in Cangas de Onis in the year 737.
This is a wide angle view of the Holy Cave of Covadongo, taken from the parking lot. The building on the left of the ledge is called The Hermitage. The statue of Our Lady of Covadongo is just barely visible in the center, very near the handing lamp. The tunnel enters from the right of the cave.
The waterfall and the pool are an amazing sight, both from the ledge in front of the cave and from below. (Photo courtesy of Enciclopedia Libre; source: Rafaelji)
These four last pictures, including Christ the King, are from Steve's Blog, "A Ministry of Sweat" dated July 31, 2014
This is a photo of our small party while we were horse-packing north from base camp. We packed along the river for three days. Eventually set up a spike camp very close to the Arctic Circle in the Yukon Territory.
This small glacier migration bed ran into the Snake River very close to our spike camp. On a several-day walkabout, Rudy and I hiked up the bed, hooked to the north and climbed the unnamed mountain in the distance. The Crystal Cave was on the right side of this mountain and very close to what looks like a pass.
By the way, this is incredibly tough and unforgiving wilderness. Literally, one misstep and you are dead.
It doesn't show in this scene, but I was shooting almost straight up when I took this photo. I was literally hanging on for dear life with my left hand and snapping the photo with my right.
If you look carefully at this picture, there is a ewe and a lamb Dall sheep in the scene. We found the Crystal Cave in the dark-colored cliff depression above the two sheep.