Monday, June 8, 2009

Father/son experience (aka "Are your legs sore too, Dad?)

Stephen and I went to the annual ward Father's and son's outing on Friday. The main activity for us was to get in some real time on the four wheelers. We got 8 1/2 hours worth.

We went up the trail that we had done for the last several years, but went further because we had more time. When the sign said, "Cedar loop" we both thought, that's good for an uncharted adventure, loops bring you back to where you started so we pressed on. We took on the challenge when the trail got rockier. The view from the mountain ridge was spectacular, I wondered if Stephen noticed the acres of flowers we passed in the brief times when I wasn't focused on missing rocks. As we went down the other side of the ridge, I kept wondering when the loop was going to start looping. At the bottom we realized that we had gone from highway 35 to highway 150. We searched many places for the rest of the loop. Then at the end of a campground we found it and up we went. (We knew where we came from was too rocky to go back up.) At the top of the mountain I was starting to look at the time, worried about being late for dinner. Then as time progressed, we went in circles. I noticed numbers on signs at trail intersections. I felt right that we were on the right path because it was familiar, only to realize it was familiar because we had just been there 10 minutes before. We backtracked and realized that at some 3 way intersections we had explored all 3 directions already, some 2 or 3 times. Then I was worried about missing dinner all together. We were never in any danger, but were were lost and the view of the rolling hills made us feel very alone.

While I was watching the time, Stephen had been watching the gas. Something about his ATV made him burn gas almost twice as fast. We started at 4:00pm. By 8:00 dinner was being cleaned up and Stephen was almost out of gas. So at that time I said, "Ok, prayer time." We said a simple prayer asking to help us back to camp. We went a short way, wanting to have the answer to be, turn here, this is where you missed the way before. After a very short time, we stopped and the answer came: "We need to get to people." Nobody knows where we are, we need to get to people, even if it isn't our own camp. A very simple direct answer to prayer. We need to get to people.

As Stephen ran out of gas, he turned on the reserve tank (good option on a 4 wheeler) and we looked at each other and said, "half a gallon left" and went on. When we reached the bottom where the trail meets the road of the campground, we saw people. Later on, those people said that I looked very relieved when I saw them. They were right. I told them our predicament while they sat in their two seater 4 wheelers with amazing suspensions and power. There were two couples. Steve told us to come on back to camp and they would fill us up with gas. Missy said something about being able to get that midnight ride that she wanted. They told us that they were from Kamas and knew all the trails up there. They asked us about where we were camped and then told us that they would take us there. They gave us gas, beef jerky, water and another coat. We turned on the headlights (it was almost 10 pm by then) and off we went. By the time we reached camp, (after one big retrace of our travels because of a locked gate) it was about 12:40am. They informed us that it was 19.1 miles from their camp to ours, with a mountain inbetween.

Steve Steinmetz, Wyatt Smith, Missy and Tawna Marie got to be guardian angels/answers to prayer that night. And I told them that. I also told them I didn't know how to thank them. They refused me being able to top off their gas tanks. Anything that came to mind as a reward or payment just felt silly or insulting at the moment. They weren't expecting a reward. So I just told them that tonight you get to know what it feels like to be an answer to prayer. And I told them thank you for being the people that God chose to be our guardian angels that night. Missy responded to that saying that she would have something cool to email about to her son who is on a mission somewhere in Africa.

Our 8 1/2 hours of 4 wheeling over very rocky terrain was over. We both are walking a little funny today because our legs are so sore. We had a lot of fun and we also experienced one of the most direct answers to prayer that I have ever experienced when the right people were placed in our path.

Stephen, you were awesome. DAD

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