On our way to the trail head, the rain came down hard, and the weather was very chilly... in the 40's. We were leaving 3 hours later than when we wanted. I kept telling the children that we could get really cold and wet if we still went. I asked them over and over again if they still wanted to go; they assured me that they did. I told them to pray with all the faith they had because the weather was looking pretty severe.
When we arrived at the trailhead, there were a few people who were finishing up a fund-raiser. The man in charge looked at me and said, "I have to warn you... there is some ugly weather coming in." I said, "I know, but there's no lightning, right?" He said, "No, but let me check again."
He pulled out his phone and looked closer at the screen. He looked up at me and said, "Wow! That's strange. It looks like the storm must have turned up north!" It was still drizzling at this point, but I was so grateful that the bigger storm miraculously made a turn!
I put Juliana on the seat behind me and Jayden in the cart trailing me. In the cart, I also carried gatorades, sleeping bags, extra clothes for rain, food, and emergency kits. I had at least 100 lbs in tow.
Abe borrowed a friend's bike... it was a Cruiser- just a little fyi: A Cruiser is not the kind of bike you want to take on a 35 mile bike ride! What a special memory Mariah will always have riding behind her daddy for an entire day. Jackson, Tyson, Jordan, and Mariah carried their own backpacks of extra clothes and a few of their own waters and snacks. Their bags were heavy and bulky... but they were on an adventure and acting very, very brave.
Before we left, the man gave us some parting advice:
"An adventure isn't an adventure if you know how it's going to turn out in the end, so...
GO HAVE AN ADVENTURE!!"I love adventures, but my first thought was, "I pretty much know how this trip is going to turn out in the end because we have everything all planned out."
Oh the surprises and miracles that would await us!
We got on our bikes prepared for the worst. Our first surprise/miracle was that the rain completely stopped just as we were getting ready to leave!!
The Wind Storm
Songs, Prayers, and Animals
StrandedAs we continued on, we were energized by the beauty of the sun setting and shadowy forests.
We had brought two head lamps, but the extra batteries were left in the car. I was the only one with the head lamp that worked. Abe was the caboose and reminded the children often: "Keep your eyes on Mommy's light."
We were getting so close, and everyone anxiously anticipated each announcement of a mile conquered. "How many more miles?" was a question I heard at this point about every 5 minutes. We had already seen one set of beady, glowing eyes in the woods. We assumed it was a deer, but we pressed forward a little faster anyway.
I called the lady at our campground to tell her that I thought we were about 3 miles away.
BlessedOne of our apostles, Elder David A. Bednar, said this in the October, 2007 issue of the Friend magazine:
"One of the primary purposes of mortality is to learn- to gain knowledge and intelligence. Doctrine and Covenants 93:36 states, 'The glory of God is intelligence.' ...The real value of learning is that it enables you in any situation to be resourceful- to figure out what to do when you have no idea what to do!"