Yesterday was something that I never thought I would have ever experienced in my entire life. What started as a 3 hour hike ended up being a 14 hour ‘adventure’.
This weekend, I went up to a leadership retreat in Payson, AZ and it is gorgeous so naturally, you hike.
There was a group of 10 of us- Lando, Jake, Adam, Kelly, Jessica, Kennedy, Olivia, Julia, Kayla and me, and we all decided we wanted to go on a hike. This was at 2 in the afternoon.
It started out being a super fun and simple walk, but we shortly got off the trail and ended up having to walk through thorn bushes, literally scale the side of a mountain, go up 1500 ft within the matter of a few hours, have people tumble down the hill and hope they weren’t going to die, rock climb with no equipment and have full faith that God was going to pull us through.
We finally got to the very top of the mountain and were so excited because WE CONQUERED THE SIDE OF A MOUNTAIN and we thought that we were going to have our friends come and pick us up but, of course, the roads were closed due to snow. We started to walk and by this time it was around 530/6ish and it was starting to get dark.
The snow was falling, we were walking through 5 feet of snow and a lot of our group was starting to get altitude sickness.
We finally found a road that had signs, so we decided to follow down it. For what seemed like hours (it was probably only like 1 hour) we were walking through the snow and we found a shack and a tower, but everything was locked so we kept walking.
20 minutes after passing the shack, we had to take a break to get everything sorted out. We were stranded in the middle of snow fall on a road that was closed down. None of us could feel our feet and we decided to sit down under a tree. It was in this moment that we all faced the fact that we may be here all night and maybe not make it out.
We decided to go back to the shack and try to get in and by the grace of God we were able to kick the door down. We went inside this small little shack that had one twin size bed, 2 jugs of water, 10 candles and spaghetti noodles.
We were in here for 5 hours before we could get help to us.
Once we got all of our shoes and socks off and started to warm each others feet up, there was a sense of peace.
Our leader who was back at camp was on his way up, but realized 3/4 of the way up that he couldn’t make it and decided to call 911 to come get us. We got in contact with them and just had to wait it out to get rescued.
While we were waiting, all we could do was worship. We all realized that we were here for a reason.
Earlier in the day, we had a quiet time where we had to pray about a fear that was holding us back in life. All of us had the same one- we were fearful of letting God take full control of our lives and boy does He have a funny sense of humor. He stuck us all on that mountain for this reason.
In the shack we all peed in a bucket, cooked spaghetti noodles over candles and builded community in the best way possible.
Around 12am, the first set of search and rescue guys showed up on snowmobiles and we have never been so thankful. We sent out the first two to the ambulance and then waited. The ride to the ambulance was 45 minutes, so we had to wait 1 1/2 hours each time two people left.
We got to the ambulance and they gave us blankets and water and made sure we were all in tact. As we were waiting for the others, the paramedics were telling us how lucky we are to be alive.
There is usually no signal out on this mountain and they usually find people like us as dead popsicles during the spring time when the roads actually open up.
After 14 hours of not knowing what was going to happen, all 10 of us ended up with only a few scratches and bruises and we all made it back safely to camp. This whole experience truly tested our faith in God and He pulled through.
This was the most exciting/fearful/nerve wrecking/faith loaded adventure I have experienced. Through out the entire thing, we were seeking God and after many mental break downs from people, we pulled ourselves together and managed to get out.
God is so good to us and kept His hand on us the entire time. We are suppose to be dead right now, frozen on the side of the road.
I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I got to know people I didn’t really know before, I got to get closer to God and I now have such an amazing story to share. This was truly set out by God and He molded us.
I’m so thankful that we made it out alive and for everyone who was praying for us along the way. I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH.