Monday, November 8, 2010

Sometimes Angels Wear Cowboy Hats and Camouflage

We just returned from a wonderful vacation that we took with two of my favorite people, my sister Brenda and her husband Steve. We are all grandparents now, which means that we can expect to start having those Senior Moments every now and then…..

Greg and I wanted to go to Zion National Park again so we could hike the Zion Narrows (a subject for another blog post). Brenda and Steve wanted to take four wheelers so we could enjoy the wilderness. Mike was so kind and offered to let us take his Razor.

On Saturday morning we drove for about half an hour to a place called the Great American Trail near Kanab which leads into the Escalante/Grand Staircase National Monument. The ranger warned us that this is a wilderness area with no services or cell phone coverage.

Here is a far away view of this area. You can see that there are different levels of mountains, each getting higher in elevation as you go into the area. The Vermillion Cliffs are the red ones in front. This is where we started.

When we got there, Steve asked Greg how much gas he had left from the previous day’s ride. Greg said, “I filled up with gas last night, so I’m full.” Steve got a sick look on his face. His dreaded Senior Moment had happened. He had forgotten to fill up his four wheeler. But, no problem, there was 3/4 tank of gas left. Well we rode a few yards and his gas gauge dropped to 1/2 tank. I’ve never seen such a sick look on his face. Here we had come all this way and hauled these four wheelers out into the wilderness and he didn’t have a full tank.

Well, we chose a route that we thought we could easily accomplish with the amount of gas that he had.

At first we were in the valley….and it was beautiful…..

Then it turned up into the Vermillion Cliffs.

The road got a little “knarly” (as Steve called it) in spots. Of course, those times I was scared to death, but when the road smoothed out, the scenery was gorgeous.

Steve didn’t seem quite his happy self because it was when we got up high that his gas tank started to show 1/4 tank.

We had to devise a route to get back as quick as we could. None of us were too excited about being stranded out here….

Soon we were over the top of the Vermillion Cliffs and could see the white cliffs in the distance……what beauty.

The quick road that we discovered to come back down on was very rough in spots. Sorry I don’t have photos of that. I wasn’t thinking about taking photos at this point. But we made it down. The low dip between the two higher areas is the place where we came down out of the Vermillion Cliffs.

Now we were back on lower ground and only had a few more miles to go. Brenda was navigating using the maps and it looked like we would make it. We were almost there when we reached a gully that had been washed out by a flash flood. Oh no, it would be hard to get across. Being inexperienced riders on a very nice borrowed machine, Greg and I opted to tell Steve that we would not cross it with him and we didn’t want to split up out in the wilderness. He would have to go with us on an alternate route as far as the remaining gas would allow. Of course by now the tank registered empty.

Steve agreed, but said, “Pray for Me!!” We told him that we already had been doing that.

This whole day, we hadn’t seen one other person.

But, wouldn’t you know it. After a little way, we came across a hunter’s camp.

Steve pulled into the camp and told the fellows there his story. They were the most pleasant, smily guys you could meet. They had the strongest southern Utah drawl that I have ever heard. They laughed so hard at Steve’s story and gave us enough gas to get back.

I had wondered how God was going to answer our prayers. It was a wonderful reminder that we are his hands. So many times he answers us with promptings to be in a place where other people can help us, or we can help others. It was very hard for Steve to ask them for help, but he knew that God had answered his prayer and if he didn’t accept that answer he was on his own.

What a great day we had with lots of good lessons learned. I’m sure this will be subject matter for one of Greg’s High Council talks in the future.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

I’m grateful for generous sons-in-law, wonderful sisters and brothers-in-law, beautiful nature, and angels with cowboy hats and camouflage.


Amber said...

I am certainly glad you didn't get stuck there! Thanks for the great post.

Emily said...

I'm glad you all made it out together. Gorgeous pictures!

Brenda said...

You wrote the story beautifully, Terri! It was gorgeous, and I actually liked the "gnarly" parts. It's funny but I really was never worried about the gas. I guess I have so many other things I could worry about, having "gas" or not just isn't one of them :)

Thanks for taking us on such a great trip and helping me to always look for the beautiful!