Most of our friends and family have already heard our crazy stuck-in-the-mud/snow Easter night story. Gabe wrote a very accurate, detailed post about it the next morning before we even woke up! Isaac wrote his version of it later that day as well. Love those boys!!!
It was pretty wild, considering that just hours before, we had taken a very tame hike in Zion, the Canyon Overlook trail and enjoyed some amazing views and sweet time together talking about Jesus and love and grace.
Three little decisions – to head towards the Lava Rock trail off of Kolob road instead of continuing to the East Rim Trail. And then deciding against a dirt road to the Lava Rocks so we could hit Kolob Reservoir to cook our dinner. And then deciding against Kolob Reservoir and following Honda Wanda’s GPS directions back to I15. Oh yes, and the 4th decision, which was a dumb one, was to go through a short stretch of snow.
The boys worked with Don for a while to try to get us unstuck, but to no avail. Jadyn was happy to get out and play in the snow. (Can you believe these little snowbunnies are missing snow already?!!)
Since we didn’t have cell service, we had to make a decision. Stay put until the morning, or try to find cell service and call someone to help. We packed up all our belongings and anything valuable from the car and hit the road. The kids were rockstars.
The boys really detail the story well, hiking through fields, forest, over a stream and up a boulder field. We were all walking as fast as we could trying to take advantage of the last moments of daylight. The kids were all focused, not scared. I was wondering about animals, but thankfully, we never came across any. I kept trying to stay positive and encouraging, reminding the kids to think about every single step. A sprained ankle would not bode well.
They had just snacked up in the car with the last of their Easter basket goodies, so I knew they had enough “fuel” to go for a while. But when we had to keep walking, and it got cold and dark, and once we hit a T in the road, we decided to plant down and recharge. Don and the kids lit a fire for warmth, and we made our mountain house meals for a late dinner. We were all shaking cold by then and hugging and huddling with each other for extra warmth. Don and Gabe would make a search for more twigs, wood, but when we felt like we couldn’t sustain it much longer, we decided to bury the fire and hit the road again.
Gabe and I were in shorts, so we’d jog multiple times to stay warm.
We hoped that the police/rescue vehicles were coming, but it had already been almost 2 hrs, so we were starting to doubt. We knew it was several miles back to our car, but at least it was a “known.” If the rescue people didn’t come, at least we knew, eventually we could make it back to the car and rest warm there til morning.
Fortunately, we didn’t have to. 🙂 We saw the headlights coming our way, and we were the happiest people alive in that moment. We were all waving like we were in a parade. We felt like Bear Grylls when he finally sees a vehicle or town. We were going to get home!!!
By the time we drove back to St. George, showered and got in bed, it was 3 AM. Very long day.
As much as we wish we had have avoided that night, there’s a part of us that’s very grateful to have experienced it. We always wondered what our kids would be like in a crazy “survival” situation like that. And we were floored. They were amazing. No complaints, no wimpiness, no attitudes. They were just focused and strong. For one moment only, Jadyn said, “I’m scared,” but it was like 12:30, and I picked her up to carry her while she cried for one minute, but then she was back on her feet, ready to walk for another mile. Love that J girl.
It’s taken us all week to recover from the lack of sleep that night, but we’ve loved reliving that story together over and over. We are all very grateful.