This afternoon as James and I were ending our 5 mile hike, we came upon a couple and their beautiful dog just beginning their hike, this was around 1:00pm this afternoon. We stopped and chatted a bit and told them about the path we took and they indicated that they had been here before and loved this particular trail. Nice couple from Arizona and a very adorable golden retriever.
As I mentioned earlier, the hike really was strenuous, but doable. Well, fast forward 9 hours...James and I are back from dinner and are sitting outside, under the stars, enjoying the fire when we hear off into the distance someone yelling what sounded like, "Hey...we are on Calico Trail!" This was very off into the distance and I looked at James and said, "Is that coming from up the mountain?" We listened for a few moments more and heard the man yell four-five more times, however, it was clear that he was yelling, "HELP...we are on Calico Trail!"
James immediately got into the car and drove up to the office while I stayed at the RV. We wanted to report what we were hearing, but he office was closed. James sat outside the car for a few moments and could still hear the man. A truck pulled up next to James and the man inside asked him if he was hearing the same thing, and James said yes. So, the man and James took off up the trail (this trail is across the street from the RV park and the beginning part is a dirt road), and shined the truck's lights up the trail and there they were...the couple and their dog that we saw this morning.
James said it was horrible seeing the woman...she was freezing cold, crying, scared, limping, etc. and yet the look of relief was overwhelming. They had missed the Cut Off Trail which would have taken them the way we went and only been 5 miles...they did the entire trail which is a total of 15 miles, but they didn't have any provisions, such as enough water, something to make a fire, long pants, long sleeve shirt, nothing. The good news is is that they are now safe and back at their RV.
I thank God that James and I were outside and that we heard them. We almost decided NOT to start a fire and the funny thing is, the fire never did start...just smoked, but we sat out there trying...and then we heard them. God is so wonderful in the way He works!
When James and I went out today he made sure we had something for a fire, our long pants, long sleeve shirts and a knife, because he says you never know when something like that could happen and now I will NEVER EVER go hiking, no matter how short the hike is, without all the proper provisions.
Thank you, Lord, for keeping them safe. Thank you for teaching us, those reading this blog and the couple from Arizona the invaluable lesson of being prepared when going out into the wilderness.