Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lost and Found - Backpack Trip Part 3

The ridge we climbed to get our barings.

Me and Jenna kissing the trail.

Jenna kissing the tent back at camp after hiking in the wilderness for 6 hours!

Realizing we were going the wrong way.

One of the mornings, everyone hiked to another lake about 20 minutes from our camp to go fishing. We didn’t follow a trail to get there. We bush wacked. After we were there for awhile, no one was catching anything so they decided they were going to start up to another lake they had planned to go to fish. I had decided that I would take Jenna back to camp because the hike was going to be pretty difficult. My sister-in-law, Sandy, was planning to go back to camp as well. So we started back. You know I hadn’t really paid attention on how we got to the lake but figured we hadn’t gone that far and Sandy probably knew the way. After awhile, both of us weren’t sure where we were. Neither one of us really knew the way. After about a half hour or so we did hit a trail and a lake. It said, First Lieutenant Lake. We didn’t have a map. We really had no idea where this lake was in relation to the lake we were camping by. We headed the direction we thought we needed to go following the trail. Pretty soon the trail ended. But we had decided that we had bush wacked earlier so we probably just needed to follow the river and we would pop out by the next lake. Well, we hiked and hike…..and hiked. The brush started getting thicker and thicker. The flies were swarming our sweaty heads. Jenna was carrying her fish and crying about the bugs and about being lost and about wanting her dad. She was so upset and it lasted for quite some time. Eventually the fish came off the stick because the jaw bone it was hanging from broke. So, I carried the fish in my hand. After a couple of hours, the fish’s skin was getting brittle and I knew it wouldn’t be any good to eat. I told Jenna we needed to leave the fish behind. I really needed both hands to get through what we were climbing through. Jenna was a good sport. About this same time, I had to stop hiking and just hug Jenna. She was so upset and I had tried to comfort her with words but she was tired and scared. We hugged tightly for a couple of minutes and I told her that I would not let anything bad happen to her and things were going to be okay. She relaxed and was amazing from that time on. We decided we really needed to say a prayer to help us all feel better. We hiked through some hard terrain. I actually was more worried that Sandy or I would fall before Jenna. We did have water and food. It is such a scary and uneasy feeling to be lost. For a long time, I would tell Jenna that we were almost there. But as hours went by, I didn’t know anymore. I couldn’t tell her that. I told her we were lost but it was going to be okay. We would be going along and a hopeless feeling would come and Sandy or I would say, “I don’t know where to go” or “I don’t know where we are.” We were waiting for our inspiration I guess. And Jenna would tell us that we reminded her that we were lost and that made her scared and if we didn’t talk about it that was better. We hiked for a long time. We hiked up to a ridge so we could get our bearings. We climbed some hard stuff and Jenna did so well. There was a saddle in the mountain I remembered that Dave had told me that they hike over that to get to Iris Lake where they were fishing which was right above our camp. We had been hiking the wrong way! We stayed up high on the ridge and started heading towards the saddle. We began to hook candy wrappers to the trees to leave evidence we had been there. Our biggest worry was that the others really had no idea we were lost yet. They had planned on fishing for a long time and getting back to camp around 7 p.m. If we weren’t there when they got back to camp they might think we had just gone on a little walk. They really wouldn’t know until it started getting dark and then there would be nothing they could do until morning and then they would worry all night about us. We were getting tired. We had begun hiking at 11:30 a.m. and at about 4:30 p.m. we were still lost. We were going in the right direction though. We decided to start down the mountain. The surroundings were looking a little more familiar. We had a feeling to keep heading down and we came to a river. We decided to cross it and climb up the other side. We hiked up about 30 feet and we hit a trail. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. I was ahead of Jenna and Sandy so I saw it first and I started screaming, “a trail, a trail, there is a trail!” We couldn’t believe it. Jenna and I got on all fours and pretended to kiss the ground and Sandy took our picture. The ironic thing is it was the trail by the lake that we had come to 5 ½ hours earlier! Ugh! We were not leaving the trail this time. So we headed down the trail. Well it didn’t take long to realize we were going the wrong direction on the trail because we came to a place we recognized from our initial hike in. So we changed directions and started hiking the other direction. Pretty soon we came to lakes we knew and then back to our camp. We ended up in camp at 5:30 p.m. 6 hours after we started hiking. We basically did a great big huge circle through the wilderness. When we first hit the trail in the beginning, if we had known where we were it would have taken us 20 minutes to get back to camp. We were so excited to have made it back. We were exhausted but the adrenalin was still high. We washed our feet in the river and then went and sat on the grassy hill where we had had church. We left a note at camp telling them where we were and that we had quite a story to tell them. At 6:30 they came looking for us. We had beat them back to camp by only 1 hour. They couldn’t believe the story. I still can’t believe it myself. It was truly a miracle. I truly believe that there really is not explanation why we made it back to camp that day other than divine intervention. Heavenly Father helped us. There is no other way.

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Annie Atkin Rasmussen said...


Stephanie said...

Oh my goodness! I can not imagine being lost for so long. How scary! I'm so glad you all had each other and that you made it back safely.

Shaleace said...

I am so glad you found your way. I think I would have been just like Jenna: crying and wanting my daddy. Thank goodness you had food and water and you found the trail!

keepsakes said...

Oh my! I am so sorry you had to go through that. Poor Jenna, she is a trooper though!