Almost fell off a mountain today. But God. He broke my fall. Praise him!

I rode my bike to Camelback Mountain on Sunday. To look at the Echo Canyon trail head. It looked amazing. It looked challenging. I need to buy closed toe shoes, I thought. I’m gonna climb that on Wednesday when I have off. 

I dropped #1 off at work, went to WallyMart, bought some closed toe shoes, went home, put those bad boys on, grabbed my camelpack, hopped into FrankieFit, and made the ten minute drive to the park. 

It was the hardest hike I’ve ever made. 1.47 miles to the top. More than 2000 foot elevation. Every time I got to a bend, I thought I was there, only to discover I had to climb higher, steeper land than I just climbed. There were lots of people climbing. So even though I went alone, I was not alone. And of course the Lord was with me too. 

At one point there was a boy and girl with me. I joked that when we reached the summit we should call for a rescue helicopter to bring us down. I just knew going down was going to be way more challenging than going up. It’s always the way. 

I also was thinking of all the great trekking movies I’ve watched over the years. I felt like I was on a quest. To reach the summit. No matter what. And I did reach the summit. In less than 2 hours. The view was stunning. 

After a short break to catch my breath, I turned around to go down. It was hard. But it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. 

Until I slid on a rock. Until my right leg gave way. I landed hard on my knee. I rolled. I smacked my head hard on a rock. I landed on my back. Head down toward the edge of a ravine. 

I layed there for a few moments. Assessed the damage from head to toe. Thank you Jesus for catching me.  I had a hard time rolling over so I could get up. I was so tired. But I managed to get up. To find a rock to sit on. To contemplate my near disasterous outcome. Almost doesn’t count, except in horseshoes. I could feel warm liquid rapidly dripping on my neck. Oh crap, I’m bleeding, I thought as I lifted my hand to my head. My right knee also with a gnarly gash. 

Pretty soon a tiny Asian woman came along up. She took one look at me, bloodied and battered and immediately helped me up and holding my hand, led me to shade. And then she was gone to find help, dial 911. I tried to stop her. I’m fine! Don’t bother the fire department!

I sat in the shade for a few minutes. Then I got up to finish the long climb down. I didn’t see the tiny Asian woman again. But I heard about her as I met other hikers on the way down. She pretty much stopped everyone to have them call for help. I’m fine!

I heard sirens from below. I started crying. Oh I hope they’re going to fight a fire God! I’m fine!

When I reach the lower quarter of the trail, I ran into the tiny Asian woman! I thanked her for her help. I told her I was really fine! She told me the fire rescue was on their way. I felt so bad for them. It was hot and I was fine!

I finally reached the fire rescue guys. They were drenched with sweat, carrying wilderness rescue equipment.  We all walked down together. They were very kind. I apologized for being so much trouble. They told me not to apologize, that’s what they’re there for. They were just glad I was okay. So am I. Thank you Jesus!

At the bottom, the park ranger got my name for statistical purposes. I am now a statistic! He gave me water. Cold water. It was refreshing. 

It’s funny. I was never afraid. I never felt sick or dizzy. My confidence is in the Lord. He caught me. 

The ranger told me that Echo Canyon is the hardest hike in Phoenix. I did it! I didn’t fall into the ravine. I didn’t break any bones. I didn’t have serious head trauma! God is good!

And I’m sure I’ll do it again. Maybe in a few months. When it’s cooler. With a buddy. And better closed toe shoes. 

Thank you Jesus! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Happy happy Wednesday!