It had been a long Friday of flower identification. We were on a biology camping trip last weekend and had a great time studying God's nature, but now we were itching to go for a hike. It was Sabbath, the perfect time to go on a relaxing hike in nature. As our professor loaded everyone into the bus, I started wondering how fast paced this hike would be. I counted 13 guys and only two other girls (including my friend Kelsey). Well, no matter, we would just try and keep up with the guys. We took off when we got to Mt. LeConte, and had a great time hiking up to the top. As we were hiking up, I noticed that it was far past my lunch time. I could tell because I start slowing down and not noticing my surroundings, I just wanted to get to the top and enjoy my tomato sandwich. Finally, after about five miles, we got to a lodge at the top where we enjoyed our well earned lunch. We had a nice look around, then after okaying it with our professor, Kelsey and I started to head down to the trail head. Since I was properly nurished, I had a much more enjoyable time heading down than up. In fact, there were a lot of things I must have missed on the way up because of my hunger. Then we got to a fork in the road. Kelsey confidently said that it was the left fork, but I wasn't so sure. Knowing that I am extremely bad with directions, especially when I wasn't paying attention on the way up, I decided to follow Kelsey's lead. About a mile down the path Kelsey wasn't so sure anymore. "Maybe we should do the other path" she suggested. Figuring that we were well behind everyone else now we hurried back to the other path and started hurriedly down that path. Hmmmm, I didn't really recognize this either. Wow, I must have been really out of it when I was coming up. After about two miles we stopped. No, this wasn't the trail either. I wasn't too jazzed about camping at a deserted trail head, especially since there was a lot of vandalism from where we came up. Two girls lost in the middle of the woods wasn't the best idea.
We stopped to have a prayer, then began the long weary path back up the hill. It was a lot harder going up than down to say the least, especially when you had already been hiking for ten miles. I started to feel a little faint, but I had to continue hiking. I didn't want to get stuck on the trail at night! We figured that by this time the guys would be searching for us, and they might be about to call the ranger's station, so we went back to the lodge (the one that we had lunch by at the top), and had them call the ranger's station to let them know we are alright. They showed us the right trail, and we made our weary decent. This time, determined not to get stuck too late out on the trail I tried to hike as fast as I could muster.
Then we realized that it was close to sundown. Even though we had been praying a lot, we wanted to have a little sundown prayer and song. We were going to go around a little bend in the path before stopping for a break, when we heard voices. Four forms were in front of us. Low and behold! It was our rescue party! My cousin Austin and my two semi-brothers (Barry and John) and another friend Matt all came around the corner with headlamps in hand to find us. So Kelsey and I didn't have to walk alone in a dark scary path after all!
We all had a thankful sun-down prayer and made it back to the bus without difficulty (although I think that Austin was hoping that one of us would be too weak to hike so he could carry us). Our professors were so happy to see us back safely (and frankly I was too).
God was so good. Even though we had a very eventful Sabbath, He was watching the whole time, and got us safely to our destination. I'm glad to be back.