Now I'm going to back up for just a minute and tell you something that happened last week. Something that was a game changer for us and something that we didn't know at the time, but something that would help us make it out of this very bad situation.
My husband works in Springfield, MO, but he works for a company out of Springdale, AR. They have a Springfield shop as well, and that is where my Mr. Winslow works. They bought him a cell phone last week, for work and not just any cell phone but an iPhone. And they bought him an AT&T plan, because AT&T gets out better in AR and that is where the Corporate Offices and main plant are, so that is what they went with. They used to be Verizon, but it didn't work as well in AR. AMAZING!!
It was the iPhone that got out for us when we were hidden deep in the woods. Dick called 911, and a very nice lady answered. He told her our predictament and if there was anyway they could put us in touch with a Park Ranger to figure out how to get back to that .8 mile marker. Somehow we knew if we got there that some how we may be able to find our way out of there.
Now you may be wondering about our kids at this point, and if they were wondering where we were. Well, of course, they were. Dak called us about 8:00 PM and said that he had called the house and we weren't home. He wondered where we were. I told him that we were lost in the woods. He asked me what that meant. =). (You see this just isn't something that ever happens to us.....we are experienced hikers..... sigh.). We couldn't stay on the phone and he said later that our connection wasn't good. (My phone.) He couldn't really figure out what was going on. So he came over to our house and told Chase that we were lost. It is funny to me now, but Chase told him that "Dad doesn't get lost. She's messing with you." Well Dak knew that wasn't the case, so he called a mom of one of his friends and told her that we were lost in the woods and he was worried, but she told him that we'd be fine and not to worry. So he went back to his dorm.
Well in the meantime, Chase started trying to get ahold of us. When we set there hidden deep in the woods, Dick called Chase (on the iPhone) to see if he could find a map of Hemmed-In Hollow online to help figure out of where we were. (No we didn't have a map. Another mistake.)
Dick went ahead and just called 911 and the lady got a Park Ranger to call us back. While he was talking to him he put Dick on hold because he had another call. He got back on the phone and told us that Chase was on the other line and had told him "My dad and stepmom are lost in Hemmed-In Hollow.... YOU HAVE TO GET THEM OUT OF THERE!!!" =) Warmed my heart and made me smile =) I love that boy!!!
Well he had another Park Ranger call us that knew the area better than he did. So pretty soon another Ranger called us and thankfully Dick knew where we must have made the wrong turn this time, and so could tell him exactly where we had turned when we got to the .8 mile marker, but it was so dark. Well the Ranger asked him several questions about our location and we really couldn't tell him very much, but he thought he had a pretty good idea where we were. Dick asked him if there was anyway that we could take a turn somewhere and meet back to the trail we needed without going all the way back.
We had walked 2 HOURS in the wrong direction and now we had to turn around and go back.
The Park Ranger was so nice. When Dick explained our situation and my health challenges, the Park Ranger said he would meet us at the .8 mile marker with water HALLELUJAH!! and he would walk us out.
So now we had a plan. So now we just needed to get back to that .8 mile marker and the promise of water. But that was another 2 HOUR walk. So we started back at 10:30 PM.
Before we headed back, we wrapped up in each other and prayed. It was beautiful. We prayed for courage. We prayed for help. We KNEW that God was with us NO MATTER the outcome. WE LOVE HIM SO!!!
So after we prayed, we took off back up the trail.
We walked, ever so slowly.....
At first our pace was quicker, because we knew that someone who knew the way out of there would be there with water to meet us.
But then..... it didn't take long for our weariness, our thirst, and our pain to catch up with us and I had to stop..... again. I tried to make my stops shorter, but still I had to stop.
Well we are walking....
When all of the sudden Dick yells: STOP!!!!!
Are you kidding me? A COPPERHEAD?
So I jumped behind my man and stepped several steps backward in case he needed room to jump back.
Dick bent down, ever so gently and picked up a rock, and hit that COPPERHEAD in the head. It didn't kill him, but he did scurry away quickly into the woods.
Now we were REALLY ready to get out of there.
Dick told me then that he had been looking out for them, because they are really on the move this time of year.
I decided, in this case, that ignorance is bliss. =) I'm REALLY glad that he didn't tell me that tid bit of information before we saw the COPPERHEAD!! It is the kind of thing this girl didn't need to know =)
So we kept going
and going......and going.
And then finally we heard something.
Yes it was the rescuer, the Park Ranger and he was equipped with flashlights, sweatshirts, and sweet, sweet WATER!!! We were SO thankful to see him!!
He was so nice. We asked him if they had to do this much and he said all the time. We were so surprised. He said that people get turned around all the time out there. And they have lots of injuries, etc.
Oh and the trail we were on?
It was called the Benchmark trail and it is not very well marked. obviously.
And it is the LONGEST trail in the whole place.
WHAT?!! And it pretty much goes nowhere.
Well he got us back out of the deep woods. (Remember COPPERHEADS!!!!!)
And then back to the .8 mile marker where we could sit a while and drink our sweet beautiful water.
I asked our Park Ranger his name and he said it was Billy. I told him that our grandson would love this story and love the fact that we had been rescued by Park Ranger Billy. He loved that =)
When it was time to get going, he warned me that it was only .8 miles out of there, but it was a very rough .8 miles, with LOTS of rock stairs.
So we started out of there.
It was VERY rough. I had to stop some more, and if it hadn't been for the adreline, I just might have had to be carried out of there. It was so tough. But we kept going and .....
Ta -Da!!! We made it!!
Back to our car.
WE WERE NEVER SO HAPPY TO SEE THAT SILVER ALERO IN OUR LIVES!!!!!
The Ranger was SO nice and came over and talked to me to make sure I was okay, before he took our information. Dick tried to pay him, but he said, "No sir. This is my job!" Such a nice guy and very good Ranger.
Well now we were going home.
It was 1:30 AM when we got to our car.
We had been out there for 13 hours and had hiked up some very tough terrain for 12 MILES!!! WOW!!
Well, we were so happy and headed the 2 hour trip home.
So we are now recovering nicely and so thankful that we made it home safely.
As far as injuries go, of course we were very dehydrated, but we are fine with that now. Dick had lots of scrapes and bites, but was fine and his heart is getting back to a good rhythm.
Me? Well I had lots of scrapes and scratches, but the worst part was my big toe on my left foot. The nail is completely BLACK!! It hurts REALLY bad!!! We are not sure I won't end up at the doctor to have the nail taken off, but we'll see. I hit my toe so many times that it pushed the nail back into my foot. EEK!! Yep OUCH!!!!! My hips are still pretty sore, and now my left knee is starting to really hurt (4 days later =) but considering, it did REALLY well!!
Well there you have it. Our Hemmed-In Hollow adventure!!
And yes, we are already planning a trip back. Dick was researching really good back packs last night =). Ones with bladders :)... Built in water bottles. The call them bladders. Hahahaha that cracks me up!!
Thank you all for your concern for us and all the sweet comments over the last several days......
We love you so ~~
Now onto the next adventure =)
Thank you for seeing us in the dark, when no one else knew for sure where we were, You knew. You were loving us and teaching us every step of the way and we are so very thankful Father. Continue to help us and teach us through this experience. We love you so Abba ~~ Amen.