“Saddle Up Partner” *Lloyd Christmas voice*

Last year, a hefty snowstorm was brewing, so a buddy and I headed for the hills. The snow started to fall right as we got to the forest service road we planned to assault with 4×4, snacks and tomfoolery. It was very early in the am, just light enough to drive without help from lights. There was old snow from a previous storm, but roads had been bare until a few minutes before we arrived as new snow started to puke. As we ascended the ridge on the narrow and winding dirt road, and snowfall increasing by the moment, we noticed a faint shadow up ahead.

As we approached, we realized it was a man, walking downhill, with the help of a cane, while carrying a rifle. I immediately looked at my buddy as we realized what we saw, and we also realized both of us forgot our concealeds that day. The guy walked into our path, literally cutting us off and stopping us. Given the fresh snow tracks, we knew he had spent the might somewhere up the hill. I cracked my window; “can I help you?”

“My wife and newborn are stuck a few miles up; we spent the night, no food or water. Please help”. So, let a dude with a rifle in the truck and believe his story? The worst case was he killed us. Best case we save a newborn’s life. The guy said he hiked 4 miles down. His friend left the night before for help and never returned. Worth the risk.

We plowed through several feet of snow for miles until coming upon a buried Suburban. We stayed in the truck to see what happened. Sure enough, out came a woman, dog, and 3 month old. Starved, dehydrated, and freezing (their car stopped running early in the night). We hopped out, loaded them up, and headed for safety. Had we not showed, with the storm that eventually happened, good chance they didn’t have a happy ending.

Each time it snows, I’m reminded of this story. RISK. “Growth requires risk,” as @rogerarcher253 says. I’ve had to take wilder risks these days, simply in an effort to get a little momentum. But it takes more effort to get a tree falling than for the tree to keep falling. Risk is required for us to see movement, growth, healing, purpose, HOPE. It’s freakin scary. But worth the REWARD.

Location: Summit Lake Trail

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