Monday, September 22, 2014

You Know It's Bad When Search and Rescue Gets Involved

Jason was backpacking last week.
He went to the Wind Rivers in Wyoming.
It's rugged terrain and they didn't have a trail to follow.
Jason has hiked these mountains before but the route they took this time was new to Jason and the guys he was with.

Of the four guys that went, there was one who always lagged behind.
Jason and the other three would stop often and wait for him to catch up.
On the second day of their trip the same guy fell behind and after waiting for nearly three hours, Jason and his friends knew that something had gone wrong.

They spent the rest of that afternoon looking for him and calling his name over and over again with no luck.
A storm was coming in and they knew they had to set up camp for the night.
By 1:30 that morning Jason was standing outside of his tent in a full on blizzard, repositioning the tent so that the 60-70 mile winds wouldn't be blowing right at it.

The lost hiker had his gear with him but Jason and the others didn't know if he had been hurt and they spent a mostly sleepless night.

The next day, they broke camp and headed back to where they parked their car.  They had 15 miles ahead of them and they hoped they would meet their lost friend somewhere along the way.

They didn't.

They debated on using Jason's personal locater beacon to get some help but decided against is as they knew that I would get a phone call verifying Jason's whereabouts and they didn't want me to worry.

When they finally reached their cars they drove to the sheriff's office and didn't find anyone there.
They next drove to the county jail and an officer there called the search and rescue team.
By this time it was nearing 11:00 at night and because there was nothing they could do in the dark, Jason and his friends got a hotel room for the night.

They didn't call their wives because they didn't have any real news about the lost hiker, and they didn't want their wives to worry.

Unknown to Jason was the fact that I was worrying.
I always worry when Jason leaves, especially when I don't have any contact with him.
It would seem my husband is fond of taking the road less traveled so to speak, and although he is extremely confident in his capabilities, I worry.

Friday night as I was getting ready for bed I had an overwhelming feeling that I needed to pray for Jason and his friends.
The feeling was strong enough that I started to cry.
I was certain that I would be getting a phone call telling me that Jason had been hurt or worse, and I prayed that entire night.

Saturday morning the search and rescue helicopter met Jason and the guys and started its search.
It flew around for two hours without seeing anyone.
The pilot landed the helicopter and the group was planning their next move when the lost hiker appeared on the trail.
He was uninjured and reluctant to admit that he had been lost.

The guys celebrated by going out for Mexican food before heading home.
The others made a pact not to tell their wives but thankfully as soon as Jason was home he told me what had happened.

We both got emotional as I told him of the feelings I had had about needing to pray for them.

I'm so grateful that this trip ended well.
If Jason didn't love backpacking so much, I would consider asking him to not do this again in the future.
But he will.
And I will worry.
And I'll always hug him a little tighter when he comes home.


Vijayalakshmi said...

I'm glad Jason is as sensible as he is. And I'm glad for intuition. Not again, Jason. Never again, please. x

Beth Zimmerman said...

you are an amazing woman, noelle!

Bridget said...

Those are some beautiful pics!!
And I love the prayer part. Beautiful. <3 <3

Venassa said...

So scary! I'm glad that guy was completely fine, but that would've been terrifying at the time.

angel shrout said...

I would have had a heart attack no doubt. I am glad their friend was found safe and sound. I know I have been woefully absent but I am back just in a new place... same me..