FC: PORTFOLIO | The Adventures of Grampy and Natalie | By Philip W. Arnold and Natalie G. Buzzell
1: The Adventures of Grampy and Natalie By Philip W. Arnold and Natalie G. Buzzell
2: “Grampy and I were on a ‘mystery trip’ to Indianapolis when we stopped at McDonalds for hot chocolate and a cinnamon bun. Grampy asked me, “Do you want to hear an adventure story?” “Yes!” I said. Well, Iroquois Mountain is one of the 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks, where you used to live in Keene, NY. The first time I climbed it was with a friend named Ron. We met another guy, named Gavin, who did not want to return to our cars the way we came, but rather wanted us to join him and hike down the cliffs on the other side of the mountain. Ron and I were not prepared for that, so Gavin went alone. Not even his brothers wanted to join him. Later than night, Gavin still had not returned, and his brothers were afraid he was lost.
3: Part of the Cliffs of Iroquois
4: They were getting ready to call the police and organize a group of hikers to go search for him in the night. Fortunately, Gavin showed up before they left. He told me later that he made it down the first of three walls of cliffs, but couldn’t find a way down the second wall of cliffs. So he decided to return, but then he couldn’t climb back up the first wall of cliffs. He was stuck with no way to go. It was getting dark before he found a way back up the first wall of cliffs. It was very late when he made it back to his brothers.
5: “Natalie, does that sound like a challenging adventure to you?” “Yes, it does,” said Natalie. “Well, it did to me, too. I wanted to get prepared for it. So I got a long rope and practiced how to let myself down a cliff, if I ever had to. Your daddy was a big help on this.”
6: Lake Colden in front of Mount Colden
7: I looked for information to find out all I could about how to get down those cliffs, but couldn’t find anything. So Ken, my hiking buddy, and I went off to see what we could find. On our way to the Iroquois trailhead, we met a lawyer and a doctor. They had both done it before, so they gave us some good advice. What a pleasant surprise, and answer to prayer for help. Before we couldn’t find anything about it, and now we have good advice from two people. The next morning Ken and I started out early to make the long climb up Iroquois Mountain. We left our campsite, walked around Lake Colden while the mist was still over the lake. Yes, that is your mom and dad’s favorite mountain in the Adirondacks, which they named your brother, Colden, after. Then we started climbing up and up and up, until we got to the top of Iroquois.
8: It was a very long, steep climb, and there was a strong wind on top, but we could see lots and lots of mountain peaks all around us in the bright blue sky. The two guys told us to hike down to a small little rise, called Shepherd’s Tooth. We prayed again that God would direct our steps and headed down. Sure enough, as we left Iroquois, Mountain God provided cairns, which are small rock piles that mark the trail, and then a faint trail that led us to the top of Shepherd’s Tooth. By now, it was time for lunch, so we curled up in a dent in the rock, for protection from the strong wind, and ate our lunch. In the distance, we could see the huge rock wall, called “Wallface” at Indian Pass. Your other grandpa and I hiked that together a few years before.
9: Shepherd's Tooth looking at Wallface
10: After lunch, the two guys had told us to go to the lowest spot between the top of Shepherd’s Tooth and the top of Iroquois, and look for a faint path. We did and sure enough we found it. This was another answer to prayer. It was so faint that it looked like nobody had walked on it in a long time, but we were able to follow it down, down, down.
12: Grampy continued, “Then we came across a curved stick that looked just like a shepherd’s staff. Do you know what a shepherd’s staff means in the Bible?” “Yes, it is what the shepherd uses to guide and protect his sheep,” said Natalie. “That is right,” said Grampy.
13: Before long, we came to a small opening in the thick bushes and small pine trees. Fortunately, I used my hiking poles to separate the pine tree branches at the end of the small opening, before walking between the two pines trees. “Why?” asked Natalie. To check where I would be stepping to be sure it was safe. Fortunately, God gave me the idea to do that. Because there was a huge drop off about as tall as your three story home in Rochester, and I would have had a nasty fall. God protected Ken and I, like a shepherd protects his sheep.
14: Looking down the steep drop off
15: This small opening must be where Gavin was stuck and not able to go down any further or back up. I couldn’t see anywhere to go to the left or right. Because the two guys said when in doubt go left, Ken started going left to look for a trail in the thick bushes and pine trees. Before long, Ken said that he found something. So I followed him and there was a gulley down a ledge where the water flowed downhill. We climbed down a little tree to get down the ledge.
17: We continued going down the cliffs between the rock walls.
18: “Before long we were down at the crossing trail. We turned around and looked up at where we had come.”
19: “So Natalie, what was the lesson in this adventure?” “That God gave you direction.” “How did God give us direction?” asked Grampy. “God sent those two guys with helpful information, and then lead you to the faint trails.” “Great! Can you think of anything else that God did?” “Yes, God gave protection, so you would not fall down that steep drop off,” said Natalie. “Does this remind you of a Bible verse?” asked Grampy. “Yes, Jeremiah 29:11 says, ‘For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
20: “That is very good Natalie. Can you tell me a story about a time when God helped you?” Yes. Early this morning I was outside getting the paper, when I accidently locked myself out of the house. I tried the front door and even the back door, but they were not open. It was very cold and because it was so early, no parents were up yet. So I asked God to please help me. At that point, I thought, maybe I could call my little brother, Colden, who is usually up early. So I called to him, and tried to get him to open the door. Colden didn’t hear me, but Grammy heard me from upstairs, and she came down and opened the door.
21: “Excellent! Well, I guess hiking is a lot like life. We need God’s protection and direction, and He sends people to help us with both.”