S: The Adventures of Grampy and Natalie - Volume 3 – Lost-Truth-Rescued
BC: The Adventures of Grampy and Natalie | Volume 1 - God Directs Our Steps Volume 2 - Seeing God in Creation Volume 3 - Lost-Truth-Rescued Volume 4 - God's Strength in Hardship is Joy Volume 5 - Want to be Kind to Others | By Philip W. Arnold and Natalie G. Buzzell
FC: The Adventures of Grampy and Natalie | Volume 3 – Lost-Truth-Rescued | By Philip W. Arnold and Natalie G. Buzzell
1: “Grampy, were you ever lost when you were hiking?” “Yes, Natalie. I can think of three stories about being lost. Do you want to hear them?” “Sure.” “The first story was at Times Square.” “Is that the one in New York City?” “No, this is the one in the Adirondack Mountains.” "You could get lost in New York City.” “You sure could.” The story starts the night before, when I had hiked up to Bradley Pond and stayed at the lean-to. Today was October 1, 2003, and I was going to hike up to Times Square, which is an intersection of paths that go to the two mountains (Couchsachraga and Santanoni), plus another path to Panther Mountain. This intersection is a bare spot in the mountains that is only about the size of a kitchen table. The paths are unmarked, so there were no official signs. I have to use my map, compass and any trail notes from my books and websites.
2: “Grampy, that was before I was born.” “That’s right Natalie. You were born about six weeks later, and here is your mommy with you in her tummy.” | So after climbing up along a stream, there was a large rock at the top of the hill, just like my hiking book said. Because of a piece of pink tape tied to a branch of a tree, I continued hiking forward, and came to a little clearing with a rock next to a tree. It looked just like the picture on the website, but I could not find the paths to Couchsachraga or Santanoni. This had to be the right place, but none of the paths lasted more than a short distance. As much as I
3: thought this was the right spot and wanted it to be the right spot, it just wasn’t. It didn’t have any paths to the other mountains. For an hour I kept looking. What was I going to do? | “Did you have your cell phone to call for help?” “No, unfortunately I didn’t and probably would not have had reception in the mountains anyway.” | Then I decided to go back to the top of the hill and look for any other paths. Sure enough there was one path that curved left instead of going straight. Then it curved back around right and came to a different little clearing with a rock next to a tree. This one, however, had two paths that lead to my two mountains.
4: "Thankfully, I was able to find it, hike all three mountains, and make it back to the lean-to before dark." “That’s good Grampy. Tell me the second story.” | OK. The second story about being lost was two days later. I planned to hike Donaldson, Emmons and Seward Mountains, by going up Calkins Brook. Again, there were no marked trails, so I had to use my map, compass and trail notes. Everything went well going up Donaldson, and then out to Emmons and back. But I expected to find a path that turned off to Seward, when I was on the main path between Donaldson and Emmons. Unfortunately, I
5: couldn’t find a path that went over to Seward. I would either start back down Calkins Brook, or head out towards Emmons again. If I didn’t find it soon, I would run out of daylight, and I didn’t want to be looking for unmarked paths covered with snow in the dark. | “Grampy, have you ever had to hike after dark before?” “Yes, a few times, but never on unmarked trails in the snow.”
6: Natalie, I could see Seward Mountain, but no matter how much I expected to find a path off this main path, it just was not happening. However, there was one possible area that might have a path. It was a steep drop down the side of the mountain on an open, flat rock area. At the end of the drop, all I could see were trees and not a path. Earlier, I had gone part way down, but couldn’t see any path, so I came back up. Now I was running out of time, and decided to climb all the way down and take a closer look. If this was not it, then I would have to backtrack down Calkins Brook to get back to my car and do Seward another day.
7: “Sure enough, when I hiked all the way down to the bottom of the drop, there was a trail behind the trees that turned right and kept going. Thankfully, I was able to hike over to Seward, down Seward, and back to my car.“
8: "The last half hour I used my headlamp in the dark, but I was on a familiar, marked trail that I had hiked earlier in the morning." “That’s good. What was the third story Grampy?” “This was in the spring of 2006, when I climbed Dix Mountain from the North on a slide.” “What is a slide? Is it like the one on the playground?”
9: It looks like it and you can slide down it some, but it is not very comfortable to slide down because of the rocks and branches. A ‘slide’ is what is left after a bad storm scrapes off all the trees and top soil, leaving just the rock.
10: I was following the trail markers, which were either yellow paint on the “slide,” or a stack of rocks, called a cairn. It was a cold, wet day with a little snow and rain. Off to my right I noticed a trail marker on a tree, but my book with trail instructions didn’t mention going into the woods. Instead it said to turn left, so that is what I thought the truth of the matter was, and I turned left to stay on the open “slide.“
11: Then I came to where the “slide” divided into two “slides.” I stayed to the left again, and saw a cairn about fifty yards up, so I thought I was going the right way. Unfortunately, after time went by, I didn’t see any more trail markers, but I thought the snow and ice was covering them up. Then I saw another open face “slide” to the left. Thinking I was suppose to always stay left, and that I must have missed a yellow paint marker, I decided to hike through waist-deep snow and thick pine trees over to the next “slide” on my left. This one was steeper than the other one, so I tried not to look down.
12: By now I was thinking that I made a mistake, but if I could just get to the top of this ridge, there must be a trail on the ridge up to the top of Dix Mountain. After lots of prayers and hard work, I made it to the top of the “slide” and then climbed through waste deep snow and dense pine trees, up the last fifty yards to the ridge. On the top of the ridge, there was a mixture of clouds, rain, sleet, and snow, but to my disappointment, there was no trail. Because I was all out of energy, I figured it was better to go back down the slippery, dangerous “slide,” than to keep wandering around lost. Fortunately I had crampons attached to my hiking boots, and the metal gave me a better grip on the wet, slippery rock. Natalie, do you know what crampons are? | “Yes, unfortunately I do. I tripped over my dad’s hiking boots and landed on his crampons the other day. There is still a cut on my leg. Do you want to see it?” “Yes, wow. That is some cut.”
13: Getting back to our story, I hiked back down through the waist deep snow and dense pine trees. When I got to the top of the steep “slide,” I slowly went down, holding on to roots and limbs along the side of it. Twice I slipped, but only slid a short ways before I grabbed a limb. That was an answer to prayer. Lower in the “slide,” I slipped again, and slid about 10 yards, but was able to “steer” over to a small pine tree on a snowy ledge and stop myself. Part way down the “slide,” the clouds cleared and I could see another “slide” to my right, and to my left. Unfortunately, nothing was looking familiar. I stood there a long time, looking and thinking, and finally choosing one, hoping to find some of my footprints on the ice and snow. I couldn’t find any, so I kept moving over to another “slide. “ It was really important to me to come down the right “slide” so I could be at the trail that led back to my car.
14: By now I was exhausted and cold. My legs were burning from trudging through the waist-deep snow. I had never been in a situation where I could not find the trail ahead or behind me. If there were no trail or footprints, I decided I would hike downhill until I came to a stream. The stream would take me to the Boquet River, and if I followed the river, I would come to the trail eventually because it crossed the river.
15: "As I continued down the slide, there was a footprint of mine in the snow. What an answer to prayer! Before long I was back at my car. I drove to the hostel in Keene, took a shower, and got warmed up." | "A few months later (in the fall), I would hike Dix again from the other side to see where I should have turned. These pictures were taken then without snow."
16: Natalie, let’s summarize. At Times Square, I expected a certain clearing from a picture on the website and followed a piece of pink tape to what looked like it. On Donaldson, I expected a normal trail leading off the main trail. On Dix, I expected to climb up the left side of the “slide,” based on my understanding of the trail notes. What can I learn from all three stories? “You were lost.” “Yes, and I expected something to be true, but it wasn’t. No matter how much I wanted it to be true, it was false, and I was on the wrong trail.“ “Natalie, do you see how important it is to believe in the right things and not the wrong things?” “Yes, I do.” “Secondly, what was it that rescued me?”
17: “God helped you find the right trail.” “Right, have you ever been lost?” “Yes, once I was lost with Aunt Lindsay in Rochester for about an hour. I think maybe she was trying to find Starbucks” “How did she find her way?” “I don’t really remember anything else. Probably Aunt Lindsay found the right road.” “Yes, that is probably what happened.” “Natalie, can you think of any Bible stories of people being lost or going the wrong way?” “Yes, the Children of Israel wandered for forty years in the desert." “That’s right. Then God showed them the way into the Promised Land.” “Can you think of any people at school who need to be shown the right way about something?”
18: “Yes, I have a friend at school, who draws a lot of attention to herself, hoping to be liked, but it doesn’t work. Instead, it pushes people away." “Yes, lots of times our selfishness is the wrong way, and it makes us unhappy, instead of happy. We believe God loves us and wants to forgive our selfishness. Unfortunately, some people do not believe that, but instead only believe in being selfish to be happy, but it doesn’t work.” | “How do we know what it is true? Where does God tell us to look to find the truth?” “The Bible.” “Right. We believe truth comes from the Bible, which is what God says about things."
19: "We believe the Bible is true because what it says comes true. For example, it said where the baby Christ-child would be born and how Christ would die. These were written hundreds of years before they happened to Jesus Christ and not written afterwards.“ “How do we know that?” “Because we have found the papers they were written on, which are called the Dead Sea Scrolls. Grammy & I just visited the Dead Sea in Israel, where these papers or scrolls were found. There are many other examples of things coming true in the Bible.” | “Natalie, do you know of any Bible verses that talk about truth?” “Yes, Jesus said, ‘I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but through me.’” “Yes. So Natalie, when you get confused, you need to find the truth, trust and follow it.”