The Best (and Worst) Valentines Day Ever!!
God has used this year of Explore to teach me so much. One important lesson I learned happened to be on Valentines Day. All of the first year Explore Students went on a four day team trip. All of the Explore Students are broken up into different teams. Each of the teams have returning students in charge of them called Interns. On the final trip all of the teams have to navigate their way to two different check points and then to a final destination in the mountains, in the winter and without their Interns. Each team (there are currently three teams in Explore) has to figure out a route, pack gear, and make a back up evacuation route.
We headed out the first day expecting this to be a relatively normal winter hiking trip. The first day went okay. The second day, we decided to do an ECT test to see what the avalanche condition was like. It turned out to be not very safe, so we decided to try to be extra careful, although we did end up going across some sketchy avalanche terrain. We ended up getting lost because of the fog and falling snow so we did not make it to the first check point.
The third day (Valentines Day) we got up determined to make it to the second checkpoint and to our final destination. We hiked up to the ridge and hiked along that for about half an hour when a blizzard suddenly started. The wind and snow were bad enough that we could not even hardly stand up so we all held onto a rope to get out of the storm so that no one would be left behind. When we finally got out of the storm, we decided to follow our evacuation plan and go down to the road, because we could not make the second checkpoint with the way the storm was. We ended up following a creek down, hoping it was the right creek. The going was tough, because we had to snowshoe through about five feet of snow over dead trees and rough terrain. We kept thinking we were almost to the road, but the road never came. We started to get very wet, tired, and discouraged, but God kept giving us the strength to go on.
Finally when we were getting pretty low we found the road. I have never seen something so wonderful in my life. That was exciting for a while, but after walking on the road forever, I started getting discouraged again. We hadn’t been able to send out any word of where we were all day, but right after we prayed for some kind of hope the spot tracker started working so we sent a message of where we were. They came pretty soon to pick us up and they took us to the camp where all the other teams, interns, and staff were. When we drove up on the snowmobiles, we saw a bunch of headlamps running down the hill. Everyone ran up and told us they were so glad we were okay and they made room in their shelters for us and made us supper. It was amazing!
I have never been a fan of Valentines Day. I always thought it was stupid and mushy to have a day set aside for supposed love. On this particular day I learned what real love really was though. I am not speaking about romance. I am speaking about sacrifice and doing things for others and how much God loves us enough to take care of us and give us hope even when we are ungrateful and grumbling. The other teams, staff, and interns didn’t have to make room for us in their shelters or cook our supper, but they were glad to. That is real love. That is why this was the best (and worst) Valentines Day ever!
Becky is a almost finished her one-year-certificate with Explore. She is dependable will speak her mind and has witty comments. She is also a women of deep character who loves others and horses.