Trip to Vernal and a most unexpected “Nugget” found.

 

We were driving out to Vernal, Utah to look at a Studebaker 1953 Custom hot rod pickup truck I was interested in purchasing. We ended up purchasing a 1923 Ford Model T Roadster from a guy in Mapleton.

 

23 Model T Roadster 1

Bryckelle had come along for the ride. She was pretty quiet in the back seat and Misty and I were enjoying the long ride and just chit-chatting about life events and what we desired in our future. What a great day.

When we arrived in Vernal, Utah, we called the man who was going to show us this Studebaker Hot Rod pickup truck. What a kind and friendly man. He had us follow him to his huge three building warehouse. When we arrived, we got out of our truck and had a friendly introduction in which we all shook hands and small talk.

He then leads us to one of his warehouses. We were pretty excited to see this Studebaker. During the past week, I had searched and completed a pretty in-depth research on this particular Studebaker build. I was really excited to see it in person. We had made the trip to Vernal, Utah with the desire to purchase this truck.

The man unlocked the ware house doors and asked us to wait outside as he went to turn the lights on. Oh, when the lights came on. What a thrill. This warehouse was stuffed like a sardine can. Full of antique muscle cars, the classics, and a few modern beauties. I must be clear of the vastness of this ware house. It was huge. Wall to wall mint condition cars and trucks. As we entered the ware house it was difficult to navigate around these vehicles and not brush up against them. He explained that the Studebaker that I was interested in was in the next ware house to the right. In order to get there, we had to walk to the back door of this warehouse and through another door we would find our Studebaker.

As we slowly made it through this first warehouse, we asked if he would mind if we took our time so we could admire each car as we went through. It was purely amazing. We saw Corvettes from many years, T-birds, classic Caddies, Ford Mercuries, Furies, a Dodge fast back Dart, Old 30’s ford pickup trucks that were pristine. New Ford F-150’s and Mustangs.

We then entered the second warehouse. The 1953 Studebaker was directly in front of us. It was the closest to the door. It was amazing. This ware house was also packed full of classics. Directly behind the Studebaker was a 1939 F-150 classic in excellent re-built condition. It was difficult for me to stay focused on the Studebaker in which we came to see. But I did, I inspected the ’53 Studebaker from top to bottom climbing under it and touching every bolt, spring, frame, and whatever else I could touch. This ’53 Studebaker was in perfect restored condition. It was beautiful and something to be admired. We checked under the hood and the motor was remarkable. Every inch of the engine and related parts had been chromed or polished aluminum. The brakes, calibers, springs, and every little connecting rods had also been chrome plated. This vehicle would blow anybody’s mind. It was one of those show cars that comments would be made about, “Attention to detail”.

After we had finished admiring and drooling over the Studebaker, the owner asked if we would like to tour the rest of his cars. We absolutely did. He took us around the other two warehouses and it was purely amazing. He had a had a 1955 Ford pickup that was restored and customized into a hot rod. He had more Cadillac, mustangs, T-birds, Fairlanes, Coupes, Olsmobiles, Grand Torinos, A Mustang BOSS Shellby, and many more. It was absolutely a thrill to be toured around his warehouses.

We went outside and discussed the cost to purchase this 1953 Studebaker R3 Show Truck. It was beautiful and the work on it was pristine. However, after seeing all of his other collection, I wondered if this truck was now the one I wanted to buy. We told him that we would get back to him after we had discussed it and decided the direction we wanted to go.

We left Vernal feeling really good. We had a great couple of hours walking through this gentleman’s museum of historic cars. What a collection and what an amazing man. Again, we were having such a wonderful day. It was a nice long drive through the mountains. He drove by many lakes and had nice long discussions with our daughter and my beautiful wife.

Now, with all of this being said, this was not the most amazing part of our day. Not even close. What happened when we got back to our home was the most amazing thing. We arrived home around 11:00pm. It was late. We were all exhausted. Each of us taking turns showering and putting our jammies on. Bryckelle was about to get in the shower and Misty checked her phone for missed messages. I was gathering my P.J.’s so I could shower next. Misty then became emotional as she read something on her phone. She went and gave Bryckelle a big hug and said, “Thank you so much, I love you too”. I inquired what Misty had read? Misty told me that I would have to read it myself. Bryckelle, was now in the shower and I was too last to get my phone off the charger so I continued to beg Misty to read whatever it was that she found.

So Misty did. Wow… What a “nugget for life”. These are the moments that parents treasure forever. These are the times that pull everything back into real perspective. Simple sentences written for no occasion. Words written out of love from a teenage daughter to her parents expressing a rare truth that will burn in my soul forever.

Now, about the awesome warehouses packed full of classic hot rod cars. So fantastic and pristine that would certainly make any man crazy with boyish dreams. Shattered by comparison by a simple letter put on Facebook by my daughter. I’ll always remember the driver to Vernal to check out the 1953 Studebaker. I always remember the tour of dream cars and the thrill of seeing the classics. But nothing will ever compare or compete with a simple post from my daughter, Brykelle, and the wonderful message of love for her parents. These precious moments are so rare. I would rather keep this Facebook post in my “Nugget Folder” for the rest of my life then to have purchased any of the classic cars we saw that day.

What made this trip to Vernal precious? The post from Bryckelle on our drive that we were unaware of until bedtime. Thank you Bryckelle, these are the moments that change everything.

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Bryckelle’s Facebook Post: (8/18/2018)

 

It’s not a special day or anything.

I just wanted to take the time to talk about my parents and how much they affect my life every day.

My dad, he is such a hard worker and even though he may seem like a very angry guy he really understands and cares about others.

I want him to know that he’s not alone in his struggles and I really look up to him even though it may not seem like it at times.

I love that when he puts his mind to something he works for it and accomplishes it.

I love that and that’s something that I take after him.

I love him dearly and would do anything for him.

 

My beautiful mom, she’s so caring and will do anything for others.

I know that she can get frustrated with her job at times but always seems to find a way through the rough patches in the best way possible.

Her beauty can be beyond compare at times and I’m glad to have her in my life.

I wish them the best for both of my parents and thank them a lot for what they have taught me and how they’ve raised me to be… well whatever this is. 😹 love you guys lots. ❤️

Rules of Life.

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I wrote this letter to all of my children a few months ago. I heard a lot of these things years ago while I was listening to The Glenn Beck Show. I wrote them down then thinking that some of these little truths would come in handy one day.

I was thumbing through one of my “Nugget Books” the other day. Oh…my “Nugget Books”. Maybe I ought to explain what my nuggets are.

I have a few three ring binders that I have kept what I call “my little nuggets”. I actually have two nugget locations. One is in my bible. I love my bible. My bible is one of the most precious things I own. Of course, the bible should be considered sacred and treasured, but I’ve spent many years studying it and I’ve marked up literally every page with notes and  personal thoughts. It has been both a link to my testimony of my Savior and kind-of a journal that  I’ve kept throughout my life.

So, my nuggets are kept in the front pocket of the bible caring case. A pouch full of pictures with my life moments that are precious to me. I’ve got pictures of all my children when they were young, vacations, dates with my wife and so on. I also added to this pictures of bad memories that are part of the design of who I am. Life isn’t just the good stuff. My nuggets are mostly filled with my immediate family stuff or events that shaped my life. Some of the “shaping of my life” stuff are my struggles and difficulties. Some of my nuggets are the difficult times in my life that have had great influence in graphing the road in which I traveled.

I guess the best way to describe me would be simply to take these nuggets and read through them one by one and live my life as things took place. I have kept these nuggets as a journal per say. My wife, Misty, does scrap books, and I keep my nuggets. My nuggets are kept as truthful actual documents, letters, and photos and notes of how I felt or what I learned from experiences in which happened in my life.

Okay, there you go. A whole page of mumbo-gumbo to explain what my nugget’s are. Now to the point of this letter. Years ago, Glenn Beck read a letter on his talk radio show about life lessons and truths to live by. As I listened, I kept notes. I want to be clear, that some of these came from the wisdom of others and I have added some of my own. I wrote a letter to all of my children a few months ago and listed these to them as nuggets to live by. This is what I wrote:

In this letter I’m writing you I’m adding my personal beliefs and values. I took the time to really reach into my soul and define what it is that I really believe. These values could be accurately described as my “Value Nuggets”. Possibly, you will be able to find value in this letter and save this in an important location of your own. Maybe you will find this someday unexpectedly and reread it or share it to someone you care about.

What I believe….

  1. Relish in your differences among your peers rather than trying to be like others. Just know who you are. Don’t pretend to be like the bunch; even the majority. Even if you stand alone. It’s okay to be different; just be right. Stand for something. Stand for yourself.
  2. Be consistent. Stand strong. Don’t be easily swayed. Don’t follow…be the leader.
  3. The worst thing in life you can do is dishonor yourself or your family and then go on living a life without setting it straight.
  4. Marry for love. Marry for laughs, but most importantly, marry with God. Life’s storms are too strong to withstand on your own.
  5. Wealth and fame are an illusion.
  6. The only times I’ve truly been miserable is when I was lying to myself and others.
  7. Alcohol and drugs make life easier for a very short time and then they destroy. Truly destroy everything!
  8. There is no experience that is “bad”. Experience just “is”. It’s what you do with that experience or how you use it. Will it shape your life for the better and help you become a stronger person? Or will you allow those experiences to smother and destroy you? It’s ultimately your choice on how you will be defined.
  9. Find your eternal purpose. Nobody was born by mistake. Never for a moment believe God makes mistakes. Never! Discover what your purpose is. Possibly this is done through prayer. Ask God what your purpose is and don’t quit asking until He answers. Be satisfied by His answer. Don’t anticipate yours.
  10. Always carry a picture of somebody you admire. (Nugget).
  11. Don’t let life wash over you wave after wave. You are NOT a rock!! Learn from these waves. Learn from the currents. Choose to sail. Don’t sink. SWIM.
  12. “I am that I am” is the most important phrase in any language, as it is the name of God. NEVER us it in vain. Use it to create who you want to be. “I am…blank. But, know if you don’t fill that blank in, someone else will. You can ignore it, but if you do, it will be filled in by others or just life. There will always be many who will try to fill that blank in but only you can fill it in and be happy.
  13. The Lord lives and He is present. He loves you personally and He’s always there to help. But… we have to train ourselves to hear it. We have to develop  and use our faith. (This is personal. This is done on our inside. Our souls. Our spiritual self). And exercise this faith. It is like a muscle. The more we use it the louder He becomes.
  14. Serve Him in all things. Stand where He asks you to stand, for you have a purpose. Your job is just to remember who you are. Remember what you agreed upon.
  15. We are meant to be happy, but remember, “no pain, no gain”. Life is hard, then it gets harder. Yes, harder! Then we die! But, every single second is worth it.
  16. Always say what you mean to say.
  17. Turn the other cheek and always forgive. But don’t forget so much that you put yourself in the same situation.
  18. Make these things true because you know they are true. “Know what you know!”. Seriously, write it down. Write…”this is what I know is true…” . Make a list. How hard is it to actually write down the things that you “know” are true. It is amazing how much we pretend to believe. Know what you know. Be confident in what you know to be true. Know what you believe in. Write it down. Not knowing what you believe in makes you weak. Period.
  19. You have everything you need to be happy. Be satisfied.
  20. Freedom. Rights are given to man through God. They are His. Protect them. You are the guardian. Hand them down to your children.
  21. You are never alone and there is never trouble that is beyond help.
  22. Refined manner, gentleness, meekness, and kindness will be the currency of any value. Stuff doesn’t matter. Deposit everyday virtues that ensure a great future and legacy.
  23. Forgiveness is divine. The atonement of Christ is real. You are worthy! Hell is also real and for eternity of regret not being able to forgive yourself. We all make mistakes. Big ones. Christ is your only Advocate. Trust Him. Forgive yourself.
  24. People are good. For the most part, they want to do the right thing. Give them an opportunity. However, be wise!
  25. It’s never wrong to do the right thing. (Use this in tough decisions).
  26. Learn to love others that you don’t know or really don’t like. This is possible, but takes a leap of faith and patience.
  27. Read the bible as much as you can. For some reason this is a difficult task to start. Maybe a pride thing? If you cannot seem to do this on your own, find a study group or church. The bible is your life map. The bible is alive today. God does speak to you through it. (This may seem ridiculous to a non-believer. This is true. Please, try it before dismissing it).
  28. There are no coincidences in life.
  29. Learn, laugh, and love.
  30. Pray on your knees. God is watching. If you need God to take you seriously, Take Him seriously.
  31. How big is your God? Is he a tiny god with limitations or a Almighty, Magnificent, all knowing God? If you believe in a tiny god, then don’t expect big miracles. If you believe in One Almighty God, then He makes everything possible and beyond wonders.
  32. To whom much is given, much is required. Remember this. You have been given the world and beyond.
  33. Only date those that love you as much as your parents. Only date who will treat you as we have tried.
  34. Never want anything to much. You’ll always end up paying too high a price one way or another.
  35. Life goes by way too fast.
  36. There is order in all things. There is wrong and there is right. You know the difference.
  37. Live like you know God is watching. Know that He is.
  38. What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
  39. The hardest thing to do is to admit failure and weakness. Only the very strong do this.
  40. Financial integrity has a lot to do with character. The smartest thing to do is avoid debt. Failing that, pay your debt on time. Honor your agreements. Honesty in all your dealings is a must. Quickly, you can ruin your reputation simply by not honoring your debt obligations. Proving you character often requires an evaluation of your debt payment history.
  41. Your parents love you and your Heavenly Father loves you.
  42. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. As long as we have today, it’s never too late.
  43. Question everything with boldness. Challenge everything. However, do this with wisdom and not arrogance. This takes practice and skill. Your wisdom will come from properly place questions, searching in right places, and practicing moral behaviors. Thus, gaining experiences from your own failures. Know that the educated of this time are growing arrogant  is self-worth and self-worship. This arrogance leads to darkness.
  44. Respect others. Even if….it doesn’t matter. Respect them anyway.
  45. More importantly, don’t forget to respect yourself.

Well, what do you think? Anything here of value? Anything here that you agree with?

I want you all to know that all of these little “nuggets” I believe. I once was in a a dark place in my life. I was told by a wise person to write down the things that I truly believed in. I tried. I found that I couldn’t write down anything. To me, that moment was a life changing time. I was tired of wondering through life with no purpose or direction. I wanted to believe in something. So off I went with desire to find something to believe in. The future was mine to define.

These “nuggets” are earned. Please know that to know these things takes effort. Yes, they’re fun to read and sound really smart. Take no short cuts in life. If you really need to find substance and meaning in life, don’t think these values are coming in the mail someday. Life is a serious matter. You were born with a divine purpose. The only way you can really believe in things worth believing in are to search. Search with purpose and search with locating the conclusion.

cloud waves

 

 

 

Silhouette Worth

Silhouette Worth

To Bryckelle, my beautiful daughter who wrestles with depression and worth…

 

Pray tell my value.

Speak now my worth.

For by what tool to measure?

What honor must you possess

Given you authority to assess?

Shall I be authenticated by potential?

Skill, talent, beauty, genealogy or gender?

Is it dress, color, education, or even geological location?

Possibly, the mold that I must muster,

Maybe in your eyes is even theological?

 

If I appear beneath your caliber

May I be so bold to tell

I need not your meager approval

Frankly spoken, I may insist

You, yourself may be amiss.

 

Reflections back from what I see.

Is the perfect Silhouette, My God to me.

Again, I ask, pray tell my value?

Speak now my worth.

comprehension immeasurable but by God alone,

perfection upon creation is surely shown.

Dennis Webber 2017

I wrote this to my beautiful daughter last year. She struggles, as most young teenage girls to find purpose, value, understanding, and self-worth. Sometimes we try to be “better”. Our souls are fixed with God. God doesn’t make mistakes. God created us individually on purpose. No accident happened upon our unique creation. So why do our critics in life look down on us? I have no idea. But what I do know and what I attempted to portray in this little poem is how God looks at us. The picture of the chess pawn looking in the mirror and seeing a King. Yes, indeed a King through the eyes of our Savior. When we get down, remember our worth. Remember our value through the eyes of our almighty God.

 

Praying for Sampson

On Saturday, 7/20/2018, a couple of my friends, (Kirk Duncan and Keith Gurney), and I went on an all-day UTV ride in central Utah. The trail is called “The Devil’s Racetrack” and for good reason. This trail is a lot of fun but not for the inexperienced rider. The trail winds through river beds, washes, through huge boulders, and up long steep cliffs. Certainly, a difficult trail but for an adventurist like myself who loves challenging rides and risks, this is one that meets my expectations.

The trail is in San Rafael. It’s in the Book Cliffs in Central Utah that spans from Price, Castledale, Ferron, Crosses I-70 and continues south and as far east as Green river, Utah. The trail has branches that take you from the river bottoms to the top of cliffs. Basically, picture the Grand Canyon, but smaller.

My two friends and I started our day in Spanish Fork, Utah at 6:30 am. It was a two-hour drive to the trail head. I pulled my Polaris Rzr and Kirk pulled his in our separate trucks and we headed down to Ferron, Utah. East of Ferron about 10 miles is the trail head. We arrived at the trail head just before 9:00 am. As we unloaded our side by sides, I handed Kirk a two-way radio. I have a dash radio in my Rzr and an extra hand-held. I gave this hand-held radio to Kirk and said we might need these if we get separated. Kirk commented to me that we wouldn’t get separated and that we would stick together. I gave it to him anyway stating that, “You never know”.

Keith Gurney got into my Rzr and Kirk was riding alone in his. We were having a blast. We immediately headed south in the river bottoms on the Devil’s Racetrack west trail. The trail is in the bottom of surrounding cliffs and breath-taking views of the Book Cliffs. We traveled about 10 miles to trail head split. We decided to take the trail that split off to the right. This trail took us up on top of the cliffs and we rode the top of the cliffs for about another six miles.

 

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As we rode, we noticed two things. One, it was obvious that there had been a recent rain storm and flood. Parts of the trail seemed to disappear in places where the flooding waters had washed the trail away. Two, we hadn’t seemed a single other rider out there with us.

We came to a place where the trail literally became non-existent. We were at the top of a cliff looking down at the river below. We could see the trail to the south on the other side of the cliff but really couldn’t see where the trail would lead us to the other side.

We could see where the trail may have at one time went down into the river and followed the river back to the north and then possibly reconnected to the trail we could see on the other side.

So off we went. Boy, this may not have been the brightest idea. I took the lead and Kirk followed. This river was more like a stream. It was narrow and plagued with huge boulders. These boulders were so big that our side by sides would nearly tip over and dragged on the bottom frames. As we continued north in this stream it followed the cliff line and basically snaked along the edge of the cliff. It tunneled under the cliffs for small distances. We finally made it to a point where continuing was nearly impossible, and turning around was sketchy at best. The stream had a deep pool of water surrounded by huge boulders. In order to continue forward, we had to maneuver up and over large boulders and drive our left sides of our side by side’s through a deep pool of water and hope that we didn’t tip over or sink into an abyss.

 

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We decided to take a hike and see if we were getting close to the trail that we had assumed connected to this nightmare or if we were merely heading toward a dead-end.  Luckily, just up ahead was the trailhead. It was a steep dreadful hill out of the stream, but the trail indeed. So the task of moving forward proceeded.

We threw some rocks into the deep pool of water attempting to create a platform on which to travel over. Keith was our watchman and directed us which way to steer and try to keep our side by sides upright. I was first to go I managed to get through this obstacle rather safely and upright. I did smack a rock on my rear right wheel that broke my outer wheel hub cover, but no real damage. Kirk went next. Kirk got hung up on a large boulder. The trick was that steering had to be pristine. A little too far left or right meant driving into steep crevices and quite possibly rolling the UTV. Kirk decided that it was make it or break it. He punched the throttle and flew over the rock. His acceleration was so much that he cleared the next twenty feet of obstacles. He shot right past my Rzr, barely missing me and my side by side and got stopped inches away from slamming into the cliff wall.

San Rafael Trail 2

San Rafael Trail 3

We made it through. Up the steep trail and out of the ravine. We made our way to I-70. The trail was awesome. Our next adventure would take us back down the cliffs and south under the I-70 bridges. Absolutely beautiful. The I-70 bridges are sister bridges side by side. The bridges are literally built anchored to the cliff was and probably 200 feet in the air. Well, on our way to the I-70 sister bridges, Kirk Duncan finds that he had a flat steer tire. No big deal though, because we had tools and a spare tire. We quickly changed his tire and on the trail we went.

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We had an awesome time dropping back down into the river bottom. The trail was fairly easy and the views were breath-taking. Along the trail in the river bottom, we passed many natural rock arches and other formations that blow your minds. The sun was out and temperatures were near 100 degrees. We made it to the I-70 sister bridges and decided to break for lunch. The shade and scenery under the bridges was refreshing. The I-70 sister bridges were basically the half way point on the trail. We figured that after we ate lunch we had approximately four more hours. The east side of San Rafael Devil’s Slide trail is more extreme and for more advanced riders. I was excited to get there.

Devil's Race track 3

With lunch over, we continued down the river bottom and then up the east side cliffs to a historic cabin called Swayses Cabin and the Ice Box caverns. We stopped there for a few minutes and then started north on the east side of the Devil’s Racetrack. This is an awesome trail. We passed another beautiful arch formation and then began the long climb to the top of the Book Cliffs. This trail literally puts you on the edge of the cliffs. On both sides there are straight down 200 feet cliffs. Also, you are driving on boulders that are two to three feet tall and wide. The path is all rock and you follow white-painted stripes in order to stay on the trail. If you choose to veer off the painted lines, there would be a great possibility of getting lost or in a position of no return.

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Oh, what a view. This is one of the most beautiful places on planet earth. We were all so amazed by Gods creation. What a shame that most people won’t see what we saw. With our adrenaline high with excitement and anxiety we traveled this trail of rocks and cliffs. We took time to stop and enjoy the scenery but was also aware of the time. It was starting to get later in the day and we also noticed a few dark clouds forming in the west. This was concerning because it was apparent that flash flooding had occurred here within the last few days. Also, we kept commenting that we hadn’t seen any other riders all day. This was weird because it was a perfect summer Saturday and typically the san Rafael Devil’s Racetrack is a popular trail.

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We headed north down the trail that would lead us back to the river bottom and then return us to Ferron, Utah where our trucks were parked.

What an awesome day. We had so much fun riding the trails and seeing all the beautiful surroundings. As friends, this was a real bonding experience in which we shared stories and laughs.

We finally made it to the river bottom. We turned left and rode hard. The trail in the river bottom was sandy and weaved through the rocks and water. What a perfect opportunity to race through the winding river at reckless speeds. This trail snaked through tall cliffs on both sides. This area is called the
“wash” because this is where in flash floods all the water flows down it. It’s beautiful because the cliffs are amazing and the plants are full and green.

As we traveled through the wash, parts of the wash became narrow. In many spots, the trail seemed to disappear for a short distance, but we would pick up the trail a little further down and continue on.

At some point, I lost the trail and basically ended up facing a cliff. I looked around and I found the trail. I had just missed it. Kirk had caught up to me and was directly behind me. I pointed to the trail and told him I needed to back up in order to get back on the trail. Kirk noticed the trail also and we both backed up to align our side by sides for the trail. Due to the recent flood a few days earlier, the trail had been washed out. In order to get back on the trail, we had to climb out of the wash and up a four-foot embankment. This wasn’t that big of a deal, but will come into play later.

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Before continuing down to wash, we discussed that we should have already been out of the canyon and back to our trucks. We were all surprised on how far we had ridden and wondered if we were really close. Also, up in the sky, the clouds were grown and getting darker. It was imminent that a storm was getting close. This was beginning to concern us because we were riding in the “wash” and there were obvious signs of flooding just a few days before. This also suggested why we were the only ones riding side by sides in the Devil’s Racetrack on a summer Saturday.

We continued on. Blazing through the trail at a high rate of speed. As I drove, I kept looking back for Kirk who typically was not far behind. I traveled about three miles and noticed that Kirk was no longer following behind me. I stopped and Keith and I waited for some time. We then decided that we ought to call him on the radio and see if we could get ahold of him. Kirk answered immediately and stated that he had broken down. He thought possibly that he had thrown a rod in his engine. Oh no.

Keith and I turned around to go back to where Kirk had broken down. We found Kirk broke down just past the area that we had stopped and climbed the embankment. Kirk had his back seats out of his Rzr so he could check the oil in his engine. The dip-stick read no oil! We looked for any signs of an oil leak and found none. This didn’t make sense. We couldn’t figure out where the engine oil would have leaked. The skid plate under his Rzr had no oil on it, nor any part of the outside of his engine. We also checked his exhaust for signs that his engine maybe burning the oil. We found nothing.

It was getting later in the day and we figured it would be getting dark in about four hours. Worse, the storm overhead. Luckily, it hadn’t started raining yet, but the signs of a storm were nearby.

San Rafael storm 2

We but his seats back in the Rzr and used his winch to tow him with. I towed him for about six miles when we noticed the wash was beginning to get narrower and narrower. It became obvious that the trail we thought we were on was leading us to a dead-end. We wondered how we possibly could have ended up in a dead end wash? Worse yet, a dead end wash a few days after a flash flood with a dark storm brewing above our heads.

San Rafael Trail 2

Little Grand Canyon

We decided the best thing to do at this point was to unhook Kirks Rzr from mine. We would leave Kirk with his broke down side by side and Keith and I would find the path to our trucks. We turned around and back tracked until we found the trail. It was difficult to find because the trail had actually been washed away. How we found the trail was we had spotted trail sign with a map on it far to the east of the wash. We had to hike to this sign from the wash by climbing over a four-foot embankment.

As Keith and I studied this trail map, we were annoyed that on these maps, they don’t mark where you are on the map. Possibly a simple “X-you are here” would be nice. We found Ferron, Utah and it was just over the hill down the trail we had just found. However, looking down this washed out trail, it looked rough. Big rocks and steep cliffs. Keith and I discussed the difficulty of me pulling Kirk’s broken side by side up this cliff. We called Kirk and explained to him that we found this trail and we were going to hurry and see how far our trucks were and see if I could actually pull his side by side up this jagged trail.

So off Keith and I went. This trail was steep. It had ninety degree switchbacks with big boulders and huge cliffs to climb. We traveled for about one hour. I tried to maintain contact when I could with Kirk through the two-way radios, but at times the mountains would get in the way for the signal. It was obvious to Keith and I that pulling Kirk’s side by side up this trail would be impossible. However, somehow we needed to get Kirk’s side by side out of the wash before the sun went down and the storm started. Finally, up ahead, Keith and I could see the end of the trail. A big sign at the trail head stood out of the ground. We thought we made it. As we drove closer, we realized we had driven back to I-70. We had made a big circle. It was 5:30 pm and we were hours from Ferron. How could we have possibly made a wrong turn?

San Rafael Storm 3

Okay, possibly a time to panic. Time for a plan. I evaluated our circumstance. Storm, broken side by side in wash, flash flood a few days ago, two hours of sun light left.

 

Keith and I decided that we ought to leave Keith there on I-70. He had phone signals and could use his phone to communicate with our wives and possibly Search and rescue if needed. If he didn’t see Kirk and I in a few hours, at least Keith was available to find help and explain where we were. I tried to call my wife, Misty, but she didn’t answer her phone. I left her number with Keith and asked him to keep trying to call Misty and explain that she will need to drive to I-70 and pick us up and then bring us to Ferron, Utah to our trucks. In the meantime, I will try to pull Kirk up this steep trail to I-70 so we can come pick up the side by sides there.

I realized that I had less than two hours before dark and possibly less if it started to storm. I left Keith with three bottles of water and a sandwich and started back to Kirk.

As I traveled down the steep rugged trail, it became obvious that there was absolutely no way I could pull Kirk’s side by side up this trail. It was too steep, lots of cliffs to climb, and too many large boulders.

San Rafael Trail

I stopped my Rzr. I prayed. I prayed hard and loud.

Recently, I’ve been studying the Book of Mormon. For the past decade of my life, I had become a non-believer of the LDS faith. There are various reasons for this, but nonetheless, I had drifted off and began going to a non-denominational Bible church. For three years, I have studied hard the NKJV bible and have loved it. I buried myself in the bible and have studied it thoroughly and completely. My desire was simply to increase my faith in Jesus Christ. I felt for years, that as I attended the LDS church, I wasn’t learning the Bible and thus not getting a personal relationship with my Savior. Recently, I was diagnosed with a heart condition. The Cardiologist told me that if I didn’t have emergency surgery and get a pacemaker installed, I would die this year. This was alarming and took Misty and I by complete surprise.

Due to this circumstance and also witnessing a disconnect forming between my children, wife, and I, (From not worshipping on Sundays with my family). I desired to return to the LDS church and work on returning to the Temple with Misty. I had met with our Stake President a few times and he challenged me to study the Book of Mormon once again. He promised me that if I did so, I would have that testimony of Jesus Christ that I’ve been searching for.

During the past month, I purchased a Book of Mormon study guide and have been actively studying it using all the study guide help. I have loved it. Currently, I’ve made it to the chapter of Mosiah.

So, what does the Book of Mormon and my relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ have to do with this story? Let me tell you. Everything!

On my way back to Kirk, I decided that I needed to put my faith and testimony to work. I’ve been studying the old prophets in the Book of Mormon and constantly, they have taught about faith. Real faith. Steadfast faith. They preach about proving your confidence to God. So, here I am. I’m in a situation where God is testing me. Do I have this steadfast faith? Do I have confidence in angels? The scriptures teach that I have the authority to call upon angels. How confident am I?

So I stopped the side by side. I prayed. I prayed with confidence. I prayed with clarity. I prayed out load. I explained the circumstance not leaving anything out. I was specific. I prayed concerning the Storm that was soon to start, I prayed concerning the darkness or night that would soon be here, I also prayed for clarity of reading the maps.

I finished my prayer and again proceeded down the trail. I called Kirk on the two-way radio and Kirk answered. I explained the bad news. I discussed with him that somehow we turned the wrong way. Instead of heading toward Ferron, Utah where are trucks were, we ended up returning to I-70. I explained to Kirk that I left Keith on I-70 for two reasons. One, incase things went badly for us and we were stuck down here at night in a storm so he can get us help, and to communicate with Misty as she came to get us. I then explained to Kirk that this trail out was extremely steep and rocky. I told him that it would be impossible for me to pull his side by side up it. I then explained my prayer. I suggested that he too pray and that it will take angels pushing behind to get these two Rzr’s up this cliff. We discussed our circumstance and he told me that he was already praying. I then told Kirk that one of these angels better be Sampson. We laughed. I explained that I was on my way towards him but it would be about an hour before I would be there.

As I was heading down the steep trail, a thought occurred to me that I we needed to head down the wash the way that we came. It occurred to me that our mistake was made as we entered the wash and turned left. That was our mistake. We should have turned right! I immediately stopped and checked my phone. I found that my phone battery was down to nine percent. I had one bar signal. I tried to call Misty again. She answered. Misty had already talked with Keith and was on her way. I told her that Kirk and I were not going to try pulling his side by side up this steep trail. I told her that I had prayed and was inspired to NOT attempt climbing this trail but to stay in the wash and go the other direction. I explained to her the situation of the storm and that daylight was almost over. I told her to explain all of this to Keith when she picked him up and then to drive him to Ferron. We would meet her at our trucks. My signal fainted and my phone battery died.

I hurried down the trail and when the two-way radio signals allowed, I stayed in touch with Kirk.

I finally made it back to Kirk. He was out ready to give me more fuel from his extra Fuel Pack. We hurried and added fuel and got his side by side turned around facing the right direction. Then we looked at each other and agreed that we should pray together. We both folded our arms. I prayed out load. We had an hour of sunlight left. Amazingly, the storm hadn’t hit yet. The clouds above were dark and threatening. Certainly, imminent and only moments away. I felt that my prayer needed to be stated in specific concerns. I prayed first about nightfall was only one hour away. I prayed specifically that we intended to walk over to the map and study it for clarity. I explained in prayer that this walk and map studying would eat about tem minutes of our much-needed daylight. I prayed for angels to push on Kirk’s side by side to get us over the rocks and steep trails. I explained in prayer that the scriptures state that we had the power to call upon angels if only we had the faith of a mustard seed. I then stated that we did. I stated that we knew we knew that God was in control. I then ended our prayer with the statement that we were on our way.

With the tow strap in place we hurried down the wash. Poor Kirk, trying to steer his side by side behind me was being sprayed with sand and rocks as my rear tires stirred the wash underneath us. We made it to where the trail was leading to the map. We had to climb out of the wash up a four-foot embankment. We hurried to the map. I showed him the trail that Keith and I climbed and that it went to I-70. I then suggested that we must have made a wrong turn when we entered the wash. We traced the trail map back to where we believe we entered the wash. We both agreed that was where we must have turned the wrong way.

Both, now having faith that we should continue down the wash the way we came in headed back to our side by sides. We both knew that if we were wrong, we would just be headed back deeper into the San Rafael Devil’s racetrack and nobody would know where we would end up.

With less than an hour before dark, we headed down the wash. The wind had picked up and our tire tracks from earlier were no longer visible. We tried to stay in these tracks for a couple of reasons. We wanted to ensure that we were on the right track by identifying where Kirk broke down and where I had to back up and climb the embankment earlier.

This is the part that becomes strange. Kirk and I had traveled only a short time. We were actively searching for these locations I listed above and then we went around a corner and it was the location where we had entered the wash. For clarity, we never drove through the place where Kirk broke down. We never drove over the four-foot embankment where I had to back up. The miracle here is that we never left the wash. We gained time and somehow skipped many miles of travel!

Kirk and I stopped at this location where the Devil’s Racetrack enters the wash. We got out and wondered how we got there so quickly. We both were perplexed on how we didn’t notice those two areas in which we were looking. We both stated out loud that the angels that we requested were indeed helping us out. We recalled our prayer that we stated that we would take ten minutes to walk to the map and study it for clarity. WE requested that ten minutes was regained. Indeed, we had regained that ten minutes. We couldn’t explain how, but indeed, angels were at the helm.

San Rafael storm 2

Also, we noticed another map sign located in this same intersection. We took some time to re-assess where we were on this map. Again, there were no indicators on this map as to where we were. We seemed to navigate this sign with clear clarity and could see that we were heading the right direction. Another answer to our prayer. We asked in prayer for clarity in reading these maps and we certainly were able to dictate the map clearly.

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The storm was still held off and we figured we had around fifteen minutes left of day light. So, off again I towed Kirk down the wash. We hustled and maneuvered around many big boulders and through trees and somehow managed to stay on a washed out trail. There were a few times that the trail would take us up steep sandy hills and off sharp drop offs, but we were never slowed down. Certainly, angels assisted us up these hills and navigated us across unknown territory. Quite possibly, Sampson, was there as requested in prayer.

With only minutes of daylight to spare we saw the opening of the canyon. We had made it out of the wash. As we left the wash and headed toward Ferron, Utah I turned on my lights. It started to sprinkle. The storm was now here.

20San Rafael Storm 4

Funny thing happened after that. As we headed toward Ferron, in search of our trucks we came upon an intersection. One road going forward and the other going right. My guess is the angels had left us to figure this one out on our own. We chose to turn right. We traveled about five miles when we finally decided that we went the wrong way. Kirk had been towed for a long way. His eyes were so bloodshot. It was dark now and was raining. We had to stop and Kirk washed his eyes out with water. We turned around and back tracked. We went too far and realized we were heading back into the wash. Again, we turned around. Completely puzzled on how we missed a turn again we headed out of the canyon. We came to the same intersection and rather than turn right, we continued straight ahead. Finally, we found our trucks.

As we got out of our side by sides we agreed that we needed to again pray out loud. We knew that our prayers had been answered. Not only had our prayers been answered, but our prayers had been answered exactly as we had asked. We were specific in our prayer concerning the ten minutes of studying a map. We were specific in requesting the storm to hold. We were specific concerning the nighttime darkness and getting out of the canyon before the dark. Each one of these items that we prayed for were answered to an exactness. We prayed out loud to give thanks and to give God the glory. God and his angels were obvious and merciful on us that night. God says in scripture to prove Him. He tells us to have steadfast faith, to have confidence to ask for angels. We did. God did too.

The rain was a light drizzle as we winched Kirk’s Rzr up onto his trailer. We used our flood lights to tie everything down. As we left towards Ferron, Utah. The rain came down. It rained the entire two-hour drive home. We met up with Misty and Keith in Spanish Fork. All was well. All was safe.

Possibly this may be a stretch. This is what I believe. I wanted to go on this San Rafael Devil’s Racetrack trip to have fun with my friends. I had a great desire to go simply because I like to do these kind of things. However, there was something different this time. I have been studying the Book of Mormon prayerfully for the past month. I’ve been very diligent in daily study. Not only just reading the Book of Mormon, but including a study guide as I read verse by verse. I’ve been also meeting with my Stake President and discussing my testimony every other week. I’m working hard to return to the temple with my wife and becoming a changed man walking with my Savior. This trip was more than a side by side ride with my friends. I know that God was testing me and my faith. My friends and I were put into a situation that could have easily become tragic. The test was obvious to me. Do we handle this situation by thinking as a man, or do we call upon God and his angels?

I’m so grateful that my soul is in the right place. Of course, we called upon angels. We called for Sampson. (I know that Sampson was “probably” not the angel, but who knows). I’m grateful for great friends. I’m grateful for friends that are believers. I’m grateful that I have friends with the courage to pray out loud with me. I’m grateful that I have friends that help build me up, and allow me to help build them up. Together, my friends with angels, will build my testimony of Jesus Christ to a steadfastness and confidence spoken of by our prophets of old.