Though it certainly was an excellent adventure, my post is not a recount of all we did, but instead one incident filled with lessons from above. The next to last day of hiking was down in the Grand Canyon in the Havsau Falls area. The
Havasupai Indians own this area at the bottom of the Canyon where we spent three days
and two night soaking in the wonders. The second full day, after hiking the ten miles down to our campsite the day before, we were to go on a guided tour to a series of waterfalls.
The first waterfall we had read plenty about and knew it would be a very difficult hike--BUT it was only a mile or two away.
It was VERY difficult! We then forded the creek several times hiking to the next two falls--the last of which is Beaver Falls. What we DID NOT know was how difficult the last two plus miles of the trek would be. More ladders--more rock walls and steps. When we finally reached Beaver Falls, I opted to view from above and skip the last two ladder descents in an effort to give my legs a chance to rest.
We start our trek back--only one way in and out--which means--climbing the same set of steps, ladders, and trails. As I rounded a corner and looked down at the trail, I knew this switchback would be slippery. The scree and sand on top of the rock make for little traction. I looked down and thought, watch your step and the next thing I knew I was on my way down the slope. When I finally stopped sliding, I began to take inventory. At first I was very concerned, but after slowly getting up and deciding nothing was broken I was relieved, but my ankle was definitely sprained. Then we noticed the gash in my arm---thank goodness for my nurse friend, Sonja. Pulling the skin together on the cut and bandaging all the trail rash, we head out again. For you see--even though it was painful--there was no option but getting up and getting going. It was over two miles back including climbing up the chains and ladders at Mooney Falls, but the only way out was one foot in front of the other until I reached our camp.
The thing that seemed to work was to keep moving forward--even in pain. It was much more painful to keep it still than to try to slowly move forward. Even in pain, forward motion was the best answer. With slow determination, I took each step--forded those streams, climbed those ladders, scaled those rock steps inside the caves and kept moving forward. The campground and my tent were a welcome sight after seven hours of hiking--but I made it!
I survived hiking out and hiked the next day the two plus miles to the helicopter pad for the lift to the top. (Good sense prevailed and I did not even consider the eight additional miles up and out of the canyon.) Since returning home, my wounds have gotten better every day with a lovely rainbow of colors all over both legs.
So it is with life--there are times we are in intense pain--sometimes coming with no warning. The answer is always to continue to put one foot in front of the other. Sometimes the forward motion keeps our minds off the pain and sometimes the forward motion makes the pain less--but the forward motion is always the best answer. Standing at a standstill only draws our attention to the pain and does little to aid our recovery. I decided a LONG time ago, while running -All Forward Motion Counts--Once again God has reminded me of the truth in this statement. He is always by my side--- giving me a helping hand--and knows my pain. God is my crutch in the midst of it all-He is my strong right arm. Keep your eyes upon Him and keep marching forward---one foot in front of the other until you reach the finish line---all forward motion counts.
the great trials which your eyes saw
and the signs and the wonders
and the mighty hand and the outstretched arm
by which the LORD your God brought you out