Guidelines: Trails and Trials


As I shovel through the archives of my fondest memories, many of them involve family members while another large amount of them involve being outdoors in God’s great creation of nature.

So, when some good friends of mine told me the story of their week, which combined both family and the wild outdoors, I was obviously interested.

In an effort to share his deep love for family, horses and the mountains, a wise and adventurous grandfather planned the adventure and invited his son and family to come along with him for a week of camping in the Uintah Mountains. The caravan started out near popular Moon Lake and then wound around to Brown Duck basin, and finally intercepted the Atwine Trail.

As those that have been to the country of the high Uintah Mountains know, there is a menagerie of mountain passes that must be summited and traversed, descended and respected in order to navigate the trail systems of the range.

This family and their grandfather were trudging along on horseback, and as they were climbing a particularly steep, rocky summit the trail made several switchbacks. One of the young granddaughters in the group, age nine, got flustered and scared. Knowing that her mother was on the horse just behind her own horse, she called out to her mother: “Mom, I am scared!” The words of her mother rang back in soothing confidence and simple wisdom. “It’s okay, just hold on tight, I’m right here and you’re going to be fine.”

Those simple words instilled confidence in the little girl. She clung to the saddle horn, trusted in her mother’s words and summited the pass without a problem. She described the descent down the same summit as: “All of the sudden I realized I was having fun.”

As this little nine-year-old sweetheart told me this story through tear-filled eyes, I drew from her strength. I hope that in all the trails we traverse in this life, we may ever be able to hear the encouraging words of those who love us most. And may we never lose sight that we truly are one nation under God, and when we have summits that try us and scare us, let us call out to Him “I am scared, I don’t know what to do, and I need help.” And may we take courage to know that as our Father, he will reply as did this wise mother “It’s okay, just hold on tight, I’m right here and you’re going to be fine.”

Life is good folks, enjoy the ride!

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