Our second round of mountain running took place in Lehi, Utah only two days later. We decided to run up one of the smaller peaks along the Wasatch Mountains. Our dad drove us to the base of the mountain about 1 mile from their home in Lehi.
There was no path to follow leading us to the top of this mountain. Random trails made by dirt bikes from years past and deer were our only guide.
Because of the remote location and difficult terrain, Matt stayed with me, leading me to our destination to the top of mountain peak.
We spotted numerous groups of deer along our trek up the mountain. Our biggest thrill came when we spotted two stoic elk, positioned themselves along the ridge adjacent to ours. Decked in massive antlers, they watched us make our climb as the sun rose behind their backs.
The climb to the top was rather simple. Having Matt as my guide, we quickly reached the top. After reaching our destination, we decided to name the peak, Mount Linda, in honor of my mother's 70th birthday. A perfect rock was found that formed the exact lines of this ridge. We presented it to her upon our return to her home.
The difficult part of this climb came as we began our descent back to the town of Lehi. Matt had spotted a set of tracks made by a recreational vehicle on the ridge beside us. He decided that would be our goal...to make it to those tracks. We headed down the opposite side of the ridge and were immediately met with deep snow on a steep hillside as well as sections of alders requiring us to bend and twist in order to make our way through.
There was absolutely no point in our descent that I doubted Matt. He had climbed miles and miles of mountain ranges in Alaska, Utah, and Nevada. I knew he could get us down the mountain safely...I trusted him completely. And Matt knew I would follow his every step. I literally placed my foot into the place his foot would leave...over and over again as we made our way down.
I was amazed as he easily followed random tracks made by deer that had traversed the mountain side earlier in small herds. Matt made his way quickly. I followed quickly. There was little time to dottle as the deep snow made its way into our socks and began to freeze our ankles. Matt knew, we needed to make our way in a timely manner.
At one point, I saw him look back at me. Seeing a hint of worry in my eyes, he reassured me as he pointed to the tracks which looked far in the distance, "Relax Heather. We will be to the tracks within five minutes."
And sure enough, five minutes of deep snow, led to the tracks we had seen from the top of the ridge. As we began to run down the tracks, Matt quickly told me to follow him once again as he moved from the slippery surface of the iced tracks to the middle. I worried only for a moment quickly realizing how much easier it was to run down in the soft snow. Stride for stride we made amazing progress and before I knew it, we had reached the bottom of the mountain.
How exhilarating it had been to make it to the top. How grateful I was for Matt with the knowledge to lead us back down safely.
After running the few miles back to the house (a total of 7), we were greeted by our sweet nieces exclaiming, "We saw you at the top!"
Come to find out, my dad had been following us the entire time with his binoculars, watching our progress as we made it to the peak. I love that he was there too, just in case we needed him.
We aren't simply wandering aimlessly around on our journey here on earth. We have purpose. We each have our mountains to climb, each given our own pace, each with One to follow in time of need and each being watched at all times by Him.
It makes me happy to know that.