Worst Backpacking Trip Ever… Best Two Days of my Life!

January 3, 2010

General Musings, Prayer


This weekend I went backpacking. A small group of friends had left on Wednesday to backpack the Sisquoc Loop, which is approximately 60 miles long and located in the Santa Ynez Mountains. I left early Friday with the intention of hiking in the opposite direction and meeting them 20 miles from the end of the loop, then turning around and finishing the last two days of the trip with them.  Apparently the Lord had other plans.  The day started out well and I made it 10 miles to the Manzana Schoolhouse camp in about three hours.  After a quick break for an early lunch I shouldered my 50-pound pack and started off towards Mormon campground, which was our intended rendezvous point. In what I can only describe as a God ordained detour, I took a wrong turn at a fork in the trail that was blatantly mark and ended up on top of the Hurricane Deck.  The Deck is a desolate place, void of water, recently burnt in the Zaca fire, and the trail was spotty at best.  After hiking for an hour or so the trail completely disappeared. I saw some faint footprints leading further into the brush so I followed those thinking that they would lead me back to the trail but after a while those disappeared as well. I tried to find my way back to the path but it was no use.  I hiked up the side of mountains and down into valleys without seeing even the slightest hint of the path. After hours of bushwhacking my body gave out and I collapsed on the side of the mountain.  I started to pray but the only thing that came to mind was “Help me.” So that was my prayer. Help Me.  After a moment I rolled over on to my hands and knees and started to crawl up the mountainside.  As I crawled over the top of the ridge, there before me lay the trail.  I dropped my pack and spent the next few minutes laying face down in the dirt praising God.  My troubles were far from over though.  As I sat on the trail taking stock of my situation I realized that not only were my legs completely cramped and refusing to obey me, but I was also almost out of water. I only had a few inches left in the bottom of my camel back.  I knew that I had to get off the Hurricane Deck to get to water so I prayed for strength, shouldered my pack, and started back down the trail.  For two and a half hours I prayed continuously that Jesus would give me strength to put one foot in front of the other and that my water wouldn’t run out.  I drank as I walked and only had to stop once to rest.  He sustained me the entire way back to the Manzana Schoolhouse.  When I reached the river I went to refill my camel and saw that there was still a couple of inches of water left in the bottom.  After hiking four miles over a period of two and a half hours, drinking water the entire time, not only had my camel not run dry, it was just as full as when I started the trek back down from The Deck!  The next day I woke up and could barely walk.  Yet again the Lord showed Himself faithful and held me together as I prayed my way 10 miles out to my car.

Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).  We often hear about the still, small voice of God that we should be still and listen for.  Very rarely do we remember the storm that Jesus put the disciples through on the Sea of Galilee, or the fish that swallowed Jonah, or the slavery and captivity of Joseph.  We all to often forget that He is the God who created the heavens and the earth with the Word of His mouth. That still, small voice is Him being easy on us.  If He wants your attention He has an infinite number of ways that He can and will get it.  This weekend Jesus stopped knocking and decided to kick my door in.  He brought me to the end of myself and it was only there when I knew I couldn’t do it on my own that I met Him face to face and learned that He is more than enough.  He is more than capable of providing all that we need both physical and spiritually.  Yesterday I needed his help to do the most basic of things, put one foot in front of the other.  Who knows what I will need help with tomorrow but I know that I can rely on Him to provide.

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About Brandon Cantello

Husband to Nicole, Lover of God, Dependent on the Spirit, Passion for His Church. My name is Brandon. I love Jesus. For more visit My Blog

View all posts by Brandon Cantello

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