Saturday, April 2, 2011

Young Women's Campout Adventure

We decided to have a super activity for our young women. We made plans to go canoeing on the Verde River. I knew going into it that it would be an adventure, I just didn't know how much of an adventure it would be.

Day 1 we arrived in the White Tank Mountains. We set up camp and relaxed. Lucky for me, Emerson and Madden got to come up and spend with us. They loved it up there. Emerson got to play baseball with everyone.

These boys were spoiled rotten with attention from all the young women. All the girls were so great with them and played with them the entire time.

The girls set up all of the tents on their own. They were awesome!

We took a hike to a "waterfall" and saw a rattle snake on the way.

That was the first day....

Day 2 was a different day. It started off great. We went to McDonald's for breakfast and then headed a hour and a half north to get on the River. We got on our canoes at around 10:30 am. We were all really nervous because most of us had never canoed before. We got on the water and realized that it really wasn't too bad. The river was slow, wide and we just slowly went along.

After being on the water for a couple hours things started to get interesting. I had one of my cute young women, Katie with me. We somehow drifted to the side and couldn't get away and went right into a huge tree with tons of sticks (not really any leaves). I was laying flat on my back because the sticks were so thick. I was trying to push my way out but it was really hard. Finally we got out and I realized there were about 50 spiders in my boat!!!!! Yes, SPIDERS!!! all shapes and sizes. This was my worst fear by far. I was freaking out! I was standing in the canoe, jumping and screaming, stabbing and stomping the spiders with my feet and my ore. It was horrible.

I survived.

After lunch we headed out again. A few people had tipped there canoes but we hadn't yet. I was thankful because the water was cold and it was only 65 degrees outside. Well, not long after lunch did everyone start tipping over. The poor men on our trip spent the entire day getting all of us un-stuck, getting water out of our boats and convincing the girls that we needed to keep going. I could make this post sooo long and tell you about every single time we tipped over and had scary adventures but I won't. I will just say that it got so bad that almost every girl was crying and at one point they couldn't do it anymore. We had been through so much that last couple hours. So the girls decided to get out of their canoes and start walking. Obviously they couldn't go alone so since I was the only female leader with them at the time, I went with.

We thought we were almost at the end from where we got out of the water so the plan was to just follow the road along the river until we got to the cars. We walked for about a mile and we didn't see any cars. We did run into a lady and borrowed her phone. We found another couple from our group and they came to pick us their Toyota Camry. We fit 8 girls in the back seat and I sat in the front seat on one of the other women leaders laps:) It was so funny. We were all soaking wet, freezing from the wind and emotionally exhausted!

The next few hours was spent wondering if the rest of our group on the river was okay. We didn't have any contact with them and as it got dark we were really scared. The rest of our group had to get all of our abandoned canoes down the river for 2 miles!!! We thought we were at the end but we weren't, we still had a long way to go.

After many prayers and waiting we located our group and got back together at around 9pm.

Next, we were getting ready to load up and one of the trucks wouldn't start so we had to get a tow truck to drive us back. When the tow truck arrived we got loaded up and then our driver decided to go off the path a little ways and got stuck in the parking lot!!!! It took a half hour to get us out and finally we were on our way at 10:30pm. We went and loaded the canoes and got a ride back to the White Tank mountains....arrival time was 1:30am.

It was the craziest day I have ever had. We were all emotionally exhausted but thankful to have everyone safe. Our goal for the trip was unity and we got it!!!!


Monica said...

That is hilariously that it's all over. I'm sure it wasn't that funny when it was all happening.

Logan said...

Oh my goodness. What an adventure! I'm so glad you made it out alive to tell the tale!

alyssa sorenson. said...

ha ha admittedly, i had only heard a few bits from this story from mom, so it was fun reading the whole thing. what an adventure! when it rains, it pours, eh?

Staci said...

Oh my gosh, that is a crazy story!! I don't have a fear of spiders, but I would have TOTALLY FREAKED if I'd been in the situation you were in! You're amazing, Val!!