Tuesday, June 26, 2012
I have much in my head that I still have yet to put words to on my keyboard. But for the moment, I really want to share the opportunity we had yesterday.
My husband was blessed with a day off of work. It is not often that he is able to take time off so he and I planned to enjoy fully. We decided to spend the day together doing our favorite hobby: hiking and enjoying the amazing Columbia Gorge. A treasured place we like to hike is Eagle Creek Trail just outside of Cascade Locks. It is a slightly more advanced hiking trail as the elevation really climbs in a couple of areas. Also there are 2 spots where the path is cut into a cliff face and there are cables anchored into the wall to hold to for safety. (If you scroll through this old post, you can see a picture of such an area) It turned out to be beautiful mild weather. With food and water in out pack, we spent a handful of hours breathing in the beauty of the area.
Late in the afternoon as we were headed back down, we met a woman hiking up with her 2 large dogs. I can't be positive but as I look back on the events I want to say we met up at that very same spot I had taken a picture of so many years ago. As always, I had fun petting the 'fuzzy children' and making quick friends. Then we said our farewells and continued on. Not more than 25 paces into our decent, we heard the woman scream and yell for her husky dog. Bohdee was gone! I heard the horrid crashing of her malamute falling 150 feet to the bottom of the cliff and then there was no sound at all. The woman was panicked. We locked eyes and she begged for help. She passed me the lead of her other dog and then threw off her pack and looked around to see if there was a way she could scale down the rock face. My husband convinced her to head down towards the river to look for a path while he headed back up top to see if there was an alternate way down. I followed her to make sure she kept safe.
After rounding a few corners we came upon our first person and he was a God-send. His name was Josiah and at a quick glance I could tell he was a level headed MacGyver sort of person that God had put in that spot for a special purpose. Josiah instantly gave up his camping hike and broke off the path into the forest with Amanda while I ran a good mile and a half to find a phone number for the forestry department. Everyone I spoke with was so wonderfully understanding and within 90 minutes a volunteer search and rescue team called Crag Rats was activated and on site.
It did not take long for Bohdee to be found and he was alive! Isn't that amazing? He appeared to have several broken bones in his hips and ribs but his eyes were alert. The forest was too dense to carry him out from the river floor so the rescue team set together a belay system and brought him back up to the path while strapped to an immobilizing cage board. 6 hours after Bohdee's fall everyone was safely in the parking lot.
My husband and I were worn out but spent the drive home talking about all the things God did through the whole event. After washing with tecnu to break off any hints of poison oak, we crashed into our bed and slept solid.
God is so amazing how He plans and provides!
*We were the only ones in that particular area on the path when Bohdee fell. Had Amanda been completely alone what would have happened?
*Bohdee was not on a lead at that moment. If he had been, would his 105 pound frame have pulled Amanda over as well?
*My husband was incredible in his calm thinking and action.
*As I was headed down the path for help, I came upon friends. 30 miles from home and I run into people I know? They activated a phone prayer chain for everyone's safety.
*The Crag Rat volunteers were so amazing to come even though it was getting dark. Their compassion was so vital. I knew no matter how Amanda found Bohdee, she was not going to leave the forest without he dog.
Tired and sore but so grateful for the way everything ended up.
Post note: Here is the news feed about the event. (The guy in the yellow shirt is my hubby.) We have recently heard that Bohdee had 5 hours of surgery last night to repair a broken pelvis and punctured lung and might be able to be home this weekend.
Thank You God for Your presence always being around us.