23 Miles in One Day?

By Gregory Baker

The author lives in Arizona, USA.

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By the time the lightning had struck, we were glad we’d been prompted to keep hiking.


Photo illustration by Getty Images

My Scout troop once went on a 50-mile hike in the Grand Canyon. At the time I was the deacons quorum president and Scout patrol leader. We planned and prepared for a year, making sure that we wouldn’t have any problems. On the second day, we started hiking and got to our stopping point early. At that time, I got a very strong feeling that we needed to keep moving instead of making camp, and the group followed my lead. We were supposed to do only 14 miles that day, but we ended up doing 23 and finding a good campground. When we finally stopped, everyone was upset, but I knew it was right.

The next day we did 13 instead of 11 miles, again going farther than planned and finding a good spot to camp. Hopeful to finish early because we were ahead, we got up the next day. It was lightly drizzling, but we kept going. It started raining harder and harder, but we just kept going. Then my leader said there were going to be flash floods and we needed to find shelter ASAP. But suddenly lightning flashed—and it was right overhead.

We started to run, praying that we would be able to find shelter. My friend and I saw a small hut in the distance and headed toward it. As we were running, a lightning bolt struck right by us, so we ran faster. Reaching it safely, I turned around to help those in the back, and we all made it to the shelter. Eventually the storm passed, and we finished the hike. I am so grateful for the Spirit prompting me to continue on the hike longer than we’d planned, because by being closer to the end we were able to find shelter.