A Tale of Dried Cranberries   Leave a comment

Last summer, our family had the opportunity to go camping in Colorado in conjunction with a celebration near Breckenridge in honor of my parents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary.  That was a great celebration and both fun and amusing having fourteen very different people sharing one house and one (albeit large) kitchen.
So after several days of festivities with extended family, we set out again, for another week of sightseeing and camping.  Among our destinations was Rocky Mountain National Park.  The kids had never been there, and I would guess it had been almost twenty years since my husband and I had visited.  We had fond memories so were glad to go back.
On my birthday, we picked a hike in the Moraine Park Basin that looked do-able and would be enjoyable for all four of us.  It led along a creek, through woods and an amazing boulder field.  All went well, and when we reached our destination, The Pool, we all felt like that hadn’t taken long at all.  We ate lunch while listening to the roar of the circling waters of the Pool under the bridge we had just crossed.
Afterwards, I suggested that we go on and try to make it to the waterfall further up.  So far the trail had been basically level.  I felt great, despite not being in the best of health in general, but no altitude sickness or anything.  Everyone agreed and we started up the trail.
It was a lovely hike, through a burnt area with shocking pink fireweed, overlooking a rapidly tumbling creek below.  But, of course, after a while, it certainly seemed that we ought to have reached the falls by now.
My husband and son finally decided they definitely wanted to turn around, but I was determined to make the falls, which some hikers we asked said were really not that much farther.  I was just hot, tired and sweaty, so what of that?
Unfortunately, something about that last tenth of a mile did not agree with my entire body, and while we were sitting admiring the wonderful view of the waterfall, I started feeling light-headed and spacey.
I rested and drank water.  My daughter and I started back down.  Some nice gentleman offered me some of his water.  Now that I think of it, I must have looked like I needed a drink, but I didn’t want to take water from someone who was still going uphill, so I didn’t accept any.
My intention was to return to where the guys were sitting and get something to eat from the pack.  However, when the girl and I got back to that rock — they weren’t there.  Apparently they had done what we had agreed they might do and started back down; we’d catch up.
So now I had to manage without what was in the pack until I caught up.
We rested, I breathed deep.  I wasn’t really dizzy.  I just felt really weird.
If I could just have taken my next dose of medication, which was of course in the back-pack, I knew that would help.  Or a potato chip might help.
Honestly, though, chocolate was what I really wanted!  But I hadn’t brought any.
We continued down the trail.  As I kept feeling waves of weird, I put one foot in front of the next, was thankful my daughter was with me, and glad it was downhill at this point.
I prayed, “Lord, please get me off this mountain.”  This prayer was completely sincere.  I was concerned that if I fainted we’d be looking at ranger evacuation by helicopter or something crazy — and I really did not want to put my family through that, nor spend my birthday that way.
We finally caught up with the backpack and the medication.  I had my next dose, and had some potato chips thinking that carbs would help.  But I still really wished I had candy, chocolate, something with sugar in it (note to self: always take candy on hikes).
We took a rest back at the Pool, where we had lunch, and I ate a few more bites, and told my husband I needed to sit for a few minutes.  I didn’t tell him how badly I actually felt.  After a bit I felt I could go on, still wishing I had chocolate.
Imagine my amazement when I saw something I had never seen before on a trail: a spot of bright, cheerful, cranberry red.
It was a dried cranberry on the path.  I stopped and picked it up.  If it had been chocolate, or if there was any chocolate on the trail, I wouldn’t have been able to spot it in the dirt.  I brushed it off, and put it in my mouth.  My daughter chimed in, “Mom, don’t you know you shouldn’t eat things you find on the ground?”
I laughed and said, “Ah but this is an emergency.”
That cranberry tasted awfully good.  I thought to myself, what are the odds that there are any more?  Not too good I thought, but I kept looking as we hiked back toward the van.
There were two more.
By the time I swallowed the third one, I kid you not, I was feeling better.
You know how much sugar there is in those dried cranberries? Like 24 grams per 4 tablespoons. It was just what I needed, and there it was, waiting for me.

Posted February 6, 2016 by swanatbagend in prayer

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