Bagby Hot Springs

It was about the spring of ’96. We were dating…having  one fun, adventurous outing after another – some intentional, some not. This night was one, not.

We’d heard about this great spot that anyone could hike, in the Mt. Hood National Forest, called Bagby, with a sweet little reward at the end of the trail: hot springs. We finally found the spot – the trail head where our journey began (2 hours southeast of Oregon City, OR) & we got-ta-hikin’. Thinking back, it seemed like a 3 mile trail.

220px-BagbyHotSpringsSignBut it was only about half that, to the springs. Somehow, we hadn’t guaged sundown according to our plans & night fell upon us before we knew it.  I remember it getting so dark, so fast that I put my hand inches away from my eyes to see it – with no luck. Just 10 minutes into it, our distance hiked and yet to hike was all guess. No visible signs or trail. We relied on our other senses – listening to the rushing of the creeks & waterfalls, feeling the edges of the trail with our shoes & the railings of bridges with our hands. Darkness brought along with it, cold temperatures & our minds raced to figure out what to do. Until…Ricky realized he had a lighter in his back pocket.

He took off his outer shirt, wrapped it around the top of a sturdy branch, and we lit it on fire. A couple of Indiana Jones adventureists – we were makin’ it to the springs that night.  When that one burned out, he even made his way back to the car at the trail head to find other articles of clothing to burn. We incinerated a hat, a sweatshirt and his brother’s Abercromie Tee, before we realized…that was all we had. And we were probably only half way there.

It was when we had run out of options, we were alone, tired, in dark and cold, that my mind focused on a little known scripture, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”. I convinced my sweetheart to sit with me & try to build a small campfire using our lighter & any plantlife we could find. But the moss and branches we gathered would not stay lit. They were too damp. I sat there and started to cry. Ricky held me close to him. Then I prayed. And in my mind, sang that same scripture, I’d learned growing up listening to Amy Grant & Maranatha.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.

When I feel afraid,
And think I’ve lost my way.
Still, you’re there right beside me.
Nothing will I fear
As long as you are near;
Please be near me to the end.

I will not forget
Your love for me and yet,
My heart forever is wandering.
Jesus by my guide,
And hold me to your side,
And I will love you to the end.

Nothing will I fear
As long as you are near;
Please be near me to the end.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
And a light unto my path.
You’re the light unto my path.

We heard some rustling in the bushes nearby. “Did you hear that?” I asked. We thought it could’ve been a wild animal, so we just sat still & waited. Then we watched in disbelief as 4 people with a flashlight & towels rushed down that trail, passing right by us. We jumped up at the opportunity & followed them – we could barely keep up, they were almost running. They’d been there before. They knew the way.  We almost lost them a few times, but were able to track that bouncing single ray of light, until they lead us to the end….just as dawn began to break. As we sank into big barrels of wood filled with hot water, we watched the tops of pines slowly show themselves. We listened to the birds sing their morning songs. And tried not to notice those people who helped us out, as they snorted cocain, stripped down to their almost-nuthins (one in a thong!) & talked about things foreign to us. We just looked at each other and laughed.

I knew that we were protected that night & that God was with us. When the full light of day came, it was back to the car ~ with no sleep, but an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. A date we’d never forget.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s