Well, back to February, we were back on the road again heading for Yuma, AZ. The Album, at that point, was in the mixing stages...YEA!! And, though we got about 4 hours of sleep that morning (reviewing a cut on a song til 5 am) and had a flat tire on the truck ...undaunted, we forged on! The Rodeo Cowboy Church was awesome. Towards the end of the service, a big cowboy stood up. The Lord had moved on him to ask a gentleman in the audience to pray over his nephew. The cowboy was visibly moved, as he had never had this happen to him before. So, wide-eyed (like the rest of us), the cowboy had the man come down and lay hands on his nephew. He was also told to use the water in Bruce’s water bottle to anoint him as he was prayed over. Wow! God can and will use whatever and whomever He pleases to get a job done. Our job is to take Him out of the box and do whatever He tells us to do….an unsuspecting cowboy, an audience member and a bottle of Walmart water…nice!
February found us parked once again at Catalina State Park. We had an awesome time riding the trails and enjoying Park life which consisted of meeting new trail buddies and riding with “old” ones, including our friend, Alden and her horse, Larry. We sang at the Tucson Rodeo Cowboy Churches on both the Sundays and enjoyed yet more awesome preaching from Coy Huffman.
Our stay at Catalina also taught us a new meaning of “roll with the flow”! We were supposed to leave for the Chino Valley, AZ meetings on Monday, but were faced with a little “hitch-in-the-get-a-long” instead (translation-our plans got cancelled). Arizona got a TON of rain, more so than the locals had seen in years. We left to sing at the Cowboy Church on the final Sunday….it was raining. We got out of the Park just fine. Getting back was another story. As we entered the Park, we were informed that the flood waters and the sand it carried had buried the road and we couldn’t get back to our camp. We would have to park on the side of the road and walk back to our Rig, IF we wanted to brave the flood waters. When the Park Rangers said the road was flooded, THAT was an understatement. It was not only flooded, but about 3 feet of silt/sand completely covered the road so that even the dip in the road was filled to its brim!
Well, there was “nothin’ for it”, but to park our truck and start the mile trek back to our camp, Rig and horse. We couldn’t cross where the road had been for danger of sinking in the sand, so we took the berm dike back to a place in the river where we knew we might be able to cross. Thankfully, it wasn’t raining that hard and we got into the spirit of the adventure! Taking our boots off and hiking up our good jeans we crossed in what proved to be some VERY COLD water! I will never again giggle at the hikers we came across on the trail that had to cross in that water, as we rode through on horseback, earlier that week! When they said the water was cold, they weren’t kiddin’!
After forging the river and getting back to our Rig, we discovered that we were low on generator fuel. So, back we went...forging the River again...walking a mile back to the truck to get gas in our gas can. And then, walking the mile back AGAIN, forging the River (not easy with a loaded gas can) and back to our Rig.....oh....and it was really raining now!
This adventure was on Monday. After a day and a half of checking the progress of the road clean-up, we finally pulled out on Tuesday afternoon and booked it to the Chino Valley meetings. We pulled in too late to sing on Tuesday, but were able to join in on Wednesday.
As we asked God to literally “part the waters”, and as we bound Satan and conducted all the spiritual warfare you do when something needs to happen, this thought kept crossing our minds: “we make our plans, but the Lord directs our steps” (Proverbs 3:5-6; Proverbs 16:9). The Word says “when you have done all that you know to do”…stand (Ephesians 6:13). In other words….don’t move! Guess what? We realized that, even though the Chino Valley meetings were a great thing, God wanted us in the Trail Camp. I spent time with people as we chatted around my horse (Nocona has his own ministry goin’ on!) that I would never have had a chance to talk to under any other circumstance. Even our attitude toward the Park Rangers during this adventure was an encouragement to the Rangers as they confided in us that they were being blasted by other campers…as if the flood waters were somehow the Rangers fault.
The Rangers showed us favor as they fed Nocona that first day when they thought, initially, we wouldn’t be able to make it over the River to our Camp. How they got the hay in there and where they got it from, I never figured out…but it was really good hay!
And, as live entertainment is always better than TV, we and other campers derived great entertainment in watching those who would try to forge the River against all odds. “Turning the air blue” as they punched their accelerators, they only got so far as to bury their vehicles and themselves in the deep sand. There were no emergencies to get out, just an over abundance of impatience, which was very amusing.