Since a little girl, my dream has been to hike King’s Peak with my dad. My maiden name is King and since King’s Peak is the highest peak in Utah, I felt like that needed to be on my bucket list. My dad was the scoutmaster for as long as I could remember and he would often take scout troops on backpacking trips to King’s Peak. As I helped him package up trail mix for the boys, I dreamed of the day I could go with him.
Skip ahead to 2018. I’m 33 years old and just had my 4th baby, Eli, months ago. My dad, sister Sarah and brother Michael decide to hike King’s Peak. At first I said there was no way I could do with a nursing baby and 4 months post-partum. But Brandon really encouraged me to do it and take advantage of this opportunity.
For months leading up to the hike, I went on lots of walks and hikes with my dad and sister. I also pumped extra milk like crazy so that Eli would have enough while I was gone. Thank goodness he took a bottle well. Brandon watched all 4 children like a champ. (The trip was even over our anniversary, but he insisted I go.)
I am so grateful I could go!
August 23– drive from Kaysville to the trail head at Henry’s Fork. The group ended up being me, my dad, brother Justin, sister Sarah, and my cousins Jameson and Nate and his son, Morgan. I could not have asked for a more fun group to do this with!
We hiked in to Dollar Lake, where we set up base camp. The hike was so pretty (and long). My peanut butter sandwiches never tasted better.
August 24- wake up before the sun around 4 am. We ate a quick breakfast and then started hiking so we could reach the summit before afternoon. It was COLD! I had to stop a few times to pump and dump to keep my milk supply up.
Summiting- hours and hours of climbing over huge rocks
We Made It To The Top!
Hiking back to base camp– my dad got injured, it took us super long to get back to camp. He was in so much pain. Found shepherds! Then a huge rain storm…and then a rainbow. Sign that a miracle had just happened.
August 24th – the Shepherd’s came to carry Dave out, hiked 8 miles back to the Henry’s Fork, stopped at Pizza Hut for the best tasting pizza ever. Then back home to my babies (Brandon ran out of milk for Eli, but thankfully he took formula.)
The Shepherd’s Rescue- Written by me 🙂
The Kings went to Conquer Kings.
That meant 28 miles of hiking through sunshine, hail, rail, and lightning.
They did in fact conquer King’s Peak. But that was not the highlight of their adventure.
David’s leg got injured on their 43,000-step journey on summit day. Everyone knew there was no way he could hike back out the 8 miles back to the car the following morning.
Justin, Sarah, and Melissa began discussing options for helping him out the next day.
Make-shifting a strecher or calling in a helicopter were some of their ideas, but not practical given logistical problems and no cell-phone service.
After they came down from Gunsight Pass, Jameson spotted a herd of sheep.
Upon seeing the sheep, Melissa had the thought that if there were sheep, maybe there would be a shepherd!
She quickly said a silent prayer that a shepherd on horseback would come.
Just a few minutes later, she spotted 2 shepherds on horses. She immediately walked 200 feet across the meadow to them and pleaded in tears to help.
The shepherds didn’t speak English. After Melissa tried to act out her plea, her sister Sarah came over to talk to them in the Spanish she knew. She tearfully asked them if there was anyway they could help David out.
They agreed to come back in the morning and carry David out the 8 miles on horseback.
This may not seem like a big deal, but in the 8 times that any of the Kings have been at King’s Peak, not once have sheep or anyone on horseback been seen.
They’ll forever remember this as the Shepherd’s Rescue.
Not only did the shepherds rescue David from hiking out the 8 miles on his injured leg, but he also insisted on carrying an additional backpack on his horse so that we wouldn’t have as much to carry.
It was a great sacrifice for the shepherds to get up early to prepare for the 5-hour journey back to the cars at Henry’s Fork.
Yet he did it willingly, not asking for anything in return.
Just like this shepherd, we also have a shepherd who is Jesus Christ, the Lord. Through his Atonement, he has rescued us.
And he will continue to rescue us in our most desperate moments.
He will also carry our burdens.
As Melissa, Sarah, and Justin hiked back to the car, they saw imprints in the mud that the horseshoes of the shepherd’s horses had made.
They literally followed in the shepherd’s footprints all the way out.
It should also be noted that the names of the 2 shepherds were Cesar and Manuel. Not until the drive home, did they realize that those 2 names mean King and Immanuel, respectively.
It’s not a coincidence that those are 2 names of Christ.
They will always remember that Christ, the good Shepherd, has led the way for us to return back to our Heavenly Father. And it is only by Him that we are eternally rescued.
Thanks be to God for a miracle and wonderful lesson learned as the Kings conquered Kings in 2018.