By the time we had finished winding our way up the steep mountain road it was pitch black outside and we found ourselves lost. We drove in circles for some time but could not find the campground or where to check in. A park ranger finally flagged us down and escorted us to our site. He mentioned to check in at the Visitor Center before 10am the following morning. No big deal, I thought...
At 9:45am, while my husband cooked breakfast, our daughters (ages 5 and 6) and I headed out in search of the Visitor Center, with them on their bikes and me on foot. We had already hooked the water, electric, and sewer up to the camper and figured this would be easier than disconnecting. Besides, how far could the visitor center possibly be? A nice couple pointed us in the right direction and we were on our way...
After twenty minutes of winding back down the mountain I'm beginning to think walking/biking was a bad idea! Cell phone was sketchy, but I tried to keep in touch with my husband via text message. "Walking for 20 minutes and no visitor center in sight." "We just keep going going down, down, down." We later discovered that it was over 2 miles to visitor center! That would have been fine if we just had to go down, but after registering we had to turn around and go back UP UP UP!!!
I honestly was not sure we were going to make it. I was already sore from the walk/run down the mountain trying to keep up with our girls (flip flops were probably not the best choice!). There had been a water fountain at the visitor center, but other than that we had no water with us. And I knew our girls would need to push their bikes up most of the 2 mile trek back up the mountain.
At that point I had a choice. I could whine and complain (which I really wanted too!) but I knew our girls were watching me! If I could not motivate myself and keep a positive attitude, there would definitely be no way we would make it. Besides, this was supposed to be a weekend of Oola Fun! I thought of Kyle Maynard's motivational talk a few weeks prior. This guy is a quadruple amputee and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro!!! His mantra was "Not dead, don't quit". Surely if he could accomplish such a feat, we could make it just 2 miles up a mountain! So, I said a quick prayer, put on a smile, and started singing a silly tune as we made our way slowly but surely.
"Just keep on moving,Just keep on grooving,
We're not gonna stop,
We're not gonna quit,
We're gonna make it,
Just keep on moving,
Just keep on grooving..."
And on and on we sang and sure enough, we made it! By the time we got back breakfast was long over, I had blisters on the bottom of my feet, and our little girls were exhausted! But we had laughed, we had overcome, and we were full of joy.
What's more important, is that our girls learned a valuable lesson that day. I'm sure they are going to be faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges in their lifetime. There will be times in life they will probably want to complain and even quit. It is my prayer that when those times come they will remember their hope comes from the Lord and that they will choose JOY!
"A joyful heart is good medicine..." ~Proverbs 17:22