Real adventures…it’s never what you plan

Alec Dreps, Jacob Franz, John-Luke Duvall, Ben Hooper, and David Hooper

Here was my plan. Take a few young men into the wilderness for an adventure and teach them how to be silent before God there. Sounds easy enough, except for one word. Adventure. The real ones are more than what you bargain for and never what you plan.

Four students took up the challenge to go out with me, along with one dad. We entered the Citico Creek Wilderness area and began the adventure earlier this week. But just five hours into it, we had already had our share: getting drenched in a thunderstorm, nearly being hit by lightning, losing our way on the trail, and struggling get to the campsite before dark. I was close to panic at times.

The view from our campsite

But we made it through that day and awoke to the picture at your right. The campsite is a bit under 5000 ft. in elevation, so we are looking down on almost everything around us.

That morning I realized that we needed to change the loop I had originally planned. It was going to be too taxing for everyone. So we decided to stay at this same campsite rather than move on. That morning was spent hiking to the

The Hangover

Hangover, a 200 ft. precipitous drop  with a panoramic vista. Here we spent some time in silence before God, thinking through what we needed to receive from the Father in the wilderness. That afternoon was spent exploring another trail down the mountain.

The final day was spent hiking out. We stopped on a bald mountain for a second time of silence before God, focusing on what we needed to take back from our experience together.

The adventure ended with a trip to some of the largest trees left in Eastern N. America and a well-deserved bath in a mountain river. We were able to make it out before the final part of the adventure, running into a vicious thunderstorm that blew trees and power lines down everywhere.

A massive tulip poplar tree

The Tellico Creek that became our bathing spot

Here is what I know about true adventures: I like them because they bring surprise and newness into my life. But I also dislike them because they test me and ask things of me that I’m not sure I can handle.

In many ways this is just what it feels like to walk with God. He  always calls us to do something that feels like a true adventure…more than what we bargain for and never what we plan!

About Coach D

I have been a teacher and a coach for many years. My real name is Bill Delvaux, but my students call me Coach D, hence the user name. This blog is about the journey into the unknown I am walking and the landmarks I am navigating along the way. The destination: becoming who I really am as a man. I invite you to join me by reading along every Monday and Thursday.
This entry was posted in Backpacking, Wilderness and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Real adventures…it’s never what you plan

  1. Trey says:

    Yeah, you are right about that. If everything goes according to plan, where is the adventure? Now if I can just remind myself of that the next time my favorite plans crumble to dust!!!!!!!


  2. Becky D says:

    One summer during high school, I went on a backpacking trip through a summer camp in Colorado, and it operated entirely under the same principle you’re describing. They called it wilderness stress camping, and the idea was that you were pushed to your limits, and discovered that you could do more than you thought. It was all about being pushed to where you were in a teachable place, and you learned more about God’s character, omniscience, and love. We all came away with enduring lessons, memories, and friendships. After two weeks of doing everything from rappelling down a cave in the pitch black dark to swimming across a lake to a twelve mile run, I also came away with a much greater appreciation for Philippians 4:13! Sounds like you guys had a great trip, especially with all the unexpected happenings.

    • Coach D says:

      It was a great trip, one that pushed me as well as the men I took. Your story does have all the familiar themes in it! I hope the young men I took also walk away with some enduring lessons, memories, and friendships.

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