Deanna and I drove to Denver this weekend for camp planning meetings and had planned on touring the Camp Wondervu grounds as part of our trip. The camp operators were out of town but were expecting us and left a key and map for us to make the trek up ourselves and show ourselves around. Unfortunately, when we arrived, the snow banks were just too high for us to even get inside the campground area. Total bummer!

You can probably get somewhat of an idea how high the snow drifts were from the pictures below. In many places, snow was up to my chest (I’m 6’2″, for reference). We were able to drive up to the operator’s house, but after that nothing was remotely passable. We turned the car around but the car just didn’t have enough traction or horsepower to make it back up the snow packed road.

As the sun was beginning to set, after about 30 minutes of pushing and moving the car back and forth along the path, we decided that we had better go for help. Mind you, there is no cell service up there, so we wanted to make sure that we didn’t get stranded out there in the dark. Thankfully, after walking maybe a little over a quarter of a mile, we found a house with a couple outside sitting around a wood stove fire. We told them our situation, expecting nothing but maybe the opportunity to make a phone call, but the man – who’s name was Vern – told us without hesitation that he’d help us out.

We got into his 4×4 truck and drove it back to the car. We tried pushing and driving a bit more before hooking up with a rope because there really wasn’t any good places to latch on to. But after many unsuccessful attempts, it was becoming clear that towing it out was going to be our only option. Vern got in his truck, Deanna got in the driver’s seat of our rental, and I was in between trying my best to keep the tow rope tight enough so that we wouldn’t lose grip going up the hill. It still fell off several times as I walk-jogged in between the two vehicles as we slowly made our way out.

What an evening! It was definitely an adrenal rush adventure. Afterwards, Vern invited us back to his house for some sodas and some fireside chat. What a great couple!

On top of our mountain top fun, I had really been looking forward to taking Deanna to Cinzetti’s in Denver, as she had never been and I’m a big fan. It was scheduled to be open until 8:30 PM, but when we got there, there were signs on the doors saying that they had closed early for the Super Bowl! “Noooooooo!” We found another place to eat and went back to the hotel to rest our sore muscles. Phew! Regardless, we are thankful that we are safe and that our rental wasn’t damaged.


Shawn Michael

Husband, father, musician, pastor, Internet junkie, and Foursquare District NextGen Rep for the Gateway District

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