Before this goes any farther, I feel that I must clarify that I am a Christian. I believe in God and that Jesus Christ is my Savior. With that said, I often stand in awe when things happen that are unexplainable. The following is a true story that happened to me. It leaves too many questions unanswered.
I am a big game archery hunter, and every year, for the last forty years, I have gone to the same hunting area. I have been there in all kinds of weather and have never had a problem concerning rain or snow. Well, never is a long time, and I’ll never be able to say that again.
I have always said a prayer, before leaving home, asking God to watch over me and keep me safe. God has a way of telling you when you’ve screwed up. I was on my way up into the Bradshaw Mountains, southeast of Prescott, Arizona, in late December. Big Bug Mesa is about eleven miles into the Bradshaws on a steep mountainous, remote, dirt road. I was pulling a twelve-foot Playmate camper trailer behind my Toyota, two-wheel-drive pick-up truck. There was a powdering of snow in the shadows of the mountain curves, but I had no problem negotiating the climb up the mountain.
At the top of the first climb, the road descends into a valley. I noticed that the surface was getting muddy, but I still had no problems until I reached the sharp curve, half way down the hill. When I rounded the curve, I was met with a four-feet deep snow slide that covered the road. I hit my breaks, but the muddy road caused me to lose traction and I landed in the snow slide with all four wheels suspended in the snow. I said a prayer and suddenly remembered the shovel I’d put in the back of the truck at the last minute.
As I was shoveling the snow from under the truck, it began snowing. I said another prayer. The snow didn’t stop, but I managed to get my wheels down onto the road where I had traction. I tried to back up out of the slide but all I could do was spin my wheels. Of course, backing up was going uphill and I couldn’t push the trailer out. I looked down the road and the snow slide extended for about a half mile. I had no choice but to put the truck in low gear and began to plow my way through the slide. With snow pushing over the hood of the truck I made it through the slide to the muddy road beyond.
As I eased my way down the muddy road, going much slower now, I thanked God for getting me out of that dilemma. About a half-mile farther, I came to another curve and another snow slide. I stopped before I went into the snow. I got out of the truck and looked up and down the road. I realized that the farther I went, the more trouble I was getting into.
I thought about setting up camp beside the road and hunting from that location, but it was still snowing and things could get much worse. I could turn around and try to go back, but I knew that I’d never make it through the snow slide behind me. I started to pray.
“Dear God, I did a dumb thing. I really need your help on this one. I’m getting the idea that I’m not supposed to go hunting this time and I’m going to need your help to get me out of here. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.”
I no sooner got the words out of my mouth, than I heard the roar of a big truck engine. I looked down the road, and coming toward me, through the snow slide was a large propane tanker truck. Now I have to tell you that this road is in a wilderness area, with no houses, cabins or any other living quarters, and the road dead-ends on top of Big Bug Mesa in the middle of a pine forest. There seemed to be no reason for that truck to be there. There were no other vehicles on that road that day.
I watched as the truck plowed snow with its front bumper until it came out onto the muddy road. I flagged it down and the man behind the wheel was dressed in cover-alls. I told him that I was in trouble and the snow slide that I’d already been through. I asked him if it was possible to give me a tow through the slide to where I could make my way back home. He agreed and I turned around and followed him back to the slide area.
I hooked my tow-chain between us and away we went. That big tanker truck was spinning its wheels and slewing back and forth and I was in second gear and spinning my wheels also. We came out on the other end of the slide and I disconnected the chain. I turned to the driver and thanked him, offering to pay him for his service. He denied my offer and I asked him what he was doing way up in the mountains with a propane truck. He told me that he had a delivery to make in Prescott and that he took a side trip to see if he could get a deer while he was in the area. I shook his hand and asked him his name. His only reply as he climbed back into his truck was “John”.
As the propane truck was pulling away, I picked up my tow chain and stored it back into my truck. I followed his muddy tracks down the hill and the farther I went, the dimmer his tracks became, until there were no tracks at all. The road was still muddy and there were no side roads for him to turn off. I drove back home and told my wife of the experience and realized how it must have sounded to her. There are a lot of possibilities to this story but as the saying goes, “the proof is in the pudding”.
I was alone on this trip and the only person that saw me was a truck driver by the name of John. Several questions remain unanswered in this true story. How did a truck of the right size show up at the right time, just after I prayed for help? How did he actually get up in the mountains without leaving any tracks in the snow slides? Is it ironic that the driver had a biblical name of John? Where did his muddy tracks disappear to as I followed him out of the mountains?
Most people would try to explain it away with logic. I’m a logical man and I was there. Everything happened as I explained it and I’m still in awe over the occurrence. I will believe, for the rest of my life, that I witnessed divine intervention. I thank God every day that I have the rest of my life to live.