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Angel on a Dirt Bike?

by Alison Quiring

Just around the corner and up a slight hill, we encountered a heap of rocks partly blocking the trail.

 “Where did they go?” I asked my brother, Tyler, who was sitting behind me on our four-wheeler (which we Canadians call a quad). “We left for only a minute. How could they have disappeared so fast?”

That morning my dad had suggested that we go to my uncle’s lakeside cabin in the mountains. On our quads and dirt bikes our family often explores the logging roads and trails near the cabin during the summer. At dusk we usually make a bonfire to roast veggie hot dogs and marshmallows. Before heading home, we end the day with sundown worship beside the lake.
Often we bring friends along to enjoy the time out in nature with us. This time my sister, Bryn, had invited along her friend Rachel. We were excited to show Rachel the area since she’d never been to the cabin before.
When we arrived at the cabin, we unloaded our two quads and my dad’s dirt bike. Then we set out on our trek through the woods.
Dad decided to take a trail that he, Tyler, and I had ridden several times, but Bryn had ridden it only once before. Our convoy of five, decked out in dirt biking helmets and goggles, started off with Dad leading the way.
We spent the next hour speeding down dusty roads, splashing through muddy bogs, and maneuvering over several trees that had fallen across our path. We emerged from the trail laughing and splattered with mud and dirt.
“I’m not quite ready to head back yet. Couldn’t we ride to Oyama Lake first?” I asked Dad, tilting my helmet in that direction.
Fifteen minutes later we were all navigating a small trail heading toward the lake. We stopped to rest and take pictures before heading back to the cabin.
“Hey, guys, we should start back before dusk,” Dad pointed out as the sun dipped closer to the tree-topped mountains.
Tyler and I raced each other to our quad and pulled on our helmets. Giving my helmet strap an extra tug, I looked around. Dad was tying his shoelace, and the girls were putting away the camera. Since they wouldn’t be ready to leave for a few minutes, Tyler and I had time to kill.
“Want to head up that trail a little way while we wait?” I asked Tyler as I climbed onto the quad.
“Sure,” he agreed, hopping on behind me.
I started the engine and headed for a trail beside the one leading to the logging road.
Just around the corner and up a slight hill, we encountered a heap of rocks partly blocking the trail. By that time I knew Dad and the other girls were probably ready to leave.
Looking back to make sure I wasn’t backing off the trail, I was surprised to see Dad on his dirt bike waiting behind me. Peering past him, I didn’t see the other quad. Bryn and Rachel are probably waiting for us at the lake, I thought as I steered down the trail. Then I slammed on my brakes as we turned the corner.
“Ty, where’d Bryn and Rachel go?” I asked over the idling quad motor. “We just left for a couple of minutes. How could they have disappeared so fast?”
Before Tyler had time to respond, Dad pulled up beside us.
“Why did you turn around?” he hollered. “Wasn’t that the trail back to the logging road?”
“No, we were just exploring it while waiting for you guys to get ready.” I waved toward the other trail. “That’s the way back.”
A look of realization swept the confusion off Dad’s face. “Oh no! Bryn and Rachel must have thought that we left them behind. I bet they’re trying to catch up to us right now, except we’re actually behind them.”
“Do you think we can catch them?” Tyler asked.
Dad nodded, and we started racing to the logging road, sending clouds of dust billowing behind us.
We stopped at the junction between the road and our original trail. All three of us examined the road closely, trying to find any clues of Bryn and Rachel’s whereabouts from the countless tire treads etched in the dirt.
“It’s no use,” I groaned, rising from my crouched position. “We’ll never make any sense out of these tracks.”
“Now what?” Tyler glanced at the sky. “We don’t have any idea where they are, and it’s almost sunset.”
“They could still be ahead of us on the road,” I said.
“Or maybe they turned the wrong way after leaving Oyama Lake,” Dad broke in.
“Bryn’s ridden this trail only once before, and she’s never been to the lake,” I pointed out.
Dad noticed the sun beginning to slip behind the mountains. “Let’s keep going to the cabin. They could still be ahead of us.”
One last thing
When we got to the cabin, Bryn and Rachel weren’t there. Dad asked the couple at the neighboring cabin if they had seen two girls on a quad, but they said no.
“Guys,” Dad said to Tyler and me, “there’s one thing we haven’t tried yet; we haven’t prayed.”
How could we have forgotten to pray? The three of us quickly gathered close and prayed that the girls were safe, and that they would soon find their way back to the cabin.
After prayer Dad and Tyler decided to ride the quad back to the main road to keep looking for Bryn and Rachel. I stayed at the cabin.
The couple gestured me over to their campfire, and I told them more about the girls’ disappearance. As we talked, I anxiously listened for the sound of a quad motor. Time seemed to drag, and I got more nervous every passing minute.
Then above the crackle of the fire, a faint rumble caught my ear. Excited, I leaped from my tree-stump perch and listened closer. The rumble sound morphed into the roar of an engine as a vehicle approached. I ran up the dirt trail to meet it.
It was Bryn and Rachel! They pulled into the clearing and scrambled off the quad.
“Wow, I thought we’d never make it back!” Bryn shouted as she ran over to give me a hug. “Why did you leave us? We didn’t know where to go.”
“We turned the wrong way and got lost,” Rachel explained as she pulled off her helmet.
“This guy on a dirt bike just appeared right in front of us,” Bryn started telling me.
“Yeah, and he knew all the logging roads and the trails and all of the lakes in the area,” Rachel joined in.
“When I said our cabin was at Crooked Lake, he gave us perfect directions.”
“Once we knew the way, it didn’t take us long to get back.”
“Rach, do you think he was an angel?”
“Maybe. If not, we’re lucky he appeared right when we needed him.”
God says: “I will answer their prayers before they finish praying” (Isaiah 65:24, CEV).* Bryn and Rachel’s encounter reminded all of us that God looks out for our needs before we even think to ask Him for help.
*Scripture quotations identified CEV are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright  American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.
Alison Quiring enjoys exploring the mountains and lakes of British Columbia, Canada, with her family and friends. She is pursuing a mass communication degree with a concentration in writing and editing at a university in the United States.

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