Saturday, December 5, 2009

Miracle in San Miguel Canyon

I get to drive a lot of miles with my work, and yesterday was one of those days.   I had to travel to Blanding, UT.  On the way back I decided to stop in San Miguel Canyon to take a few pictures.  It was very cold and the river was partially frozen.  It was an ideal opportunity to get a few photos.  There are several spots along the canyon that I like to stop at....but I chose a spot on a curve where the canyon is pretty narrow and the river is not as spread out as it is in other places.  At this spot the spring runoff over the years has cut into the bank.  There is one spot along the bank to get down to the water.  In other places on this corner the bank is about a six foot drop to the edge of the river.  The river is lower now, so once you're down over the bank you can walk along the edge. Upstream  I saw a couple of mounds of ice in the middle where the water was flowing between looked like a great spot to take a photo with a slow shutter to blur the water, but make the ice stand out.   But, to do so I would have to walk on the ice on the edge for about 20 feet to a large rock where I could rest against it for a steady shot.  The vertical bank was on my left and the river on my right.  This is a photo capture from a video clip that I took.

I was leaning on the large rock on the left.  Ice surrounds all of the rocks in the foreground.  So, getting to that rock was very slow as the ice was bumpy and quite slick.   I leaned over and steadied my self on the rocks as my feet were sliding around on the ice.  As I was taking the shot and trying to be as steady as possible I began to hear a rumble coming down the canyon.  I thought that it must be a large truck...possibly one of the trucks that haul drilling rigs in the area.  It got louder and I again thought it was very unusual that it was so loud.  But, I didn't pay a lot of attention as I was trying to be very steady.  However, I was somewhat annoyed when I began to feel the ice I was standing on vibrate.  I could only see around the corner about 30-40 yards as I glanced up the river.   I could not believe what I saw.  Rapidly coming my way was a wave of water that was about three feet high or more.  It was full of large chunks of ice and logs and debris.  Though it seemed like slow motion; in a split second I turned and headed for the spot where I could get up the bank.  Slipping and falling definitely fled through my mind.  As I went by a tree root sticking out of the bank I briefly thought about grabbing it and holding on; in hopes that I would not get pulled downstream.  There was no question that the area I was in would soon be under water.  I still have no logical idea how I got across that ice so fast and did not fall down.  I know this will sound like an exaggeration,  but it was so fast and unbelievable that I felt like I was carried.  Just as I got up the bank the water fled by under my feet - and I didn't even get wet.  As I stood there shaking, I took a few clips of video.  Here is a still shot from the video of the scene as the flash flood went by...

 The rock that I was leaning on for the photo was now under water.  With the ice, logs, and the cold of the water; there is no way that I could have survived "going with the flow".  All I could think of was, "For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;  they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone."  Psalm 91:11-12.

As I got back in my car and headed out on the road up the canyon I was thanking and praising the Lord for what I thought was a miraculous rescue.   When I settled down a bit; I turned on the radio to the only Christian station you can get in the canyon and immediately when the radio came on the announcer was reading these words from Isaiah 43:  "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!   "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.....   He went on to read the rest of that passage; but I was so overwhelmed that I did not pay much attention to it.  I broke down and wept thinking what a wonderful God we serve.  How can you not love a God like that?

The photo that almost cost me my life did not turn out to be special in anyone else's eyes - but it will always be special to me.....

                                                          THANK YOU LORD!