This journey has already taken a ton of unexpected turns. Some of them have been less than desirable, but those moments have proven to be the most rewarding.
Example: Colorado. I have a few friends in Colorado – some in real life, and some through social media. Upwards of 20 different Colorado contacts messaged me through Instagram before this journey, so it made sense to make Denver one of my stops.
It’s an incredible challenge to plan every detail of this journey myself (it’s actually impossible), so I have to rely heavily on my faith and the consideration of others. My brain is super tired tonight, so forgive me for the broken, non-flowy-ness of this page. I’ll just get to the point:
I wasn’t able to arrange a place to stay in Denver. Lots of people asked me to be there, but nothing materialized. Which was a bit odd, because everything else has magically fallen into place. It was about 11pm when I arrived in Denver (it was a 13 hour drive from Arkansas). I was tired. It was too hot to sleep in the truck, and hotels aren’t really an option, because money is super tight, and having my dog is another huge challenge.
When I’m stuck, I pray. So, I prayed in the parking lot of City O’ City (a cool vegan restaurant somewhere downtown). In that moment, I realized that maybe this was my chance to grow up a little. I have a tent with me, and I like adventure. I quickly opened Maps on my iPhone, zoomed in on the area, and looked at some nearby options: Colorado Springs, Aspen, Boulder, Durango, Telluride, and…Breckenridge. I don’t know why, but Breckenridge jumped out at me. It was only another hour and a half, (which is nothing when you’re driving the entire country), so I went there – still not knowing what to expect.
Although the drive was dark, I could still see the outline of the towering Rocky Mountains as I semi-cautiously followed GPS through the winding canyons, bridges, and tunnels. I Googled “awesome places to camp near Breckenridge”, and found an article that told me to follow a narrow dirt road called Boreas Pass to the top of a mountain. There were no directions after that. But I got there, found a little groove to park my truck, and I found a clearing to pitch my tent. (Keep in mind it’s like 2am at this point, super dark, and I am beyond exhausted.) I couldn’t see much, but I just knew I was going to wake up to something beautiful. As tired, perplexed, disappointed, and anxious as I was, it felt right.
I’m skipping soooooo many details (it got very cold, I woke up to something sniffing around the tent – next to my head, and Ziva wasn’t being the best), but here’s the view we woke up to:
I spent the next 48 hours on this sacred ground. I walked and talked with God, I practically touched a rainbow, I laughed for no reason, Ziva was free to run around, I saw zero humans, and I learned how to shower with a bottle of water and a bar of soap.
Sometimes things don’t go as planned, and that’s good. Because even as chaotic and challenging as life can be, it’s still God’s plan. And when I see my challenges as opportunities, I’m able to find views like this. I found great clarity through my trials in Colorado. I found a resilient, positive, driven part of me that I’ve never known before. And most importantly, I now fully recognize the voice of my Creator, and I also know where to find it: in the center of uncertainty.
You can donate to our GoFundMe page here. It will help with food, gas, and the beautiful unexpected things. It’d mean the world to me. Literally.
Also, below are some of the cool pics I’ve taken along the way. Hope you like them!
Zack (and Ziva)