Monsters in the mountians

The wind moved gently over the mountains and the sun shone brightly on the 13,000 foot pass, making the rocks shimmer. A deep foreboding was in the air as the rider, only a quarter mile from the pass was quickly riding up the narrow and rocky path, doing his best to keep the motorcycle on the path and pointing uphill. 
His already heightened senses perked up as the first indication of the pending doom started to unfold. The bike was bucking like an angry bronco, but suddenly there was something different in its movement. The front wheel would hit a rock in the road and bounce, left, right or straight up, then down compressing the front fork springs. A micro-second after, the rear wheel would hit the same rock, but usually only a glancing blow causing a sudden jerk to one side, repeating this action a hundred times a minute. But this time, instead of the front bounce, rear bounce there was a whole bike upward impact, something like a dud IED exploding under the bike. Not a bone shattering explosion, just a upward thud lifting the whole bike and rider a foot or two into the air and right down again. Totally abnormal. Upon returning to earth the forward movement came to a dead stop. Engine dead silent. The rider, still balancing on the foot pegs, somewhat shocked, sat down and extended both legs to regain balance after the sudden turn of events. Silence enveloped the scene, except for the sound of water leaking onto the ground. But the smell, was of hot oil, not water. Looking down, the rider saw the sound was oil, leaking, no flooding, out of the engine crankcase. The sound only lasted about 30 seconds and was over. All of the engine oil, the engines life blood,  had just drained out onto the ground.

Only the sounds of nature could be heard now, an owl hooted, a lone wolf howled in the distance and the trees, now a couple of thousand feet below, rustling in the wind. Jim, the rider, had known of this possibility, but the reality arrived all to quickly. 12,500 foot up on the side of a rocky mountain trail, a good 2,000 above tree line, he encountered the sudden death of this motorcycle.

But strange as it may seem, the deep foreboding that was in the air, the panic that should have welled up at this point, didn’t.  It vaporised in the thin air. A calm came over him, a sense of peace, a gift from God. He smiled, almost laughed out loud. Here he is, stuck on a rocky path on the side of a 13,000 foot mountain on top of a 500 pound dead motorcycle and he begins to laugh in excitement! He is thinking, “this is one of those God moments, something that only God can really fix in any sort of timely manor.”  Excitement settles in, an assurance that somehow, God is going to fix this.

Right about this point, his son Jordan rides up beside him. Jordan says, “don’t try and start it, you have oil all over the ground underneath you. One of those Rock Monsters must have jumped up and attacked the bottom of your bike. Lets get you turned down hill and coast to a safe place to camp for the night.” 

Now the real work begins, coasting a dead, 500 pound, no make that a 675 pound motorcycle and rider down a rocky path with no guard rails and no power. Good thing it doesn’t rely on power brakes! No powering through the sandy parts or around the bigger obstacles, now its calculating the best line for least resistance but at the same time, best breaking, don’t want this big pig to get going too fast. Now he finds the sound of his own breathing to be VERY loud, deep and fast. Every few seconds he’s telling himself, “calm down, its going to be OK, I have good brakes, I can always lay it down if it starts to get away from me.”  After several switchbacks, a lot of work with several loud grunts, he comes to a slight up hill and the bike rolls to a stop. But its too heavy for him to push in the soft dirt alone. Jordan rides up beside him, hops off his bike and the two of them push the big pig through the soft stuff until the down hill starts again. After several more switchbacks and a few, “Oh no, don’t crash!” feelings, we reach an acceptable camping location at the far end of one of the switchbacks. Just enough room for two motorcycles, two tents and a cooking area. They set up camp, Jordan starts on dinner and Jim starts the process of inspecting the motorcycle for damage. Over dinner, they talk about what the options might be and decide to pray about it. Jim, with his stupid grin and inner excitement, prays something like this, ” God, You have given us this fantastic adventure and opportunity to see You at work. How in the world are You going to get us out of this perdictament?, I don’t know, but I trust You to do it, somehow. Give us wisdom. In Jesus Name, Amen!”


Author: jimjudywycliffejourney

Jim and Judy have been with Wycliffe since 1984. They have served in aviation maintenance/management, motorcycle, and 4X4 training, recruitment, and facilities maintenance in multiple locations in the US and Africa. They currently work with America's Area, North Region, Scripture Access services team. They are a mobile USA team using the internet and face to face encounters with churches, ministries, Native American communities, Diaspora communities, refugee aid organizations, and individuals, introducing them to Through this website, those who did not grow up speaking English can access the Bible and other Scripture resources in the language they understand best. Would you consider becoming a part of their Wycliffe ministry partnership team? You can join their prayer or financial team by clicking on

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