Over the weekend the family decided to hike a 14-er, Pike’s Peak. Husband hiked 10 14-er’s last year and said they were pretty simple to hike. A bit steep but not stretched out so it didn’t take him very long to summit. For some reason, Pike’s Peak was different from all that. The hike was the most longest and tiresome thing I’ve ever hiked. It was rocky and steep in some areas and very sandy and meadow-like in others, but overall, it was CRAZY.
The image above shows where we started and finished. We didn’t summit, but we made it to about 13,500 feet, at which point it got super cold and windy and rain clouds were rolling in pretty quickly. Our girls were worn out crying and we all were completely exhausted. We decided to move from the hiking trail onto the road that lead to the top in hopes that maybe we can try hiking pavement or maybe even hitch a ride up. We didn’t get too far before we realized we were in dire need of help. We waved at cars heading up but they didn’t stop. About 8 cars passed by slowly but kept going and we even met a man in his 60’s who was parked on the side taking photos of his Porsche but he didn’t seem to want to help us even though we probably looked as though we could all pass out any minute. He wished us luck as we tried to keep going. At this moment, I prayed to a higher power to bring us help. Bring us someone who’ll not only take us up to the summit but helps us back to our car so that we didn’t have to hike all the way back. After a few more cars passed by, a silver access cab Toyota Tacoma came to a stop. An older Korean man, maybe in his mid-50’s, rolled down the side window and asked us if we needed a lift. We were all screamy, “YES!” He had a little boy about seven or so sitting in the front passenger seat so we put our two girls in the back seats while husband and I and our dog, Teddy, sat in the bed of the truck. You can imagine our relief.
At the summit, we thanked the Korean man and though we’d be on our way but then he told us that if we needed a ride back to our car, he’d take us. We told him that we were about 2 to 3 hours away and on the opposite side of the mountain. He said he didn’t mind. We agreed to let him help us. The Korean man had arrived at Pike’s Peak with whom he told us were is friends. They were in a minivan driving ahead ahead of us when we were heading up. We met them at the summit and they all seemed very friendly (the driver of the minivan, his wife, an older couple in their 70’s whom were probably grandparents, and a few teenage girls whom were probably their daughters). The Korean man told us that he’d have the little boy go in the minivans so that our family could sit inside the truck. It was hard to trust a stranger but we were aware that he was with friends with young kids and grandparents so we felt he was trustworthy.
After we took a bathroom break and looked at the view, which was pretty awesome, but we were too exhausted, cold, and hungry to really enjoy it, we headed down. The Korean man really did drive us to our car. We learned a little about him. He was in the U.S Military stationed in Colorado in the 80’s but retired from it and now owns a few Schlotzsky’s around the US. He lives in Texas and drove, with his friends (the minivan), all the way to Colorado to show them Pike’s Peak. They didn’t enjoy it because their kids were dizzy, throwing up, and one of their girls passed out due to the elevation differences (Texas at about 300 ft above sea and Pike’s Peak at over 14K feet above sea).
The Korean man told us that when he saw us on the side of the road waving, he had to stop. There was no way he wouldn’t. He mentioned that when he was in the military he would hike up mountains (not Pike’s Peak but the others) and knew how exhausting it was and he was a fit man then, so to see our little family on the side of the road looking like death, he just couldn’t pass us by. We thanked him again but felt very guilty for not giving him something in return so husband asked him if we could pay for his gas since it would be a long ride to our car. He said to husband, “If you pay me for gas, I will stop right here.”…which was in the middle of no where. Then added, “All I ask is that you pay it forward.”
I believe he was an angel.