I think I was around 12 when it happened. My siblings and I, along with our cousins were all set to go down to
. It was a favorite place of ours, where the mud flats created from the bubbling spring formed next to a stream where huckleberries grew on a giant log bridge span. We would build forts from fragrant fir and cedar branches. We gloried in exploring the surrounding woods. Deer Valley
But this day was different. We stood in the sunshine at the road at the top of the trail and a darkness seemed to fall over the forest. Each of us, as we'd start toward the trail to
, felt an uneasy fear and a curious reluctance to go down that trail and would turn back. It was as though there were an invisible wall through which we could not pass. Deer Valley
Finally we gave up trying. For all seven or eight of us to agree to that was a bit of a miracle in itself! But we did and we all trouped back to the house where we played games in the big circle lawn instead.
Later we talked about what happened--it was then we realized we'd all had the same strange uneasy feelings. We had all felt an invisible wall had been erected at the top of the trail. It was as though an angel barred our way, to keep us out of harm's way.
Years later Mom told me about a car chop shop located just a few yards from the trail to
. Police had stormed the woods and several people had been arrested. It was functioning right around the time we were kept from going down into the woods. The criminals had a sophisticated operation going, they'd even cut down trees and put a driveway into the wooded area so they could not be seen. Deer Valley
For years I've wondered what terrible danger we would have dealt with that day if we hadn't been stopped in our tracks. Though sometimes I get really curious, I thank the Lord for protection from the danger we never had to face.