Cruising Across Utah

Well, after a little while without any in-depth progress updates, we’re excited to be back in action on the Storming Jericho blog. One reason we’re so excited? We’re finally done with our last major multi-day stretch between towns. So what exactly does that mean?

For starters, it means not having to carry 30-60 pounds of water in our carts when departing from one town on our way to the next. As a result, we’ll have much more room for warmer clothes, our stove and cookwear, and other items we had to send home to make room for water while crossing the desert.

Another thing it means is that we should consistently have phone service as well as internet access. No more waiting 4-6 days before being able to check in with family, update the blog, or send and receive text messages. So, if you’ve considered calling/texting/emailing but weren’t sure if we’d be able to receive your communication, fear not – you can call/text/email away and we should be able to respond within minutes. At least most of the time.

Finally, it means we’re getting ready for our next major challenge, which is making it over the Rockies while we cross Colorado. Obviously, as the weather is turning colder, your prayers would be more than welcome during this portion of our journey (or any other portion of our journey for that matter).

Anyway, here’s what’s gone on since our last major progress update (which, as you may recall, was just about the time we were leaving Circleville, Utah).

We left Circleville and made, by our standards, surprisingly uneventful progress across Utah, passing through Kingston, Koosharem, Loa, Bicknell, Torrey, Hanksville, then a lengthy, 126-mile stretch across Highway 95 (which would be the aforementioned “last major multi-mile stretch between towns”) before arriving in Blanding, Utah.

Of course, when we say “surprisingly uneventful,” it doesn’t mean we didn’t have any wonderful experiences in beautiful places with some incredible people. Because we can definitely assure you that we did. While Kingston-to-Torrey was relatively quiet, things got a little spicier after we left Torrey.

For starters, there’s an area between Torrey and Hanksville called Capitol Reef National Park, which is absolutely beautiful. Although it meant some uphill climbs and such, the landscape made it totally worth the extra effort.

While we were in Capitol Reef, we came across a really, really fun stretch where there are all sorts of orchards along the road, many of which you can just walk in and pick apples and pears from. The area’s known as Fruita and is an old settlement that the National Park now owns. When you’re walking 20 miles a day, finding a random patch of orchards full of delicious apples in the middle of the desert is quite a blessing. Needless to say, we ate ourselves full of apples before leaving the orchard (which was free, just to clarify).

During that same stretch, we ran into a husband and wife named John and Yvonne Lyrenmann from Minnesota who we’d actually met back at a campground in Torrey a few days before. They told us that the National Park’s campground (which is what we’d been walking toward all day) was full. This would’ve been disheartening news, but they told us that, if the rangers would let us, we’d be welcome to share their campsite with them. We were definitely thankful, and that’s exactly what we ended up doing.

John and Yvonne were Christians who were very interested in our cross-country journey, and we enjoyed a really fun night of fellowship and conversation as we prepared to sleep in one of the most beautiful campgrounds we’ve stayed in so far. The next morning as we said our goodbyes, John and Yvonne left us with a goodie bag containing a nice prayer in letter form, some bananas and dehydrated apples, some delicious trail mix, and more. It was SUCH a blessing to share their company (and to hear their northern accents, which made us feel like we were back at home in South Dakota for a little while).

During that same time frame, we met a really nice couple named Gary and Dorothy Astill who had connected with us on the road after asking what we were doing while we walked along the highway. Gary and Dorothy offered to take us on a scenic drive that we wouldn’t have been able to walk through, and we enjoyed talking with them about a number of things as we explored the Capitol Reef area with them.

Finally we made it out of Capitol Reef (we had to spend a few extra days enduring rain, which you can read about in this post) and arrived in Hanksville, Utah. We had a few packages to pick up in Hanksville, including our fantastic new Kelty sleeping pads to replace our not-so-functional Therm-a-Rest sleeping pads. We stayed at the Red Rock Campground and had a GREAT conversation with the owner, who is a very strong Christian. He had a number of stories to share about the impact God has made on his family. One instance – his niece and brother survived a horrible plane crash that ended up inspiring the film Angel Flight Down. All in all, it was a blessing to have that kind of motivating fellowship before getting ready to head out on our 126-mile stretch.

Speaking of that 126-mile stretch, we left Hanksville loaded up with water, resupplied with food, and spiritually-refilled. As we headed down Highway 95, we were happy to be back on a road that was both busy enough to not feel empty and abandoned, but quiet enough to walk on the road without constant traffic. It also got insanely quiet and peaceful at night, which made for many nights of really solid rest.

After 50 miles, we reached a small (like, 12-resident or so) town called Hite. There we found a tiny store and the ability to refill our water jugs, which was great. Also, one of the store employees, Kim, and his girlfriend Cephelia offered to let us shower at their place. We were thankful, as it had been a few days since showers, and we knew we still had 76 miles to go before we’d reach a town after leaving Hite. That’s a lot of walking, sweating, and getting smelly. After showering, we made our way down the road again.

Due to a few difficulties, we ended up taking a lot longer to walk those 76 miles than we’d planned. Normally that’s ok, but our water was starting to run a little low while we were still about 2 days away from Blanding, the next town that would have water. We listened to another Dave Kaufman sermon—this one about not worrying—and prayed God would provide for us if we needed water before we arrived in Blanding.

As we walked, we came across a trio of guys who were getting ready to go hiking. They gave us all the water they could spare, which was about half of a gallon, and we were thankful for that. Then, a few miles later, this truck pulling a boat pulled over and four younger-aged people were holding water bottles out the window. We were overwhelmed with thankfulness that God answered our prayer and told the group that we’d been praying God would provide water for us because we were running low. Then they just gave us the rest of their 24 pack of water bottles, which ended up being about 16 water bottles total. Our water problem was solved, and God reminded us once again that He’s been walking every step with us on our journey.

After that, we made it into Blanding and stayed for three days. We were only planning to stay two days, but some really bad rain kept us from getting done what we’d hoped to get done and we decided to stay a third day to catch up. As an added blessing, the owners of the Blue Mountain RV Park (where we stayed) let us stay the first two nights for free, which we were very, very thankful for.

Now we’re on the road again, and we’ll have an update on where we are soon. All in all, we’re thankful that God kept us safe throughout this entire stretch—both the recent stretch in Utah as well as this entire Nevada/Utah desert stretch as a whole—and put the right people in our path to help us whenever we needed help. Words can’t describe how amazing this part of the journey has been for us and we’re excited to continue on our way into Colorado and Kansas. God has been beyond good to us so far and we’re excited to see what miracles He’ll work as we continue on across the country.

Thanks again to everyone for the prayers, support, and words of encouragement. On that same note, don’t forget to check out the Storming Jericho Facebook page, the Storming Jericho Twitter feed, and our website for news, updates and fun randomness from time to time. And please don’t be afraid to drop us a line either via Facebook and Twitter or via email at StormingJericho (at)

As always, we’ll be back with more soon (especially since we’ll have internet on a regular basis again) and we look forward to sharing more with you soon.

-Mike, Lindsie, and Jaeda

P.S. – It is starting to get colder, so prayers for warmth and comfort as we climb up into the Rockies would be very much appreciated. Thanks!

P.P.S. – The photos of Jaeda were basically included because people keep asking about her and what she’s been up to during this journey. She is a pretty cute dog though, we must admit.

A Little Bit of Rest

After a long stretch with no wi-fi and no cell phone reception (how we survived, we’ll never know), we basically have wi-fi for a day and then we’re moving on to a lengthy 126-mile stretch that most likely won’t have wi-fi, cell phone reception, or pretty much anything else besides beautiful nature and the road we’re walking on.

At this point, we don’t have one of my (Mike’s) overly-thorough updates about what’s been going on with us on our journey, but we should have something pulled together after our upcoming stretch. That said, we didn’t want to go another week without an update, so we thought we’d take things in a different direction.

You may not know this, but the Bible actually tells us that it’s important to rest. As in, take naps, get good sleep, take time off of work, and all of that other fun stuff that you usually feel guilty doing because you’re not “getting something done.”

During the latest part of our journey, Utah–and, from the sound of things, a decent portion of the entire western U.S.– got rained on. Brutally. Fortunately, we had our tent set up in time to avoid the rain (which wasn’t quite as bad in our area as it was in other areas). While we didn’t get blasted with rain like some places, it did rain off and on for 24 hours straight. As a result, we decided to just leave our tent up and rest for a day rather than walking in the rain.

Normally we might feel slightly guilty about that decision. but thankfully we pulled up a recent sermon from Dave Kaufman, the pastor at Holy Life Tabernacle in Brookings, South Dakota. Dave was the pastor for our wedding and he and his wife Jeanne have been close friend of Lindsie’s family for years. He’s also an incredible voice for the Lord.

As we were resting and feeling a little guilty for doing so, we listened to Dave’s sermon and, lo and behold, the entire message was talking about the importance of rest. We figured since it was so ideal for our situation, it would probably be ideal for other people’s lives too. As a result, we’re linking to it here (as in, click there to download it) or here if you’d rather pull it up in iTunes (in which case, we encourage you to subscribe to all of Dave’s sermons).

Some verses Dave refers to in the sermon to back up this point include Psalm 4:8 (“We can lay down in peace, for you, Lord, make me to dwell in safety”), Proverbs  3:24 (“When you lay down you shall not be afraid, you shall lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet”). God is essentially telling us to sleep well and take naps (although Proverbs 20:13 does say “Love not sleep,” so we do need to have balance). And in the context of the sermon, these verses make even more sense, so be sure to give it a listen.

We hope you enjoy Dave’s words of wisdom as much as we did, and we look forward to sharing more details of our journey with you guys soon!

-Mike and Lindsie

New Shoes Lost and New Friends Found

Sometimes something works out in ways you would’ve never imagined. In fact, that seems to be a pretty common theme of this adventure so far. Thankfully, the Lord has continued to make things work out better than we could’ve expected or even hoped.

If you read about our recent craziness in Beaver, Utah, (you can check out this post to see what we mean), you’ll know that we had an unexpected mess that was resolved by some incredibly helpful people. Oddly enough (or maybe not oddly at all), the same thing happened two days later.

As we made our way from Beaver to Circleville, Utah, Lindsie’s shoes were pretty much clinging on to their last shreds of dignity. In fact, one of her shoes had a hole in the bottom you could literally poke your finger through – that’s how worn out they were. Thankfully, we knew her newest pair of shoes was being held at Stan’s Mart in Circleville, and she’d be ready to put ‘em on and continue down the road once we picked them up.

Or so we thought.

But when we arrived at Stan’s, we quickly learned that the UPS folks had picked them back up from Stan’s and sent them back to the shoe company. Apparently there was a miscommunication and someone thought we’d be picking them up within a day or two, even though we were over 80 miles away when they were dropped off and Lindsie had said very clearly, “We’re walking across the country, so it will take us a few days to pick them up.”

Regardless of whose fault it was, Lindsie no longer had the new shoes she’d been expecting, and UPS said it would take a minimum of 3-4 days (thanks to the Labor Day weekend) before they’d arrive. We were stuck in a pretty small town with no wearable shoes for Lindsie. She was either going to have to walk 3-4 days in her old shoes or we’d have to wait 3-4 days in Circleville for new shoes to arrive. Neither option was ideal. The other problem? Lindsie wears a size 11 in shoes, which isn’t a terribly common shoe size for women, and in a town of 400-ish people, randomly finding someone with size 11 shoes wouldn’t be easy. Once again, we were praying for some miraculous resolution to our situation.

Enter Karen Karbach.

Karen and her family had seen us ALLLL the way back in Nevada over a month ago when we were walking along Highway 50. They’d been driving to Reno and noticed us on the way there and back. Her son, Scott, had seen us in Circleville and told his mom, “I think those are the people we saw walking in Nevada.” She didn’t believe him, so she came up and asked us if we were the same people.

Not surprisingly, we were the same people.

Karen wondered what we were doing in Circleville, and Lindsie explained the shoe situation. Then we heard the magic (or should we say, blessed) words…

“I wear a size 11! And I have tons of extra walking and running shoes if you want to take some of them!”

Lindsie just about burst into tears right there on the sidewalk. Karen said she’d run home, grab a few pairs of shoes, and Lindsie could try on and take any shoes that fit.

A few minutes later, Lindsie had a perfectly-fitting pair of Sauconys that would easily get us by until we arrived in Loa (60 miles down the road) and got her real new shoes. Then Karen said, “We’re running to Walmart in Richfield soon, so if you guys need anything while we’re there just let me know.”

Frankly, it was kind of nice just to know Walmart still existed, as we haven’t seen one in over a month now. We actually did have a need at Walmart, as our lone iPod cord had just shorted out that day, so we were happy to get a few of those without having to pay $30 at a gas station for an iPod cord.

Karen and her kids went to Walmart, got their stuff, got our iPod cords, and came back. Oh, and did I mention they let us do laundry at their place so we wouldn’t have to pay for it? Because they did that too.

On top of that, a woman named Dottie who owns a delicious–and very fairly-priced (particularly for being in a small town)–cafe told us we could have breakfast at her place for free the next morning, which was a really welcome blessing for sure.

The next morning we got up to leave, and, since it was Lindsie’s birthday, we didn’t want to put in a full 20-mile day of walking. So, of course, Karen asked if we wanted to hang out at their place for the afternoon and ride four-wheelers (and their sweet electric car), visit Butch Cassidy’s childhood home, have dinner with them, and, to cap off the night, shoot of fireworks for Lindsie’s birthday. And at that point, they invited us just to stay at their house instead of trying to camp right outside of town for the night or pay for another hotel stay.

Needless to say, it was a VERY happy (and fun) birthday for Lindsie, and we were grateful to spend so much time with yet another wonderful, awesome family like the Karbachs. Karen and her son Scott, her daughters Nicole and Danielle, and her sort of daughter Kasey (and her son Brayden) are just overly friendly, laid back people, and we were blessed to be staying an extra day and enjoying their company. Karen’s husband, Kraig, was working in California for Labor Day car sales, so we didn’t get to meet him, but he also seems like a great person.

All in all, what went from a disaster of lost shoes and a sad birthday turned into another miraculous blessing (I mean, really, the only reason they even talked to us is because they’d seen us walking over a MONTH ago in a totally different state? That’s too much of a coincidence to simply be a coincidence as far as we’re concerned…), and we are thankful yet again that the Lord is watching out for us and taking care of us on this journey.

Thanks to everyone who has wished Lindsie a happy birthday and supported us with encouraging words as we trek across Utah. We feel so thankful and blessed and we’re excited to share more with you.

Also, don’t forget to check out our new website (thanks to Jonathan Kurten of Jonathan Kurten Design), which we are extremely proud of and excited about. Just visit to see it in all of its magnificent glory.

We’ll have more info soon as we continue on across Utah. We truly look forward to seeing what other blessings God puts in our path and sharing them with you as we go.

Keep on stormin’, everybody!

-Mike (and Lindsie…if she doesn’t leave me for saying things like “Keep on stormin’!” that is…)

Storming Jericho Has A New (Awesome) Website!

As you can tell from the title of this post, we have some really exciting news to share. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the talented Jonathan Kurten, Storming Jericho has a brand new, clean and elegant website for your viewing and reading pleasure.

Jonathan contacted us when he first heard/read about our walk and our mission and asked if he could donate his time and skills to designing us a website (which is something we’d mentioned needing desperately before our journey even started). We told him “Yes, please and thank you” pretty much before he could even finish asking us.

Not only did Jonathan design and build a new website for us, but he also created a gorgeous (and in our opinion, very clever) logo, which you can see at the top of the new website. So now, all in all, we have a new logo, a new visual look, and a website that’s easy to use, easy to update, and easy to be excited about.

If you haven’t visited the new site yet (those of you who receive these blog posts via email rather than by checking the Storming Jericho website directly), just go to and see the majesty of the new site for yourself. We’re so thankful to Jonathan for his relentless work on this (and his patience during these stretches where we were stuck for days at a time with no internet access) and his general support of this walk and what we’re hoping to accomplish.

Be sure to check out his website at and feel free to let him know on Twitter how impressed you are.

Thanks everyone, and we look forward to sharing more updates with you soon as we wrap up our journey across Nevada and head into Utah!

-Mike and Lindsie