Adventures In The Mountains

Beautiful mountains, right?Being in the mountains on a cross-country walk has its positives and negatives. On the one hand, it’s gorgeous every step of the way. Snow-capped mountain peaks look down from on high, streams and rivers flow all over, and the sky is usually pretty beautiful. On the other hand, you’re pushing a 100+ pound cart up and down the various inclines and declines, and the roads in the canyons cause some tight curves and tiny, tiny shoulders to walk along.

So while we’re sad to say goodbye to the beauty surrounding us in the Rockies, we are excited to start walking through slightly less…challenging…terrains. Because as of now, we are just about out of the mountains in Colorado.

A short reading break...

Of course, we had some wonderful experiences along the way. After finally saying goodbye to our dear friends from Gunnison (which you can read more about here), we started on down the road. The first day over Monarch Pass we made it to a campground and met an awesome gentleman named Peter who was riding his bike across the country. Peter’s from Germany, so Lindsie and I were pumped to talk with him about his journey, and even more pumped when he invited us to stay with him if we ever make our way over to Germany. The more contacts around the world the better as far as we’re concerned.

After that, we began making our way into Salida, Colorado. We emailed several churches hoping at least one would be willing to let us camp out for the night. After several emails and several calls, we got ONE response from Pastor Neely at Living Waters Assembly of God Church. He offered to let us use the church for the night (and also use the church’s kitchen, which is always a blessing). We were also thankful that God worked out the timing—as we’ve learned He tends to do—so that we could enjoy a Bible study with Pastor Neely and some of the Living Waters congregation members that same night. Later, as the wind howled outside and the rain continued to come down off and on, Lindsie and I thanked Jesus for Pastor Neely’s willingness to open his church doors to us. Being inside in weather like that is SO much better than being outside, as you can imagine.

Pastor Neely and Linds

The next morning we said goodbye and began walking again. In order to avoid the S-curves we’d heard more and more about in the canyon that Highway 50 travels through, we decided to take a recommended path that wasn’t quite a shortcut, but would help us avoid the more perilous stretches of the highway. While the path was successful, there were two different portions of the road that required us to take off our shoes, walk through the river carrying our carts, and push through some rugged terrain. But as we made our way out of that road in one piece, we were thankful that God had kept us safe the entire way.

After a 21-mile walk (which is pretty aggressive for us), we reached the KOA campground we’d been dreaming of for hours. Warm showers and clean clothes were on their way! Or so we’d thought. But when we limped our way into the office, we were informed that all of the tent sites had been reserved by a local rafting company and there was nowhere for us to stay that night. Needless to say, we were disappointed. But we didn’t have much of a choice other than picking back up and moving down the road. Two miles later we reached a suitable place for camping and decided to call it tonight. Although we were disappointed not to have showers, we were thankful God gave us a safe place to sleep for a night. Especially one that was free.

One of the goats

We woke up the next morning and made a push toward Cañon City. As we walked, a car pulled over on the shoulder and our friend Melissa from Gunnison jumped out. She was on her way to Denver and had been keeping an eye out for us so she could stop when she saw us. After talking with her about our KOA experience the night before, Melissa offered to drive ahead and reserve a tent spot for us at an upcoming campground so we wouldn’t have any more “no room at the inn” fiascos. Her help was certainly appreciated. After that we said goodbye, but she planned to come see us again when she made another trip to Denver a few days later.

We kept on walking, and things went well. The Arkansas River followed our path, which was relaxing and beautiful, and we saw rafters and kayakers all day in the river, a herd of bighorn sheep up on the mountainside, and a cool snake on the side of the road. The only bummer is that, on the way to Cañon City, there’s a pretty lengthy incline up the side of the mountain. Even though it took its toll on us, we did our best to keep pushing up and over. Unfortunately, with about a quarter of a mile left going up the incline, a thunderstorm broke out. Lightning flashed all around us and hail came plummeting down from the skies. It wasn’t very fun.

The cool snakeThankfully, we reached the top and as we came over the crest of the hill, the hail stopped (for the most part) and we were able to keep walking, even if we were soaking wet. Our destination was the Starlite Classic Campground, and the Starlite Classic did not disappoint. The whole place is 1950s themed, and features vintage 1950s campers you can rent and spend the night in. We didn’t do that due to budgetary restrictions, but it’s still an awesome campground.

On top of that, the woman who runs the campground, Sylvia, offered to drive us up the road to a really nice restaurant that was a quarter-mile down the highway. Normally we’d just walk, but after a 20+ mile day that included a gigantic hill and an afternoon spent wet and cold due to the hail and rain, we opted to take the ride. What made it even better is that she drove us out to the restaurant in a classic 1950s car, which was just fun.

Jaeda's ready for bedThe next step of the journey was to make our way into Cañon City. But since plenty of great stuff and great people entered our story in Cañon City, I’m going to stop writing and cut this post off here so it doesn’t turn into TOO much of a novel. We’ll fill in more details with the next blog update.

Anyway, we want to once again so thanks for all of the prayers and support we’ve received since we’ve been back out on the road. There are SO many people who have done an amazing job of keeping us motivated and inspired every day, and for that we are thankful.

A quaint barn on the edge of town

On that note, I just want to remind you that if you have any prayer requests or concerns, please feel free to share them with us, either in the comments below or privately by emailing us at StormingJericho (at) We have LOTS of time for praying and are happy to do that if you have prayer requests, so please don’t be afraid to let us know what we can do.

Thanks again, and we’ll be back with another update very soon!

-Mike, Lindsie, and Jaeda

The Importance Of Friends

Thumbs Up From LindsAs most of you know, Lindsie and I started walking across the country in order to learn to teach ourselves to rely on God and his provision, while also sharing the Word with people we met.

One of the things we hadn’t totally expected was to make friends. That may sound weird, because it makes sense we’d meet people we like along a cross-country walk. But what I mean is that I’m not sure either of us thought we’d meet people who would become lifelong friends.

As you can imagine, we were wrong.

You may remember from our last post that we spent a few days and nights in Gunnison, Colorado. You can read about it here if you haven’t read it yet – Well what we haven’t told you is that we sort of haven’t left Gunnison yet.

You’re probably thinking, “How in the world will you make it across the country if you’re spending forever in just one town?” Here’s how…

Games with friendsFriends.

The wonderful people we’ve met in Gunnison (Rich and Joy, Adam and Hannah, Rich and Shelba, Dave and Melissa, and others) have gone above and beyond to help us stay safe, warm, and dry during this stretch of our journey. Every day that we’ve walked so far, they’ve driven out and picked us up at night so we wouldn’t have to spend the night in the frigid Gunnison weather. In fact, Rich and Joy lent us their hiking backpack, so we didn’t even need to push the carts through the mountains. We just packed a few items, started walking, and at the end of the day they came and picked us up and let us spend the night in their guest bedroom. The next morning, they’d drop us off where we last left off, and we’d make more progress from there.

Crazy, right? But crazy in a good way. Because the entire past week in Gunnison was rainy and thunderstormy, and most nights got to right around 32 degrees at their coldest. And we were mostly walking uphill. It would’ve been pretty miserable, actually.

Instead, as a result of our friends’ generosity, Lindsie and I have been able to spend the past week and a half enjoying great conversations, sharing amazing Christian fellowship, and just being renewed and invigorated before heading on down the road. All because our new friends have been kind enough to go out of their way to make our lives better.

Monarch Pass panaroma - Quite a view!

All of this friendliness culminated in our conquering of Monarch Pass earlier this week. An 11,322-foot summit, Monarch Pass was sort of the final BIG hurdle we’ll face on this Storming Jericho journey. But, thanks to our friends, we were able to climb the entire mountain without our carts because Adam and Hannah offered to drive the carts themselves over Monarch for us the next day. All we had to do was climb. And although it wasn’t an easy climb, we overcame the challenge. In fact, Rich Kettles climbed the whole thing with us, and Joy, Adam, and Hannah came and walked various portions of it with us as well. All in all, it was a pretty awesome way to conquer the monster that had been looming in the distance for weeks.

Conquering Monarch!Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

And 1 Peter 4:8-9 says, “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.”

Needless to say, our friends have done all of those things and more. It’s really crazy how much they’ve done to make this stretch of our journey a great stretch. The problem, of course, is saying goodbye, but we’re confident the Lord will bring our Gunnison friends back into our lives at some point sooner than later. We’ve grown too close to our friends here for it not to happen.

We just wanted to let everyone know how great God can be when you just come to him in prayer. We prayed for help in Gunnison before we even reached town, and God provided an abundance of help in the form of new friends and renewed passion. You can’t ask for much more than that in our opinion.

The GangWe’re thankful beyond words, and we’re excited for the next stretch of the walk. We’ll be continuing along Highway 50 for now, so if you know people (friends, family members, etc.) in the upcoming towns who would be willing to become our new friends, feel free to pass along their names and/or info. We promise we won’t ask them to do as much as our Gunnison friends have done for us.

Thanks, and we’ll be back with more updates soon!

-Mike and Lindsie

P.S. – Speaking of friends, we wanted to share this update from our fellow walking friend, Gary Mitchell. We posted about Gary a few weeks ago, and wanted to share the update he sent us. Here it goes…

From Gary:

I have some good news. After spending 24 days in rehab I’m now able to use a walker. I made it home on Mother’s Day. I will begin in home therapy three days a week for about six to eight weeks. When I was is in rehab, I was bedfast for about a week. They had church services where I was and I talked to the pastor and he asked me if would give my testimony. I said yes, because God has helped me through my health situation. I give God my full recovery up to this point. I give you permission to post this on your web site. I want to thank you and all your readers for your prayers and support.God bless and be safe.

Fellow walker,
Gary Mitchell


P.P.S. – Here’s a bonus photo of us looking exhausted atop Monarch Pass. Just wanted to add it in for fun. Pretty beautiful up there.

An exhausting (but fun) climb

On The Road Again

Wonderful Uncle Charlie!Well, after pausing our walk for a few months in winter and waiting for spring in Sioux Falls, the Storming Jericho team of Mike, Lindsie, and our ferocious guard dog Jaeda, has hit the road again. Thanks to Lindsie’s Uncle Charlie, we got a ride back to the exact same place we’d left off originally in Colorado and were able to begin trekking along just like the good ol’ days.

Although it’s still chilly up in the Rocky Mountains, we’ve been thankful that the weather has at least been bearable. Although we tent camped on the side of the road for a few days, the weather didn’t present anything too challenging. Other than the wind. The wind has been crazy, to the extent that one night I feared our tent would blow away (with us inside of it) and we’d wake up hours later in the land of Oz with Munchkins singing songs outside of our tent.

The beautiful Blue Mesa Reservoir LakeFortunately, we survived the wind, only to wake up the next morning to gigantic, South Dakota-esque snowflakes falling all around us. On a cross-country walk, few things are as disappointing as the idea of traveling down the highway in a grey, blustery, snowy day, and I (Mike) was really dreading telling Lindsie that we’d be walking in a winter wonderland. But, like He always does, the Lord took care of us and within 30 minutes the snow was gone, the sun was out, and we were ready to push onward.

At this point, we were on day 4 of walking without a shower. When you spend 3-5 hours a day being physically active and NOT showering, you really, REALLY start to stink. We had finally reached a National Forest Campground, but none of the running water had been turned on yet (thanks to the nights still getting cold enough to freeze pipes and whatnot). So our plans for cleaning up were thwarted, and we were really hoping we’d get somewhere that had a way for us to clean ourselves.

Mesa RV Resort staff (with Mike)After making a solid 12-mile push toward Gunnison, Colorado (the first real city on our route), we made it to the Mesa RV Resort just a few miles west of Gunnison. The wonderful owners and staff members there went above and beyond to make sure Lindsie, Jaeda, and I were taken care of in every sense of the word, and for that we are extremely thankful. On a side note, we highly recommend spending the night there if you’re ever in or near Gunnison. It’s worth a night’s stay, to say the least.

The next morning, we headed toward Gunnison, which was only 4 miles away from the town. Thanks to the folks at First Baptist Church in Gunnison, we knew we had a place to safely spend the night out of the wind and cold, which was a wonderful incentive to get into town quickly. On the way, however, God decided to work His magic as He always manages to do on this journey.

About ten minutes after setting down the road to Gunnison, we came across a gentleman who was painting a fence. After unweaving himself from the fence posts, he came over to chat. After introducing himself as Adam McKee and asking us about our reasons for walking across the country (teaching ourselves to trust and rely on God and His provision), Adam told us that just hearing the purpose of our walk was a fantastic reminder to him about where his focus should be. He invited us to attend Christian Challenge at the university in town (Western State) that night, and offered to pick us up and bring us when it was time to go. Since fellowship can sometimes be hard to find on the road, we were excited at the opportunity to spend some time with fellow Christians. Needless to say, we were not disappointed.

Our new friends in Gunnison (left to right: Rich, Joy, Rachel, Mike, Hannah, Adam, Rich, and Shelba)We went back to the church to spend the night, ready for our first night of indoor sleep since resuming the walk. There was only one problem—Lindsie had a cold that had developed from slight cough to full-fledged stuffy-nosed, congested throat misery. Walking across the country isn’t easy. Walking across the country with a cold is hard. Walking through the Rocky Mountains with a cold is just awful. So when Adam and his wife Hannah invited us to stay at their place the following night, we decided it was an offer we couldn’t pass up. Any chance to get Lindsie healthier was worth it for us. Plus, we really liked Adam and Hannah, as well as a few of their friends we’d met at Christian Challenge that night.

The next day in Gunnison was a treat. We hung out with Adam and Hannah, and also got to go to a game night with a bunch of really great people. It was there that we met Rich and Joy Kettles, who, like Adam and Hannah, invited us to stick around until Lindsie was healthy (or at least healthier). Because Lindsie still sounded like a honking goose when she coughed, we decided to accept the offer. We spent a couple of great days with Rich and Joy, Adam and Hannah, and also spent some quality time with Rich and Shelba Townsend, who do ministry work in Gunnison. And, thanks to the timing, we got to attend church and Sunday school with Rich and Joy, which was an added blessing. Lindsie also got to attend a bridal shower for a lovely young lady named Heather, which was both random and fun for her. It’s funny to see what activities you get involved in when you make new friends during a cross-country walk.

Yay for wedding showers!

All in all, after 4 nights in Gunnison, it is, unfortunately, time for us to move on. Although Lindsie’s not quite 100%, we’re going to have to make some progress down the road or this journey will never end.

We want to thank all of the people in Gunnison who went out of their way to take care of us. It’s one thing to have a place to stay for a night or two. It’s another thing to be surrounded by fellow believers and people who truly just want to lift us up in prayer and see us succeed in our journey. It was a great chance for both me and Lindsie to get refilled spiritually, and we are extremely thankful for that opportunity.

The crazy thing is that, right before we started walking the morning we first met Adam, Lindsie and I prayed that God would put some people in our path who would make us feel welcome and that we could spend some time with on a spiritual level. We certainly didn’t expect God to put an entire GROUP of fellow Christians in our path, but He certainly seems to enjoy blowing our expectations out of the water on a regular basis. God’s pretty cool that way.

Anyway, we’ll soon be heading on down the road from here—the 11,500-foot Monarch Pass looming in the distance. Although we’re not thrilled about the challenge it will present, we have faith that God will make our climb as doable as we could hope for. It’s possible that with some good timing and some willing help, we can get our 100-pound carts up to the top before we make the climb ourselves, which would be fantastic. Either way, we know the Lord will take care of us.

Thanks so much for your prayers, and we’ll have another update as soon as possible. For now, we just ask that you pray for sunny days and warm nights as we finish our journey through the Rockies. And as always, please don’t hesitate to let us know if we can pray for you. We have all the time in the world to do it, and we’re always thankful when we have an opportunity to pray for others.

We hope you have a blessed day (or night, depending on when you’re reading this), and we’ll be back with more soon.

-Mike and Lindsie