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.


  1. Wow! This is so amazing! Thank you God for keeping watch!

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