30 March 2018

A Really Blessed Friday

It was a bit chilly when we started our St. Patrick's Day ride up Waterton, but by the time I got to the top, I was sweating. I took off one layer and forgot to put my little camera back around my neck before I headed back down the canyon. I went halfway down, then turned around to go back up and meet Lizard, like normal. He typically goes to the top of the single track on the Colorado Trail. I'm not doing any technical riding yet (and may not ever be able to again), so I just ride up the easy portion of the canyon a second time while he does the tough part.

When I met Lizard on my second pass, almost at the top, I turned around and joined his descent, both of us talking excitedly about our rides. About three or four miles later (about six miles since I left it), I noticed I didn't have my camera. We were almost at the bottom of the canyon. My camera, if it was still around, was six miles back up the canyon.

I was devastated. I called to Lizard, crying, to tell him my camera is gone, probably permanently. I turned around and began pedaling as fast as I could, but Lizard passed me like a flash of lightning and zoomed back up as if he was in a pro race. He is so fast. Yet I assumed the worst, and I didn't think I'd ever see my little point-and-shoot again.

I kept trying to think of what I'd shot on that camera; I hadn't downloaded it all week. What shots had I lost? Oh, yeah; my walk along the greenway before work when I captured a hawk at sunrise. Now those shots would be lost, except for the two I'd transferred to my phone while riding the train to work so I could post one on Instagram. I hadn't even looked at the other shots. And now they were gone.

A couple of bends later, I flagged down a Denver Water employee, who was assisting a cyclist with a flat, to report I'd accidentally left my camera at the shelter at the top of the canyon. He took down all the pertinent information, then called on his radio to see if any of the other employees had news about a found camera.

He was on the radio for what seemed like a very long time. When he returned, he told me he would drive up the canyon to find my husband and tell him the camera had been found, and he instructed me to go back down to the wildlife station at the bottom of the canyon because someone had just turned in a Nikon P530 with a Velcro case containing spare batteries and memory cards on the strap. I was spellbound. It sounded like my camera. How could it be?!?

The Denver Water employee explained the canyon is filled with good people, especially up at the top. I knew he was right. We're always helping others, or we see others helping others. We've given water to Colorado Trail through-hikers who were out. We've (meaning Lizard) helped other cyclists with flat tires and busted chains. We've cautioned people not to get too close to bears or bighorn or rattlesnakes. And I can't even begin to count how many times I've put a Batman or hot pink bandage on a little kid's bloody knee and then presented them a Honey Stinger because fancy bandages and a sweet treat make owies go away.

I raced down the canyon probably the fastest I've ever ridden ever in my life. Didn't know I could pedal so fast.

As I rode to the wildlife station, the ranger smiled and said, "I bet I know what you are here for!"

He handed me my camera without even asking any information. It was indeed my camera. I began to cry. He told me a father and son had turned it in. They had seen me with it, and they tried to find me as they pedaled down the canyon, and they even searched the parking lot but couldn't find me. They probably didn't expect to see me riding back up the canyon my second time, especially if they were riding down fast trying to catch someone they had briefly seen and did not know. They may even have seen me before I took off my tights and fleece, so they might not have recognized me at all, even if they had seen me.

I keep thinking about the example that father set for his son.

I thanked the ranger and told him how grateful I am. He told me the canyon is filled with good people. I'm beginning to think that is true!

I pedaled back up to find Lizard, but not anywhere near as fast because I was exhausted and going back uphill for the fourth time to boot. I also was grateful and humble. I think I prayed about 11 times, thanking Heavenly Father for helping me get my camera back.

I have more than one camera, and this is not my best camera. But I will be needing it as a backup in just two weeks when I am trusted with the responsibility of shooting my niece's wedding. I can't afford to replace a camera before then. To me, it is a miracle I got this camera back.

About halfway up the canyon, I saw Lizard pedaling back down. We rode back down together, talking about how wonderful it is that someone took the time to try to return a lost camera to a stranger.

In all, I pedaled a total of 27.5 miles, the most I've done since I've been back on my bike. I got to ride the last mile with my little neighbor, and she high-fived me at the end for beating my previous mileage.

This was a remarkable ride in so many ways. I am not totally convinced I deserved this amazing blessing, but I sure am thankful.


  1. That is awesome that they found it and turned it in indeed. There are good people out there, sometimes we can forget that with all the fear mongering the news does.

    1. You are absolutely right, Pat. One more good reason to keep blogging, right? Spread good news every chance we get!

  2. Wow, what a great story in so many ways! I'm so glad you got the camera back. And got all those miles in even though you weren't planning to! How nice to hear that there are such good people on the trail.

    1. Thank you, Sue. I may have a part two to this story now...


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