Lost with Tim Hawkins, John Branyan, David Pendleton, and Daren Streblow

Five Weird Guys

Five Weird Guys

It was scheduled to be a simple scenic adventure with four of my comedian friends; a “three hour tour” at the most. (Shades of Gilligan’s Island)

It ended up being 12 hours of “Lost in the Wilderness”

Over the next several posts I will tell the story and the lessons learned on the adventure. Enjoy the first installment.

The original plan was to ride ATVs over Tin Cup Pass near Buena Vista Colorado, have lunch at a little restaurant on the other side of the mountain and ride back.

Other than the fear generated in the heads of John Branyan and Daren Streblow at the sight of “vicious little bears,” (harmless Marmots) the first part of the tour went as planned.

Terrifying Creature!

Terrifying Creature!

It was a beautiful ride. Near the top of the pass a deer fed within yards of us, and the scenery was spectacular.

We met a fellow adventurer who took a picture of our little group, not knowing that this could have been the last time we would ever be seen. We would soon disappear.

The sky to the west began to darken so we decided it might be a better idea to start back down the mountain. It is never a good idea to be caught above tree line in a thunderstorm.

When we got to the tree line, the weather seemed more promising so I suggested we take a little hike up through the forest to a beautiful high mountain canyon. The hike took a little over an hour.

Though my flat-lander friends were winded, I managed to convince them to take a different route back to where our ATVs were parked. Rather than go back on the same boring trail, why not make a circle, climb over a saddle in the mountains and make our way down another drainage that would lead us right back where we started.

As we took a short rest I told my companions that we had three options:

  1. Return the way we came… Boring
  2. They could return the way we came and I would try to beat them back by taking the circular route… Stupid – (more about this in a later post)
  3. All of us try the adventurous route together… With a good leader this would have been a wonderful option.

Here is the first lesson I learned that day:

Pride cometh before a fall.

As a young man I guided canoe trips in the wilderness boundary areas of Minnesota. Over the years I have taken survival courses, hunted and hiked miles deep in the mountains, in remote country where there are no trails. I was proud!

I have NEVER been lost!

All of that changed on this day. My pride made me want to impress my friends, and over confidence in my skills actually caused me to ignore all the signs that we were going the wrong direction. Pride made me press on when we should have turned and taken the boring (safe) way back.

Pride kept me from preparing for the worst.

With the exception of Tim Hawkins, none of us had rain gear. We were only wearing jackets  because my wise wife  insisted we take them. If the storms had come that day we would have experienced much more than wet, cold and adventure.

Our lives would have been in danger. Hypothermia along with his sister Hysteria, lurk in the high country and they can kill. I knew all of this. But rather than be careful and safe, I was proud.

It’s in the Bible, friends!

Pride comes before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18

The Message paraphrases it this way. “First pride, then the crash— the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.”

More about the ego and the crash in the next blog post. In the meantime please know that none of us know it all.  The illusion of being in control is just that… an illusion. Humility is recognizing our own limitations and trusting the ONE who IS in control.

…To be continued.



  1. I LOVE the photo with the caption “Terrifying Creature”…made me laugh! 😀 I am fairly good with direction, but got lost years ago, and understandably so, driving on the roads in upper western Indiana to visit a friend during corn season of all times when you can’t see anything but stalks and sky lol. Love your blog and look forward to each installment!! 🙂 Recently watched a film called “Backcountry”…a realistic make you think twice about venturing off the trail kind of movie. Thankful that you all made it back a.okay!!

  2. Can’t wait for part 2. Though since we are reading part 1, we know you survived 🙂

    1. P.S. Back in the 60’s when my husband was stationed in San Francisco with the Army, after the Viet Nam war. My mom and I had driven there from Sacramento (a good place to be from…lol) well, somehow I ended up in Haight Ashbury……since I was a “nerd” and not a “hippie” it was veryyyyy scary. Kind of different than the varmits, but really kind of the same….I made it out, too. Thank the Lord.

  3. Just the thought of five comedians lost in the mountains makes me chuckle – can hardly wait to hear the rest of the tale – glad the terrifying creatures didn’t get you! 😉

  4. I want to sponsor a night with the 5 of you on stage, telling this story from each of your perspectives.

    We would all need Oxygen bottles for sure.

  5. Yes, dear Ken, the crushing blow to our pride is so very unpleasant, and so very necessary. Something i have experienced more than once in my 78 years of life! Thanks so much for sharing!!! 🙂

  6. Oh, it is NOT good to leave us hanging (from a cliff?) like this! More, More Please!

  7. God gave you an amazing gifts of passing on wisdom and truth in the funniest way possible and you are doing a great job. Thanks

  8. Loving your story and am anxious for the next installment. My husband and I saw you several times at the Praise Gathering in Indianapolis and laughed until we cried. We were instant fans. We have seen David Pendleton also and love his shows. Also we are friends with his dad. Great Christian family. Can’t wait to hear what happens next.

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