"24  Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

25  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. "

New Testament, 1 Corinthians 9:24 - 25
"and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,"
New Testament, Hebrews 12:1
"Wherefore, if ye shall be obedient to the commandments, and endure to the end, ye shall be saved at the last day. And thus it is. Amen."
Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 22:31

In the race of life there are many things to be considered. We not only need to endure to the end and finish the race but we must also finish the race with honor and carry with us the necessary equipment and knowledge in order to win the race. We are only competing with ourselves so nothing is acceptable if it is not the best we have or the best that we can do.

When I was teaching in the Academy in Juarez Dean Turley was also teaching then. We got together and decided to take our oldest sons on a fishing trip into the Sierra Madre Mountains. We had a three day holiday coming up so we prepared for those days to go on the wonderful outing with our Boys. We decided that we would go clear over to the distant Metate Canyon where the fishing is really good.

The day came and Kiko and I were all packed up and left very early in the morning and went to Juarez and picked up Dean and his son Dee. We traveled up the mountain and through Hop Valley and on to Garcia. From there we took the good road to where we connected to the road from Mound Valley to the Colorado. We stopped at the little store in Colorado and bought some candy and sweet breads for lunch. From there we went up past Bull Peak and went down the long ridge that is called la Lonja. To where we left the Van just above the El Rey Ranch. It was late in the afternoon so we walked down to the Ranch and arranged for the animals for the trip. The next morning just as the sun came up we finished our breakfast and were all packed up and our mounts saddled and ready to go. We packed old Patty since she was the only one that was a good pack mule besides being a very good saddle mule.

We eagerly set off for a good long ride. We went south through the San Carlos Ranch and on across the Chuhuichupa River. We followed the trail around the side of the Huerfano and dropped into Black canyon just below our old campsite at the Airport. We crossed the Negro and took the trail up past the little spring in the cave called Los ojos de Maria. We all piled off and had a good cold drink of sweet mountain water. Each took turns filling the can that was always there by catching the drops of water that came out of the rock like tears falling into the can.

From there we went up over the Puerto del Apache and traveled down the fault where the trail could no longer be seen because it was overgrown with grass. It was getting late in the afternoon and in our hurry we passed the place where we should have turned up out of the fault to find the trail along the high ridge. The fault became rough and many fallen trees and brush hedged up our way finally we decided to retrace our trail and find the way up onto the ridge. We found our way up and hit the trail along the ridge and down into the Pedernal. We past the abandoned cabin and went on to a beautiful camping spot beside the Meatate Creek. It was getting dark as we unpacked and hobbled out the animals with a couple of bells on them. We set up a nice camp and had a good supper. We sat around the fire for awhile just enjoying the peace of this beautiful place. We had come a long ways but now we were here and content with the long days journey.

The next morning just as it was getting light in the east we were all up and eager to go catch some Rainbow Trout for our breakfast. This was what we had come for and we were all eagerly preparing our fishing gear. When I went for the can of worms that I had dug and filled at home I could not find it. I had a sinking feeling as I remembered that I had left that can of worms on the porch at home to be loaded in a safe place the last minute. The can of worms was not loaded into the pack boxes so we were here without any worms. We were all very disappointed and went to see if we could find some worms or grasshoppers of anything to fish with. After about an hour of searching in vain we decided that we had better get on our way back home. It was Saturday and we had to be home that night.

We came back at a steady pace the animals were eager because they were going home and we made good time. We unpacked and loaded the van. Our journey home was long but we made good time and arrived home about eleven O'Clock that night.

We had been on a wonderful trip through some beautiful Sierra Madre Mountains and had a good ride and a pleasant camp but we had that little feeling of failure because we had not gotten to fish. We went to our destination but we did not accomplish our goal I hope that when my time comes and I reach my destination that I will be prepared with all I need to accomplish my goal. I hope that I will not have to say, "If only I had put in the worms".

For many years I worked with the Explorer Scouts here in Dublan. Our program at that time was centered around the camping skills and camping merit badges. Our goal was to help the boys pass their Merit Badges and learn as much as they could in the Scouting Program. Most of the boys enjoyed passing the different Merit Badges and progressing in their scouting. Some set their goal to become Eagle Scouts. Others were just enjoying the program and learning the skills and enjoying the social part of the program. They passed the Merit Badges right along with the rest of the group and even doing a better job than those whose goal was to get the requirements done so they could receive the honor of becoming an Eagle Scout.

Those that fulfilled every detail of the requirements received their Eagle badge and joined the ranks of the world wide eagle scouts. Some of the other boys almost finished all of the requirements and only lacked a few details to finish up. Through procrastination and not caring let the time go by and did not receive their Eagle Scout award. They had the knowledge and the skills but lacked the recognition that the Eagle Badge offers. They will always have to say I almost got my Eagle but I lacked this little detail to finish up. They ran the race well. They enjoyed all of the benefits of the whole program but didn't quite finish up so they did not get the title or the Badge. They could not put on their list of accomplishments that they were an Eagle Scout.

Society and businesses seem to give credit and honor to that title just as they give credit and honor to a College degree. One who has all of the credits necessary to graduate but lacks some minor details to finish up cannot receive that Degree which counts in our society. When applying for a Job they do not ask for your qualifications they ask if you have the Degree showing that you have finished the race and won the honor.

A person that is a good teacher and has had lots of experience teaching cannot receive the same salary as the person that has the Degree and the Teachers Certificate. They might even be a better teacher than the one with the Title but that is not what counts in our Society. A Doctor cannot practice without his Certificate. So let us run so that we may OBTAIN and have with us all that we need to obtain our goal and win the race of life.

We will encounter obstacles that must be overcome but that is part of the race to overcome every obstacle and difficulty and obtain our goal.

Ray Wood and Doug Brown came down and talked to me about organizing a Company to be called Sierra Madre Expeditions. The wanted me to take them on a trip to see the country and be able to advertise about the fishing, the cave dwellings, scenery and other attractions. They wanted to experience a pack trip into the Sierra Madre to be able to advertise the Mule Pack Trips. I told them that I would take them up to Trout Creek where our family had been going every year for about 25 years.

We packed up the van and drove for six hours through the Sierra Madre to our base camp where we had our Animals waiting for us to use. On the way I told them many stories and experiences about the different places along the way. We arrived about noon and found the animals that we would need. They were very interested in the Process of packing up all of our camp gear and food onto the Pack mules. They were interested in my Aparejos and equipment and were pleased with the whole experience.

We traveled down the old familiar trail to trout Creek enjoying the beautiful country along the trail. We arrived at Trout Creek about sundown. To my great surprise the trail across the Creek had been blocked off with the giant oaks that had been cut down and placed as a fence. I looked through the branches and saw the whole area was filled with beautiful Poppies all in bloom all along the Canyon. I climbed up on a little promontory point and as far as I could see upstream was filled with :Poppies. As far as I could see down stream was filled those beautiful flowers. I could see near the creek some gasoline motor pumps that were used to water that pretty garden. I suddenly realized what I was seeing. This was a huge plantation that the Mafia was using to raise their drugs and a very dangerous place for us to be. Luckily It was sundown and all of the workers had gone to their camps. We hurriedly gathered up our Pack Mules and turned back to the Cebadilla. We were looking over our shoulders and expecting to hear the whiz of bullets but none came. We arrived back at our base camp in the darkness of a moonless night. It was late so we unpacked the animals sent them to pasture. We rolled down our beds in one of the abandoned cabins and went to sleep.

The next morning with the sunshine and the beautiful day all of our apprehension of the night before vanished and we were ready to continue a journey in another direction. We packed up and took the old trail down to the Gavilan River. Ray Wood was leading one of the new Pack mules. She suddenly jerked the lead rope out of his hand and went bucking wildly past him down the steep trail to suddenly stop on the very edge of a cliff where the trail turned sharply to the right. She stood trembling and sweating until I came to repack her pack that had turned over to one side in her bucking frenzy. We got her all repacked and continued on down the trail without further incident. We made a camp in a grassy place under a grove of beautiful pines with the Gavelan River near by. I like to camp where we can hear the water of the river running over the rocks.

After a good lunch we mounted up leaving our camp in the charge of Brother Morales, and took the trail over the mountain to the lower end of Trout Creek to catch some trout for supper. Ray and Doug enjoyed the country and seeing the many terraces in the draws along the way. They marveled at the size and height of some of those more preserved terraces.

We arrived at the old Jenkins cabin where the trail comes down into Trout creek at this point. To our satisfaction there was no evidence of Poppy plantations here. We enjoyed fishing in the cold clear stream and soon had enough Trout for Supper even though we could see evidence of fisherman's fires along the stream where the workers from the Poppy fields had come down this far to fish.

We got back to our camp about dusk and prepared a good supper that included fresh Trout fried in butter. We sat around the campfire talking and drinking my famous herb tea. The next day we explored up and down the Gavilan and climbed up to the Campo Santo (Indian Burial Ground). Ray was anxious to dig but I suggested he save it for another trip. The next day we returned home having enjoyed a successful trip. Ray and Doug returned home to Mesa Az. To write up the advertisement and prepare a trip with two Sports writers from The Phoenix and Tucson Papers.

We accomplished our goal in spite of being blocked out of our special camp ground on Trout Creek. We have never been back and only the memory remains of the many wonderful years of camping with the family and many others in that Special camp on Trout Creek.

I hope this will inspire us all to finish the race and run so that we can obtain our Heavenly Home and there say, "I have run the race and have fought a good fight, I am content".