The adventurous young hikers had their faith in humanity restored after they climbed Mt. Cheam for the first time.
Samantha Fischer of Chilliwack said she and five other friends from the Fraser Valley were driving up a forest services road last weekend. Their shiny goal was to tackle one of the Chilliwack’s most popular hikes.
No one noticed the gas tank had been dipping perilously low, down to about an eighth of a tank, as they got closer to the trailhead.
“But we underestimated how much gas it would take to get up there and realized that we would not have enough to get down!” Fischer reported.
It was their first time trying to reach the Cheam summit.
One of the six hikers, Derek Froese of Abbotsford, said it was like a comedy of errors that led them to run low on gas that morning.
One buddy was driving his truck, another was navigating and Froese was scarfing down some oatmeal before they headed out on the half-day hike. No one noticed the gas tank level.
When they arrived, they realized they wouldn’t make it back down the hill.
So Froese decided to try something a little out there. He dug out some cash out his pocket, some paper and pen, and committed a total act of faith.
He pinned the $30 in cash and a hand-written note onto the windshield of his 2003 GMC truck.
Their note read: “Low on gas. Fill us up, take the money.”
The hope was that someone would come by while they were hiking, rescue them by topping up their levels from a jerry can of extra gas.
And someone did.
The group of young people returned after about five hours of taking their time, invigorated from the stunning Cheam views through alpine meadows.
They said the views from the summit and valley were “insane” and they felt willing to walk out of the bush if they had to.
Instead they spotted another hand-written note where theirs had once been under the windshield wiper.
Fischer and a friend had run ahead to the truck when they were coming down the mountain.
“We were so excited when we saw there was a new note there.”
It read “We gased (sic) you up!” and it also asked them to “pay it forward.”
Whoever it was didn’t even take the cash. They just tucked the $20 and $10 bills back into the gas cap compartment where it couldn’t be seen and posted the new note.
“We were all cheering. We were so relieved,” said Fischer. “It really saved our butts.”
Froese said it was one of the those euphoric moments, along with reaching the summit, where it seemed everything turned out right.
The day ended with a sense it was actually a series of fortunate events.
“It was a moment where you realize people are really okay, and that even if you are on a side of a mountain and in a bit of trouble, there is someone who will help.
“We were impressed they didn’t take the money.”
Now they want to thank those who helped them out of the jam and let them know they plan to pay it forward as well. They talked about how they would return the favour and vowed to carry a jerry can of gas the next time they head out on a big hike, just in case they can help someone else out.
“Thank you so much!! You made our day,” Fischer wrote on social media to the mystery saviours.
Reaction on the Chilliwack Hiking site was extremely positive as the social media likes went through the roof at 655 by Friday.
“My mom said it was because people feel good knowing there are kind and generous people actually out there.”