Good Samaritan helps couple finish hike in Southern Utah

Aug 9, 2022, 7:54 PM | Updated: 8:08 pm

GARFIELD COUNTY, Utah — A Texas family is searching for a Good Samaritan who gave them their extra pair of hiking shoes while on a trail in St. George.

A stranger on the trail helped the Bush family finish a hike last month in Calf Creek near Capitol Reef National Park.

“I think my sister’s version of a hike is quite different from mine,” Heather Bush said.

She and her husband, Mark, went hiking with their two children and extended family on July 15. Heather couldn’t find proper shoes, so she wore her Birkenstock sandals.

She said she felt fine walking down the trail, but climbing back up quickly became difficult.

“I started to feel like I just didn’t have enough air; it was a very strange feeling,” she said.

Heather had started experiencing altitude sickness.

“That was the hardest part was trying to encourage her to keep going, even though knowing she would struggle the whole way,” Mark said.

Heather said she took breaks at every tree, gasping for air. She started to panic.

“‘How am I going to get out of here?’ As I’m trying to breathe,” she recounted.

Hikers were walking by and offered water and help.

“First thing when someone offers you something, you’re like, ‘No, I’m fine,’ that pride,” Heather said.

However, one of them circled back around.

“He and his little girl Vivi passed us, and then we saw them come back,” Mark said. “I think he was like, ‘Hey, they might need some help.'”

The Bush family said they remember their Good Samaritan was tall — about 6 feet 2 — and wearing a long-sleeved blue swim shirt. They said he had a young daughter named Vivi wearing a straw hat that day. They guess she was about 4 years old.

“He had these shoes hanging from his backpack, and he said, ‘Do you want my wife’s shoes?'” Heather recalled.

While the pair of light pink Nike running shoes were two sizes too big, it would be the best sight Heather saw that day.

“Finally, my feet were gripping onto these rocks that my Birkenstocks were terrible for,” she said.

Heather was able to finish the hike but couldn’t find her hero. She holds onto his gift, and they keep the shoes at their home in Texas.

Though she and her husband don’t know his name, they are thankful their lives laced together on that Friday.

“I don’t think he really knew how much it helped me,” Heather said.

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Good Samaritan helps couple finish hike in Southern Utah