Sunday, December 30, 2007

Couple of journal updates...

Hey everybody!

I was able to sit for a bit after Christmas and type in a few of my journal notes...Look as far as the July 11th Posting, you will find that my journal notes are in, as far as the 10th. (You will find that at times I have typed in several days trail journaling under one dates posting. That is because my wife, Cari, was a VERY busy lady while I was on trail, and was not able to post everyday...also, there were stretches of time that she had nothing to post, as she hadn't heard from me.) I hope that you all had a very Blessed Christmas, and that the upcoming year will be the best ever. God Bless you, every one.

Stickman

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Great company...and PANCAKES!

When Faithful and I were out wandering North, heading towards Katahdin, we came upon Harrison's Pierce Pond Camps, (just before the Kennebec River, and Caratunk). Although we stayed at the lean-to, located on the pond, I took a short stroll down to the Camp, and met Tim Harrison. We spent a considerable amount of time sitting on the open porch, listening to the sounds of the water rushing down the stream, and chatted like old friends as the sun was setting. Before leaving to return to the lean-to, I put in a breakfast request for Faithful and I, and Tim was more than happy to accomodate. Next morning, nice and early, we were seated comfortably at the lodge, and feasting on a fantastic breakfast. Part of that breakfast consisted of a twelve-pancake (each) feast, as only Tim could prepare! WOW! The real topper, though, was Tim, and his easygoing, known-you-all-my-life demeanor. It is apparent, at once, that Tim is people-friendly, and definitely hiker-friendly!

Well, I think of Tim often, and had left a ScriptureStick for him at my cousin Chet Hibbard's Pharmacy, up in Bingham. Last I saw Chet, he hadn't seen Tim to give it to him...which made me think of Tim all the more...

Good news! Yesterday afternoon, we had a visit from Tim! What a wonderful time! He had been in to see Chet, gotten his ScriptureStick, and when he was in Madison, stopped at Campbell's Building Supply to see me. I had the day off, but he got directions to the house, and paid us a visit. I was so pleased to see him, and to introduce him to my wife, Cari. We had a great time, talking about many things, but surely we talked about the trail, and hikers. Tim has an incredible ability to remember the names of so many hikers, and was able to recall details about them. That's pretty amazing to me! To meet, somewhat briefly, so many people, and to capture them in your memory...what a gift. Tim did say that he had more hikers come by his camps than ever before, and hopes that it will continue. So...if any of you are hiking up around Harrison's Pierce Pond Camps this coming year, make sure you stop in for a visit!

Tim, I thank you for your visit, and your great hospitality when Faithful and I hiked through. My door is always open to you. Cari and I will definitely be taking a trip up to see you in the spring, and maybe do a little hiking around there, to boot. Until then, take care, and God Bless!...That goes for all of you good folks too!...as I sleep tonight, I'll have visions of PANCAKES dancing in my head!

Stickman

Friday, December 14, 2007

Hooray for BOO-BOO!!!

I received an e-mail from Rebecca "BOO-BOO" Suddoth yesterday. She was wondering how Faithful and I were, and where we were. She had last seen Faithful when he was in Pennsylvania. I gave her an update as to our adventures, and would like to say "Thank you!" to her for checking on us. Nice to hear from you, Boo-Boo!

Now, some late-breaking news...Hikers sighted at summit of Springer Mtn., Georgia!...It is being reported that SOBO hikers have recently been sighted at the summit of Springer Mtn., in Georgia. Although many of them have not been identified, one hiker has been confirmed to be none other than Rebecca "BOO-BOO" Suddoth. Do not be alarmed! Hikers are found to be quite friendly, and generally spend their days migrating North to Katahdin, or South to Springer, looking for food along the way. The best way to approach these hikers is with a hearty "HELLO!", a handout, and a "congratulations" upon reaching their destination...so...HOORAY FOR BOO-BOO!!! HOORAY FOR BOO-BOO!!!

Boo-Boo summitted on November 29th! You can check out her trail journal at www.Trailjournals.com/rebecca/

Great hike BOO-BOO! God Bless!

Stickman

Friday, December 7, 2007

Able to post again! etc., etc., etc.!

Hi everybody! I fiddled with the site a few days back, and found that I was able to post, but my "updates" of previous posts weren't showing up...but eventually got that straight too! Funny thing is, I don't know that I fixed it...it may have just been being a bit temperamental!

I have not had much opportunity to do updates...sorry for that! I would also like to get lot's of pictures up on the site, too, but that will definitely be after Christmas.

We have received several requests for ScriptureSticks that need to be to their intended recipients for Christmas, so am working on them as best we can. If anyone has a request for a stick, please let us know...the earlier the better, if it is for Christmas, and needs to be shipped out. Thanks!

I have had a lot of great meetings and conversations with people who have been aware of my A.T. adventure, and have been able to share bits and pieces of my journey with them. I guess I didn't realize how many people were aware of it, or how many had checked up on me online. I will certainly try a bit harder to get the rest of my journal, and a bunch of pictures up on the site!

A lot of you wanted to know if I would be attempting to complete the trail come springtime. Well...I have no plans to do that at this time. It isn't that I don't want to be back on trail, though. I would love it! It would have to all fall in place, truly be God's will. I would have to be considerate of my employer, have financing, good health, and most of all, a clear feeling that it would be the best way to serve God.

A few of you folks have expressed a desire to take on the trail someday. Awesome! And, a couple of people thought it might be great to do a section. ALSO Awesome! I have had a thought bouncing around in my head...and, although it is not fully developed, (...the thought...), it goes something like this...Start out SOBO again, with the SOBO thru-hikers, but only do the stretch from Mt. Katahdin to Monson, Maine! That would allow for a great hike, and an opportunity to be a witness for the Lord, and hopefully, an encouragement to all the hikers. I had a brief conversation with Scott Lloyd the other day, and he expressed interest in the "100 mile wilderness". (Katahdin to Monson)...Anybody else interested??!!?? Might be fun to get a group together, and take a hike. Let me know, and maybe we could pull something together!

I may have some more good news to share with you in the near future, so please check back. I hesitate to share anything yet, as it is not in the works yet, but only in the "could happen" catagory. Sorry to throw out a teaser, but I want to get you back on site! "Don't TEASE me, bro', don't TEASE me!!!". (Couldn't resist!)

Will get back to you, and soon...'til then, God Bless ya!

Stickman

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hey, Howdy! I'm still here!

Hello, everyone! I have tried repeatedly to add my trail notes to the blog, under their appropriate dates...but am having no luck. Everything indicates that the edits are successful, but they are not showing up in the blog. So, I thought I would try a new post, to see if I could even do that, and to let you know what is (or isn't) going on with the site. Don't give up, I'll keep trying to get it working again. 'Til then, take care, and God Bless

Friday, November 16, 2007

Gollywobbles!

Yep...Gollywobbles! It seems that I may have a touch of the gollywobbles lingering with me. I feel SO much better than I did a couple of weeks ago, and am able to be at work, attend services at church, and go to our Bible study/Prayer meeting, and all those good things...but I am not fully "bounced back" to my former self. I just don't feel 100% yet, and am experiencing very slight vertigo at times, along with some vision problems...nothin' serious, just annoying. I pray to be back to my old self soon. Maybe you would say a prayer on our behalf, too! Thanks! Cari is continuing to heal, which is AWESOME! She is a real trooper, and, unlike me, seldom complains about her complaints...I think she may be easier company to be around than I am when not feeling great. I guess I am lucky to be me and not her, because I get to enjoy her company, and I don't have to tolerate being around me! God has truly blessed me, don't ya think!?!

More later, God Bless you!

Stickman

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A few new entries...

I had an opportunity to transcribe a few days of "Stickman Journals"...not many, but I will certainly try to get more of them logged in...later, God Bless!

Stickman

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Could we have your prayers, please?

Thank you! It has been an interesting couple of weeks, recently. I had just gotten over a nice cold, and wham!...Here comes the flu! Also included an incredible helping of vertigo, too! I am back to work now, having lost only a weeks work. I feel very fortunate, and blessed to be done with it all! Not to have things focused around me, me, me, all the time, Cari has been having a ball! A few weeks ago, she tore some ligaments in her knee, as she took the expressway down our stairs. As things are apt to be, she nursed herself back to "feelin' pretty good!", when she was trying to tend to me, and my complaints, and still get to work on time...She approached the dreaded stairs...took a step or two down...and felt tearing in her knee again! Well, let me tell you, it's been pretty interesting around here lately! We spent the week with me flat on my back, upstairs, and Cari downstairs, in a knee brace (a NICE one!), doing the best she could...we communicated via telephone, which we were actually able to look at with some sense of humor!!! Elizabeth was also a huge help, coming up from her home in Rockland to help us out, THANKS LIZ! So, I guess we are on the mend, but a little prayer never hurt anyone...could we have some of yours? THANKS! Love to all, and God Bless!

Stickman

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Updating old posts...

Hi everybody!

Just wanted you to know that I took some time today to add my daily trail notes to some of the previously posted blogs...I have up to June 18th updated! Sorry it is taking me so long to get to it, but have lot's and lot's going on...eventually, we will also try to go back and post more pictures, too. Keep checking back with us, and thanks for your patience...also, would love to hear from any of you! God Bless!

Stickman

Friday, October 12, 2007

Wonder where they are...

Hi everyone! I have the day off today,(have to work tomorrow...), and took the opportunity to make a quick run up to the Kingfield/Stratton/Eustis area to see if I might be of any assistance to a stray NOBO thru-hiker or two. I hung out at the trailhead for a couple of hours, then went into Stratton to poke around before coming back to Madison. I never saw any hikers, but maybe next year I will have lot's of meetings...It is getting late in the year, and the closing date at Katahdin is October 15th, just a couple of days away, but I took the chance anyway, just in case there was a flip-flopper, or someone who was still hiking even if they wouldn't make Katahdin. I did wonder, though, where everyone was this late in the season,(some of the SOBO's are still hiking), and prayed for them all, that they have successfully finished their hikes. If not this year, then maybe the next...I, for one, would like to take another crack at it sometime down the road, and Faithful has expressed the same. But, today, I just enjoyed the ride up here, and relaxing at the trailhead for awhile. It is a bit chill, and quite rainy today, but the Fall colors were magnificent, the rain making the colors vivid, much like the way water will bring out the best colors of the rocks in the bottom of a stream-bed. God is so good to give me this wonderful, rainy day!

Now that I am back home for the afternoon, I need to get busy again, getting a few chores done, and working on more ScriptureSticks. There are still orders coming in, folks are still sponsoring them to be given away, and there are many, many folks out there that we still need to give them to. Thank you all so much for your generous support of the ScriptureStick ministry! Let us all pray that each hiking stick given out will minister and be an engouragement to its' recipient...and to all who read them, a witness to our wonderful God!

...looks like I'd better get to a couple of chores before it is too late...I will try to do an update at least every week, and if any of you hikers would like to e-mail me with your hiking results or status, I would be so happy! ...I wonder where you are...but, wherever you are, may God be Blessing you!

'til then, God Bless you ALL!

Stickman

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Update on Faithful

Hey everyone,

I just sat down to do a little transcribing for my trail journal, and thought that I would check up on Faithful, see how he was doing...the following is a copy of the latest entry in Faithful's blog...He has done a fantastic hike, and has taken opportunity to share his faith! Now, let's all keep him in prayer that he can get rested, and keep his health up...Way to go my "Faithful" friend! Awesome hike!

Here goes...

...."Faithful called today with the news that he had decided to get off trail and come home for now. He has been exhausted for a while now and has not been enjoying the hiking for some time. There is no reason to continue if he is not enjoying it. Last night clinched his decision. As most of you who read this know, Faithful has epilepsy. It has been under control for several years, with the proper medication, though he does have auras once in a while. Last night, he had about 10 intense auras, HIGHLY unusual. Such inner brain seizure activity tires him out greatly. He believes he needs to get back home where he can get adequate rest and nutrition.
Needless to say, his family is looking forward to having him back home, though we do know he is somewhat disappointed not be be able to finish at this time. However, he hopes to finish the trail at a later date, depending on what he may have for work and other responsibilities.
He has finished his hiking at Waynesboro, Virginia, at the end of the Shenandoah National Park. That means he has hiked 1,325.9 miles of the AT. What an accomplishment. We rejoice with him for having done so much.
Last night, a man who hikes a certain loop once in a while saw Faithful hiking and thought to himself that the young man looked like he could use a place to stay that night. He invited him to his home. He said he had never done that before. He is a retired policman from Atlanta and is now a builder near Charlottesville, Virginia.
A Christian family not too far from there are relatives of friends of ours. They are excited about helping Faithful out. They will pick him up tonight and take care of him till he can get a way home. We will write more when we know more. Thank all of you for your concern and prayers."

Looks like that's all the news for now, will catch you all later!

God Bless!
Stickman



Posted by Faithful Pilgrim at 2:41 PM 0 comments

Friday, September 28, 2007

Thank You Letter

Hey folks!

The following is a thank you letter that I am sending out to all those who prayed for and supported this ministry. Take care, and God Bless!

Stickman

September 28, 2007


Hello, everyone!

It is time for an update on the ScriptureStick Appalachian Trail Mission, and to extend a big “thank you” to all of you for your prayers and support, and for making the mission successful!

A few of you are already up to date with everything going on, as I have had opportunity to talk with you, but for others...well, here goes!

In our letter of March 29, 2007, we reached out to all of you for prayer and support, and explained the goals and plans for the mission. I talked about how “my plans” did not always coincide with “God’s Plan”, and that I had repeatedly had to modify “my plans” to fit His. Although I couldn’t always see where His plan was leading, it always ended up being the “right plan”. For example, I may have wanted to hike twenty miles in the day, only to wake up to a lot of rain, and miserable hiking. But, at the end of the day, cold, wet, tired, and having hiked only twelve miles, I would find that he placed me exactly where he wanted me...short of MY goal, but safe, sitting in a shelter with another hiker, having a great conversation that would invariably allow for a gentle sharing of my faith.

My attempted hike of the Appalachian Trail, (a distance of 2,174 miles), would have taken me six months to complete, from June through November...I came up a little short, but count every step as a success! My hiking partner, FAITHFUL, and I were on trail June 1st. We started from Andover, ME, and hiked North to Mt. Katahdin, allowing us to meet all of the SOBO’s (South-bound hikers). We then returned to Andover, to start hiking SOBO. The plan was that we would now be hiking with other SOBO’s, and would meet the NOBO’s (Northbounders) as they made their way from Springer Mtn., in Georgia, to Mt. Katahdin, in Maine. All was going according to plan, (my plan), until we reached Manchester, Vermont. After spending the day there, we moved down trail to a shelter. My lower right leg had begun to swell, and was a bit painful, but over the next two days, I kept plodding along. Forty miles later, we made it into Bennington, VT. It became obvious that I had a major problem with the leg, and on August 3rd, my brother Larry made the six hour trip from Maine to pick us up. Once back in Maine, I had an x-ray, then a bone scan, and finally an MRI, ultimately finding that I had an infection in my lower leg. One week later, Faithful returned to the trail, and I considered that my hike had ended. However, after being home for three weeks, the antibiotics had done their job, and brother Larry once again got me back on trail, on August 23rd. At this point, I was well behind the other SOBO’s, and the huge wave of NOBO’s had already made it past Bennington, VT., while I was off trail. At this point, I began to pray as to what God would have me do, and it seemed that for the time being I would stay on trail. I only met about two dozen NOBO’s, but had many great meetings with section and day hikers, and Freshman orientation groups from various colleges. I also had a few opportunities to see people in the small towns that were more prevalent near the trail. Eventually, though, I was finding myself alone, not just when hiking, but when at the shelters. It seemed to me that the time had come to go home. I did not want to stop my hike, but after considerable prayer, I came home. I had made it as far as Greymore Friary, a monastery just outside of Peekskill, New York. I had hiked 800 miles! That is more than a third of the entire trail, and certainly covered much of the more difficult terrain. I believe that at some time, I will return to the trail, and complete the remaining miles...just don’t know when...

Things happened quickly once I decided to come off trail. On September 5th I decided to come home, but didn’t know how I would get there. God handled that, and, after a train ride and three different busses, I was picked up the next morning in Waterville, ME, by Larry! That was a Thursday. On Monday morning, after resting a bit, I was back at work at my previous job, thankful to be able to help pay the bills!

What, exactly, was accomplished during this mission trip? While I was out on the trail, I was able to interact directly with other hikers, sometimes one on one, sometimes in groups. I would be able to share the fact that I was a Christian, talk about the mission trip, and listen to what they had to say. I would also give them a card with contact information and encourage them to go to the Scripture Sticks.com site, where they could view more information. I also let the NOBO’s know that when they got to Maine, if they needed assistance, they could call our home, or e-mail Cari, and she would do her best to help. There were meetings with all kinds of folks, hikers, storeowners, postal workers, trail angels, just about everyone you could think of. When I could, I talked with them, and gave them a card. The opportunities to “plant seeds” were endless!

What about the ScriptureSticks? That has been such a big and wonderful part of the ministry! If you remember, we wanted to place at least 220 sponsored ScriptureStick hiking sticks during this mission, representative of every 10 miles of the length of the trail...Well, good news! We received sponsorship for 90 ScriptureSticks! Thank you so much for your generous support! Your sponsored sticks are everywhere, witnessing to untold numbers of people! They have been given out by various youth groups from Maine to West Virginia, shipped direct to folks in several states, left at trailheads, shelters, and motels. Many of the hikers that I have met have now received hiking sticks!...MORE good news! We didn’t stop at 90 sponsored ScriptureSticks! Cari, seeing the need, was incredible, and, with our daughter, Elizabeth, helping, made up a bunch more sticks...and sent them out...so we actually have planted 160 ScriptureSticks!

We aren’t done yet, either! We intend to keep making and giving away ScriptureSticks! We are still working on a list of people that would benefit from having a ScriptureStick. Most of these folks are hikers, and have said that they would like to have a stick. We would like to keep this part of the ministry going, and are mailing out sticks as best as we can!

Currently, we are trying to give support to the NOBO hikers that have reached Maine. This weekend past, Elizabeth and I made a trip up to the trailhead, just before Stratton. We were able to offer rides and refreshments to two hikers, both of whom I had met while I was out on the trail. We had a great time, and it was nice to reconnect with these hikers. We also were able to have one of the hikers leave a ScriptureStick with the owner of the White Wolf Inn, in Stratton!

We certainly are not done with this mission, but are thankful for all that has been accomplished to date, and are blessed by your support and prayers. If you have not visited our website, the address is www.SCRIPTURESTICKS.com . You will also find contact information, and a link to a weblog. You will find a journal of my hike on the blog, with most entries made by Cari. However, I am slowly adding my daily journal notes to the site (for the corresponding dates). You will be able to check past entries to see if I have added my notes, so feel free to check back frequently. We will eventually be putting together a presentation of the mission that we will hopefully be able to share at churches, and possibly online, but it will take some time, so please be patient!

Thanks again for all your continued prayer and support! Also, please keep Faithful in your prayers. You can follow him at http://faithfulpilgrim.blogspot.com. At my last check, he was doing well, and is hiking in Virginia.

We can still be reached the good ol’fashioned way at snailmail as follows;

ScriptureSticks
Kelly and Cari Hibbard
50 Hardy Street
Madison, Maine 04950

and by PHONE (207)-696-8072

and of course, E-MAIL khibb57@beeline-online.net

...And, don’t forget to check out our website! It’s.......

www.SCRIPTURESTICKS.com

THANK YOU! Happy Trails!

In Christ,
Kelly (Stickman) and Cari Hibbard

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fun time at Kingfield and Stratton!

Another update...evening edition!

Elizabeth and I decided to head out for the AT trailhead at Stratton, and were glad we did! We grabbed some soft drinks at the Shop & Save, cooled them down, and headed out. When we got up to Carrabassett Valley, we saw a hiker walking up the side of the road towards the trailhead. We pulled over, and I realized that I had met this hiker before! She also remembered that we had met, but we weren't quite sure where...we did remember lot's of what we had talked about though, so that was fun! Her trail name is Bunkers, after the turnout gear that she wears as a firefighter for the Auburn, New York fire department. (Bunkers, if you read this, I hope I got it right!?). We offered up a cool drink, and a card with contact information in case she needs any help on her final leg of the trip, and deposited her at the WHITE WOLF Motel, in Stratton. We also left her with a ScriptureStick to give to the owner of the motel, who is a friend of one of her friends! Then it was back to the trailhead to see if there were any other hikers needing a lift. Nope...but we did meet Gypsy, who was finishing up some hiking, and had a great conversation with him. We shared a drink with him, and he shared a lot of knowledge. He is leaning more and more ultralight, and showed us some of his gear, including his cooking system, and his backpack, both of which he made, and both super light. He also shared with us some of his dehydrating tips, which I definitely will put to good use. Thanks, Gypsy! We finally left, and headed for home. We made a brief stop along the way to get our feet wet in the Carrabassett River, and to look for some Jasper (Bright red rock). We found a few nice pieces, then headed out. We stopped in Kingfield to get fuel for the truck, and noticed another hiker trying to catch a ride North. I asked him if he had been waiting long, and he said not too long. He was MOSS, another hiker I had met when I was on trail. He was hiking with his dog, Stella, a real cute pooch! Well, why not...off we went, back up to Stratton! We had a great conversation with Moss, and as we entered Stratton, we saw Bunkers hiking out of town...I stopped and asked...yes, she was going to get back on the trail and get a few more miles in. I told her we would be back for her, then went to the Stratton Motel to let Moss out. Back to get Bunkers we went, bringing her back to the trailhead! We had a great time! After talking for a bit more, we headed for home, having had a wonderful day out. Although we received thank-yous from both Bunkers and Moss, please be assured that the pleasure was all ours! Thank YOU, Bunkers and Moss! And thank you too, Gypsy! You all made our day! Now it's good night, and God Bless! Hope you all have pleasant journeys...

Beautiful weekend up here in Maine

Good morning everyone! Another beautiful day here in Maine, should be excellent hiking weather for all of the NOBOs up this way. I'm hoping to visit one of the trailheads this afternoon and see if I can give a little support to a few of the through-hikers.

It still seems a little strange to be off of the trail, but I am beginning to adjust. I returned to work almost immediately upon my coming home, (I took the weekend off!), and have been kept fairly busy. I have worked overtime both of these past two weeks, and am quite thankful for that opportunity. It has been an interesting transition from hiking to working! In some ways, it was easier to get up early everyday to begin a 20 mile hike with 40 pounds on my back than it is to get up early and work at a lumber yard for 8 to 10 hours a day! Physically, it is actually a little painful for me to walk now that I am off trail. The feet are not happy when I first get up, but get somewhat better after an hour or so...and my legs have had a tendency to get occasional cramping, due to NOT walking as much. That too, is getting better! Fortunately, I have many things to keep me busy, and am already wondering how, (or IF), I will get things done before snow flies. ***I should not be talking about SNOW yet, as I have had to mow the lawn three times since coming home!***

The work with the ScriptureSticks is going well, with Cari and I continuing to make up and send out more hiking sticks. We feel that God is still blessing our efforts to be gentle witnesses for Him, and plan to stay on the path, no matter which way it turns! We are also very thankful for the love, support, and prayers that we have received from all of you. We recently received a financial gift that was given specifically to help with covering the mailing costs of sending ScriptureSticks out! Thank you SO MUCH! What impressed me most about that gift, is that the giver has kept us in prayer, and has been a part of this ministry not just by giving, but by continually holding us and the ministry up in prayer. That was so encouraging to us to know that people were praying for us and seeking to know what our specific needs were!...and at that moment, our specific need was to cover the costs of shipping for some ScriptureSticks, to be sent down South! Thanks again, to ALL of you, for your awesome prayers and support!

Now, a quick update on FAITHFUL! I got an e-mail from his Dad this morning, and I also have been checking up on him at his blogsite...faithfulpilgrim.blogspot.com...! He is continuing to do well, and got to stay with Merv (Rider) and Rachel (Pioneer) Frey recently, when he was in Pennsylvania. So awesome! Wished I could have been there too! Yesterday, Faithful was in Harper's Ferry. Today, he starts his trek through Virginia, and should be about a month hiking through it. Virginia comprises a quarter of the length of the AT! Sounds like his hike is still going well, and he is still having opportunities to share his Faith with others. Please continue to follow his journey, and PLEASE keep him and his family in prayer!

Looks like our daughter, Elizabeth, and I will take a quick trip up to Stratton, see if we can hook up with a NOBO or two! Until later, all take care, and God Bless!

Stickman

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

North New Portland Fair

Hello All! The AT Stick Ministry goes on. we were at the North New Portland Fair with a booth for the sticks this past week-end and had a great time meeting people (we saw people we haven't seen in years! And family...so much fun!) and talking about the AT. We had a slide Show going the whole time with beautiful pictures of the trail thanks to our daughter's lap top! What fun to share and talk of plans for more hikes and AT activities. Kelly hopes to ride up to Monson on Saturday to meet up with the great people at the Shaws House and Tim at the General Store. He will bring more sticks there and hopefully catch up with more NOBOS. So many are finishing up the trail and the Shaw house is a place most stop. More sticks were shipped this week and I will have to update the tally on the website! Thanks to all who have made this all possible. God is so good!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

David "FAITHFUL" Barnes new BLOGSITE!

Just recieved an e-mail from Faithfuls' Dad. He has set up a Blogsite for David. You can find his blog at the following...

faithfulpilgrim.blogspot.com

Please check it out! Let's keep him in prayer as he continues!

God Bless!

Stickman

Off trail...but the ministry continues!

Hey everybody! I would like to start out this message by posting the e-mail that I had sent out to Faithfuls' folks, Dan and Lillian, on 9/8/2007. For some reason, Dan has not recieved it, even after I sent it out four times...ah, the wonder of computers! Anyway, I will share it with you, so we can all be on the same page as of today!

"Good morning folks!

Just wanted you to know that I am off the trail again. I had made it as far as Graymoor, the monastery. After some considerable time in prayer, I decided that it must be the right time for me to leave the trail, and end the hiking part of this ministry. Everything worked out rather quickly as far as getting home was concerned, and I was back at home within a day. I was able to make quick connections with a couple of busses and a train! I rested up yesterday, and went to see my former employer. I will be back at work on Monday, at the lumber yard.

Although I will not be back on trail, the ministry is continuing. We have many contacts to follow up on, and also have more sticks that we will be mailing out to folks that were met on the trail. I am also going to attempt to meet some of the NOBO's that I missed, possibly up at Caratunk, or Stratton.

Although I certainly will miss being on trail, I am excited about all the other witnessing possibilities before me! We are also going to work on a presentation to be used at Church, and on this site!

We are very excited for David, that he is remaining FAITHFUL. It is awesome that he continues his hike, and professes his Christianity on the trail! We are so pleased that he is seeing opportunities to witness, and is being bold in grasping those opportunities. We will continue to pray for him daily, for his protection on the trail, and for the Holy Spirits' guidance, as he completes his hike. We also continue to keep you both in prayer, for your health and peace of mind. We realize how difficult it must be to have David out there hiking alone, but we also see that God has provided, in His time, all that is necessary. We are thankful for your encouragement and trust in the Lord!

Please continue to pray for us, and the ScriptureStick ministry! And please keep us updated on David's hike, we will post to our site as best we can. As a possible option, you may consider setting up a site for him on "Trailjournals.com", or "blogspot.com". That would allow you a lot of flexibility in updating his hike, and you could add pictures as he goes along. We would also be able to provide a link from our site.

Well, back to the "real world" of mowing the lawn! I need to go get at it before it rains...Will talk to you later!

In Christ,

Kelly "Stickman" Hibbard "

*****************************************************
Wow! I'm off trail! It even surprises ME when I read that! I would like to apologize to everyone out there for not getting the site updated with a tad more expedience... I know that all of my excuses would be inadequate! I would like to say, though, that Cari and I are so very thankful for your continued prayer and support. You folks have been awesome! The hiking ministry was very successful, albeit the hiking part of it was short of completion by several hundred miles. (I completed 800 miles of the trails' 2,174 mile length!). After coming off trail in Bennington, VT. for three weeks, I returned to my SOBO journey with high hopes that I would still be meeting some NOBOs. That was not to be...I met a couple of dozen, most of whom were in a BIG hurry to get to Maine. By the time I reached Kent, CT., the last of the NOBO "strays" had passed me. But, God is good! I began having great conversations with day and section hikers, several college orientation groups, (especially prevalent were the Freshman from Yale!), and various shopkeepers, grocery clerks, postal workers, and just plain folks that I would get to meet in the little towns. I was having fewer opportunities to meet hikers, but the meetings were more substantial!...Then, the weekend was over, all the hikers were gone, and I was only going to see people when I was in town, or, if I by chance would meet a day hiker on a weekend...So, after a couple of weeks back on trail, I found myself at Greymoor Friary, just outside of Peekskill, NY, alone, at the ballfield shelter that the good Friars so graciously allow us to use. It was, indeed, a time for reflection and prayer. The outcome, of course, was that I must stop walking. Part of my hiking ministry, the SOBOs, were ahead of me...the other part, the NOBOs, whom I mostly had not met, were behind me, headed for Maine! It seemed reasonable that God would want me to meet them in Maine, or to at least meet as many as possible. So, I find myself at home in Maine. My personal desire to hike the Appalachian Trail will always be there...and the trail is not going anywhere, either. I am confident that if the Lord wants me back out there again, that's where I will be. For now, I will do my best to gently witness to all the folks that are crossing my path here. I have returned to my job at the lumber yard, building loads and driving trucks. (Thanks goes out to my employer, Val). On my days off, I will attempt to meet with NOBOs at various places on the trail, perhaps Rangely, Stratton, Caratunk, or the like. Evenings have been very busy making up more ScriptureSticks, with my wife, Cari. (I am ever so much more thankful for ALL the work that she got done while I was on trail, since I am now having the opportunity to fill my hours helping!). We are sending out sticks, continually! Our daughter, Elizabeth, just left for a mini-vacation to North Carolina, to see old friends. We sent several sticks along with her, and then mailed out another that was "RUSH"! We quickly had made up a stick with the scripture written in Swahili, as there is a missionary being commisioned this Sunday, at Garner First Baptist, (our "Home church" while we were in NC.), who will be serving in Africa. We have others to complete, and mail out, too! If you have been promised a stick, please be patient...it takes two to three hours to complete a stick, and we have many to send out! We are also trying to get ready for the North New Portland Fair, which is this weekend! We are trying to get a few more sticks made up for the fair, and we will also be doing a couple of demonstrations to show how we make the sticks! That means I will have to go out in the woods tomorrow to get a few fresh poplar saplings to be used to show the peeling process...(I have tomorrow off at work)...

...Well, enough about me and Cari...Suffice it to say that the ministry is alive and well, and that we need your prayer and support as much now as we ever did! THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR CONTINUED PRAYERS!

...Now, on to David...FAITHFUL, that is...You can keep up with his travels for now by contacting his folks at the following E-mail Address...

DBARNES@MIDMAINE.com

His dad, Dan, says that if you want to be included in recieving his updates, just let him know via e-mail, and he will put you on a mailing list. Faithful is still trekking along the trail, and is now in Pennsylvania! He is continuing to be a witness for the Lord, and is reaching out at every opportunity. While I was on trail, I would read his entrys in the shelter journals. Faithful was quite frequently praising the Lord, and letting everyone know that he has been able to make it each day, because of how God has provided! I also spoke to folks he had talked with. One lady said, "oh yeah!, nice kid! real religious, huh!?" Yes. David, I pray that you will always remain "FAITHFUL" to the Lord! Keep witnessing! And, please, everybody...PLEASE keep this young man in your prayers!

Time to work on sticks! Love to you all, and GOD BLESS!!!

Kelly "Stickman" Hibbard

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Updating the weekend hike

I was reminded in an e-mail this morning that I had not updated the blog in several days! So here goes! 8/31 Kel was hiking along the Housatonic River. Very rough terrain, a lot of up and down, rocks and ledges. He stayed at the lean-to past Kent, Conn that night. 8/31 Dave was at Vernon N.J, and starting from there the next day. His parents have ordered him a new pair of hiking boots (Kel just had some sent to his next drop, too!). He has had good luck with them until now...a rip has begun in them above the ankle. 9/1 Kel was at Bulls Bridge when he called, and heading toward 10 mile river lean-to. He will soon be crossing into New York! 9/2 Kel met two hikers, Bob and Joanne (they have skied Sugarloaf!), and is hiking with a fellow from NY named Tom. Today, he crossed the mark where he has hiked 1/3 of the trail!! He saw the Dover Oak tree, the largerst Oak tree on the AT, more than 20 feet in diameter, and is est to be 300 yrs old! He also saw the only train station on the AT, where Tom will catch the train back to NY city tomorrow.9/3 Tom hiked back to the train station, Kel went about 5 miles, saw 5 deer, and crossed the old route 55! It was a beautiful day. That night slept at the RPH shelter. He has enjoyed reading from the shelter logs, including entries by Dave and Murphy. Soon he will be entering his next state, #7, New Jersey. 9/4 Dave reached Deleware Gap on this day. He hopes to meet up with another hiker that he had stayed with a while ago. He is taking a zero day as he waits. His boots are not there yet...hopefully Thursday!

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...8/31/07...Friday... Had quite a light show last night, with lots of lightning, but fortunately, there was no rain to accompany it! I probably stayed awake a bit too long, but it was so beautiful that I couldn't help but watch it. I got up quite late this morning, partly caused by a late night, and partly because the day started out very gloomy, with no sun to wake me up. I still managed to get off to a fair start, though, and was optimistic that I might still make respectable mileage today. As I was coming up over a hill this morning, I saw a fox trotting towards me, on the trail. I stopped and watched him come towards me, and I finally attempted to take his picture. As I picked up the camera, he caught my motion, and turned to run... I don't know yet what, if any kind of picture I got of him, as the day was still fairly dark.

I didn't feel particularly well all day... I think it may be due to the high heat and humidity of the last few days. Today was cooler, but I was "out of sorts". I am also having some problems with my left heel, might possibly have a bone spur. I plodded along slowly, and indulged in a bit of ibuprofen for the inflammation. I eventually stopped on top of a high ridge for lunch, then succumbed to a two-hour nap. After my break, I still wasn't feeling well, but the heel did seem a bit better for the rest. I made a quick stop in Kent, CT., and purchased some Gatorade. The electrolytes seemed to help, and I ventured to hike a bit further...

It is much cooler now, and I have made it to Mt. Algo Lean-to for the night. Having completed only 13.9 miles, I'll need to put in a better effort tomorrow, especially if I plan on catching up to any of the SOBO's ahead of me. Although I was a little short on mileage today, I will continue to be happy about the times I got to meet other folks out here. Please pray that I will be able to make a difference in their lives, for the Lord! Thanks! Until tomorrow, God Bless!

Stickman

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...9/1/07...Saturday... Less miles, but more smiles!.. I only squeaked out 8.4 miles today, for many, many reasons. First, there was "Seeker"... I shared the shelter with him last night, and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. This morning, we continued to talk, and we talked about so many things... neither of us felt hurried to begin hiking. We talked somewhat about religion, and he voiced his feeling that people should not push their beliefs onto others. I agreed fully. I did share my views, and faith with him, and told him about the ScriptureStick ministry that Cari and I were working on. He was fairly comfortable with our conversation, and noted that I had not pushed my views on him... and had not even said anything "religious" until he had brought it up. I had gained a degree of his respect. I told him that I would gladly mail a hiking stick to him, and that if he would let me pick the scripture, I would choose, "Seek me and you will find me, when you seek me with all of your heart.". SEEKER took a shine to that, and asked me to repeat it, so he could write it down! He will get a stick in the mail!

SEEKER eventually had to leave, to meet up with his folks, but as he left, two other hikers came into camp, looking for a lost cellphone. I helped them look around camp, along the stream, and on trail, but it was to no avail. I would have called his phone, but my batteries had gone dead... They wanted to know why I held off hiking to help them, so I got to tell them about my faith, and the missions trip. They were surprised and thankful, and even though we did not find the phone, they were appreciative. Another seed was planted! I had to smile, as I was wondering if I would actually do any hiking today. It seemed as if I needed to "stay put".

I did return to the trail at a little after 11:30 AM, with a BIG smile in my heart! On trail, I only spoke with three other hikers. It seemed a little strange not to see lots of hikers, and even stranger not to have FAITHFUL to talk with when I made my rest stops. I pray that he is still doing well! I came back off trail at Bull's Bridge, and had a bit to eat at a little store. I ate and chatted while they let me charge my phone. A mere 3 Hrs. later, my cellphone and I fully charged, I continued on until I arrived at Ten Mile River Lean-to, just before dark.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Bear!

This morning Kel was wakened by a bear sniffing and grunting around camp 10-15 feet from him...

...too close for me. He thought that it was pretty cool. Yikes! He thinks as he made his way back to the trail he pushed another one out ahead of him...or a deer. He is in Falls village conn today picking up a package or two at the post office and hopefully cleaning up a bit. He called from the top of a small mountain, just beautiful. It is very hot and humid right now which makes hiking a challange. He talked about his experiances in Great Barrington and how helpful the cobbler was at the Eagle Shoe and Boot Co there and his wonderful diner experiance at the neighborhood Diner meeting Tim and Pop and the other regulars. And, Nate and Tim's friend Tim that both gave Kel a ride to and from the trail. Thank-you sooo much. We heard from David's family last night and he is in the area of Greenwood Lake N.Y right now. His hike is going well. It sound as though he has met some helpful people on the trail with few mishaps. He warned Kelly about all the poison ivy coming up in N.Y and PA. Thanks Dave!. Looks like in a day or two Kel will be hitting his 6th state! New York.

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...8/29/07...Wednesday... I got a bit of a late start out of the Hemlocks, as we spent a lot of time talking. I had a very good hiking day, although it is still very hot and humid, and I am exhausted. I didn't see many hikers going NOBO, but got to talk to all I saw. I have seen four groups from Yale, doing freshman orientation trips. I got to talk with many of them, also!

I ended my day after 17.5 miles of hiking, stopping at Limestone Spring Lean-to. I am here by myself, and it is a little lonely. I wish and pray that I would see more hikers.

Oh, yeah... add 1/2 mile to that daily mileage! It is a VERY difficult 1/2 mile downhill hike from the Trail to the shelter. I don't really look forward to the climb-out hike in the morning! But, on the sunny side of things, I DID get to walk some very beautiful ridges today. It kind of reminded me of some of the rock-walking in the movie, "Last of the Mohicans".

I'm a little sad to see the condition of this shelter, and the grounds around it. It is a VERY beautiful area, but has felt the impact of those who can't appreciate it... It is dirty and littered, and some clever folks chose to burn the "Fires Prohibited" signs...

I think, as I settle down to sleep, that I will dwell on the beauty I DID see, and on the possibilities that come with the dawn...

God Bless,

Stickman

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...8/30/07...Thursday... Lions and Tigers and BEARS! OH, MY! Yes, BEARS!... Or one, anyway...

I had the pleasure of being woken up at Limestone Springs Lean-to this morning, at about 5AM. I heard a noise, and thought that it must be a porcupine, trying to get at my hiking poles, and eat them. They are attracted to the salt that is deposited on the handles by sweating hikers. I switched on my headlamp, and swung around to try to catch the critter in the act. To my surprise, it was a bear walking by the Lean-to, about 15 feet from me! I grabbed for my camera, that was stored behind me, but he had walked on, giving a couple of grunts, before I could get a picture. I was a little scared, but also disappointed, as I wanted a picture of a bear so badly. Well, maybe next time, and hopefully, not that close!





















Later in the day, I did get a good set of pictures of a rattlesnake, that was not more than 2 feet off the trail. He was 3 1/2 to 4 feet long, and very fat. I know that I couldn't have gotten my hand to close around him. Can you find his head and his rattle?

I had to go into Falls Village, CT., for my mail drop, then ate at a little restaurant before going back to the trail. I didn't see a lot of folks today, and only two NOBOs. I also didn't cover many miles today,. what with the town stop, heat, humidity, and steep terrain. Only 15.7 miles, then arrived at Caesar Brook Campsite for the night. No shelter here, and it is getting late, so I am sleeping on the ground. No one else is here, it is not a real nice area, and there is heat lightning all around... kind of spooky and pretty at the same time. I will sleep under one of the big pines, in a bed of pine needles. I should stay reasonably dry if it only sprinkles, and will have fair warning of a full rainstorm before it penetrates the canopy and soaks me.

Although my meetings were few today, I had great encounters with the folks that I did meet. I ask God to Bless them, and to Bless you, also.

Stickman

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Blow Out, Great Barrington, Hemlocks Shelter!

Kel hiked almost 40 miles with a boot blow-out! He got into Great Barrington and found a cobbler to do a repair....what an adventure. LLBean is shipping a new pair to his first drop in NY so I hope his boots last until then! We spoke only briefly and he said that he would call tomorrow with some stories but it was late and he was in the shelter and didn't want to disturb anyone. He is having a great time...enjoying the scenery and the people, having a great hike. Still wishes he could lighten up his pack some more(it is running around 30-35 lbs). More tomorrow!

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...8/28/07...Tuesday... What an interesting day! I got to the road, eventually, and tried to hitch-hike into Great Barrington. As I sat there, I had the pleasure of sharing my water with another hiker, a fella named Joel. In return for my kindness, he offered up great conversation, then proceeded to entertain me for a while with his guitar. He was, indeed, a fantastic guitarist! After blessing me with a private concert, Joel eventually decided to strike off into the woods, and I stood there.... for a very long time, trying to decide if I should continue to attempt a hitch, or to admit defeat, and start walking towards town. Indecisive, I leaned back on a big rock, and shortly after, a vehicle wheeled over to the side of the road to rescue me from making a definitive choice. He also saved me from a fairly long road-walk. The wheelman was Nate, a kind and likeable young man. He was so kind, depositing me in town, near several restaurants, and within 4 or 5 blocks of the cobbler! I trekked down to pay a visit to the cobbler, first thing, and was a little dismayed that he felt that the boots were "done for". OK, I'll admit it... I felt terrible! These were my faithful "Crestas"! They had been loyal to me for many, many miles! What he was suggesting, I couldn't accept... it was like putting down "Old Blue", or some other well-loved companion! I stared at my boots, then looked, pleadingly, into the eyes of the cobbler. He was a very busy man, and had a whole bunch of shoes and boots to work on. Footwear that he KNEW he could save. He appeared to be unwavering in his diagnosis. Suddenly, I heard his wife speak. "Isn't there anything you can do, couldn't you try?", she said to him. He glanced at her, then back to me, and said that he would try. He quickly turned back to his work. I smiled at the wife, and she returned the same, and offered to charge my cell phone while I went off to find something to eat. So, I killed some time by treating myself to a nice dinner at a local diner. I took my time, and eventually it was getting late enough that I was beginning to worry that I might get "stuck in town". Back to the cobbler I went, to find him still working on them. All went well, though, and he only charged me a small sum for the repairs. Happily, I was on my way! Outside, I met the young man who had waited on me at the diner. His name was Tim, and he rented an apartment from the cobbler. We talked for a bit, and when I said I was trying to get back to the trail, Tim promptly flagged down a van






that was passing by. He said to the driver, "Tim, this is Stickman. He needs to get across town, so he can get back on trail. Can you get him there?". Sure thing! So, Tim, and Tim, and I, talked for a bit, then off we went. I was still looking at 8 more miles of hiking to get to the shelter, and Tim and Tim were saving me a couple of miles. All of a sudden, I saw Joel on the road! He had not had a very good day, and was exhausted! Tim pulled over, picked him up, and I got him rehydrated again. A decision had to be made as to how much more hiking was going to be done that day. Very little... Tim and Tim were very kind in bringing us further up the road, where we were able to pick up the trail very close to the shelter. (If anyone is keeping track on mileage... IF I am able to make it to Springer Mtn., I would STILL have to come back to do these 6 miles to be considered a real thru-hiker!). After a hike of about another mile, we arrived at the "Hemlocks" Lean-to.
A young lady, "Sweetness" was there, and we talked for a bit, had a nice meal, and then enjoyed the musical desserts of Joel, playing several tunes on his guitar. What a wonderful night!

I also was able to call my wife, Cari, tonight. It is always so nice to hear her voice! She told me that she has been in touch with L.L. Bean, and they have new boots on the way to me. They will be at Falls Village, CT., when I get there.

With that, I will close. Love to all, and God Bless!

Stickman

Monday, August 27, 2007

Upper Goose Pond Cabin

Kel called Sunday night from Upper Goose Pond Cabin. It was about a half hour hike off the trail. The cabin and facilities are owned by the national park service and has a caretaker,real bunks,spring water,opportunity to canoe,and a pancake breakfast! Kelly was enjoying great company and great views of the pond, and a dip, and was looking forward to a great night's sleep. The walking is going well, the swelling in his leg is normal and no redness. It was a less humid walk today, and he is in good spirits. He has hiked approx. 642 miles of the trail. About 1533 miles to go!

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...8/27/07...Monday... MMMMMM! Pancakes! Pete, the caretaker at the Upper Goose Pond Cabin didn't disappoint! We all had our fill, and there were actually leftovers... hard to believe! I think I ate a dozen or so, all by myself. Wow! The only thing missing was the blueberries... which was my fault. By tradition, incoming SOBO hikers stop to get blueberries for the pancakes before they hike to the Cabin... I'll remember next time!

After having a super breakfast and great conversation, I was finally ready to strike out for Tom Leonard Lean-to. Before I left, however, the conversation had turned to some hiker who had left his tent at Tom Leonard... Ooops! It happened to be Mike, one of the NOBO hikers at Upper Goose Pond Cabin. Since everyone was going North, and I was going South, I told him that I would look for it, and if I found it, ship it to him. Well, off I went, at 9:00 AM, getting into Tom Leonard Lean-to at 7:45 PM, just before dark. I put in a pretty good hike today, 21.1 miles... Unfortunately, after the first 8 miles, the sole of my right boot started to come apart. Quite a difficult hike with the front of my boot flapping. Timing is everything, and I can be in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, tomorrow. They have a cobbler there, so if I can make it just a few more miles!... Also, Mike's tent is here, so I will take it with me and get it mailed out!

It's now 9:30 PM, the bugs are biting, so I think I will turn off my headlamp, get all the way inside my sleeping bag, and get some needed sleep. Good bye, for now, and God Bless...

Stickman

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Mass!

Kel has hit his fourth state! He called yesterday morning to report that he made it to the post office in Cheshire, Mass before it even opened. He is getting his walking legs back and is so pleased to be back on trail. The incline out of Bennington was brutal. Mt Greylock had a magnificent view and was so worth the climb.Then, he had another incline that was tougher than the one out of Bennington. On his first night in a shelter, as he introduced himself as Stickman, he was asked if he had previously been hiking with Faithful! The hiker that had met Faithful a few days ago and had had a 15 minute conversation with Dave. She said he was doing well. We haven't heard where he is at this time, but will let you know when we know! Kel hoped to be in Dalton, Mass by evening which will mark 620 miles on the trail. Already he has met several south bound and north bound thru hikers. A few days and he will be in Connecticut

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...8/24/07...Friday... I went from Seth Warner Shelter up on over Mt. Greylock, then into Mark Noepel Shelter for the night. I hiked awhile with "Tea Leave", but he didn't go as far as me. I spent the night with two other hikers, one NOBO, one SOBO. I saw no other hikers all day. I got into the shelter at dusk, having travelled 16.5 miles. Please pray for these things, specifically... my leg continues to heal, my strength builds up, I start hiking more miles, I meet more hikers! Thanks! Good night for now, God Bless!

Stickman

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...8/25/07...Saturday... I was up a bit earlier, hiking the trail by 6:30 AM. Seems a little strange not having Faithful with me now, and I pray his hike is going well. I will watch for his entries in the shelter logs to check up on him... maybe I will start to catch up to him. I did 16.7 miles for the day, ending at almost 6:00 PM, at Kay Wood Lean-to. I know I will never catch anyone if I do so few miles, but I should build up soon. I was able to pick up my maildrop today, at the Post Office in Cheshire, when it opened up at 8:30 AM, then continued on, passing through Dalton, Massachusetts, to end up at the shelter.

I only met a few people today, but conversation was good with the ones I met. I am just about exhausted, having hiked in 90(plus) degree heat today, and swimming in extremely high humidity. I'm looking for a little cooler day tomorrow... temperature has dropped a bit so far tonight, so I will rest. Lights out! God Bless!

Stickman

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...8/26/07...Sunday... I left Kay Wood Lean-to at 7 AM, and ended the day at 4 PM at Upper Goose Pond CABIN... uhuh! CABIN! YAY! Depending on which data you go by, I either traversed 17.6 miles or 18.3 miles. I guess I will have to settle with 17.6 miles, in 9 hours. At any rate, my back is sore, I met only 6 hikers, and was only able to talk with 4 of them.

A highlight to the day was crossing over the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90), on the pedestrian bridge, for hikers! Then, a mile and a half later, to be at Upper Goose Pond Cabin. The place is wonderful, has bunks with matresses, good swimming, spring water, canoe, and pancake breakfast... all for NO FEE! They do, of course, accept donations, which almost all hikers are willing to give. Pete, who is this weeks caretaker, graciously shared his meal with me. He had cooked up a nice stew, complete with meat, potato, onions, and the like. It was delicious! Pete also said to expect a big breakfast of pancakes in the morning. Thanks so much, Pete, your the greatest.

After a nice swim, and helping bring supplies up to the Cabin from the dock, I sat and chatted with Pete and a couple of hikers that had come in. We sipped our fill of sweet spring water and talked of the trail, and folks we had met... altogether, a perfect evening.

Well, it is getting late, so I'd best close for now. Good night, God Bless!

Stickman

Thursday, August 23, 2007

On The Trail Again!!!

Kel is on his way to Vermont with his brother Larry...he is very happy to be on trail again. I will update more later...he should actually be on trail by 2pm today.

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...8/23/07...Thursday... My brother Larry picked me up this morning, and drove me the 6 hours back to Bennington, Vermont. We got there, stopped into the Blue Benn Diner, ate a delicious meal...


















...then headed out to the trailhead.




I got a bit of a late start for hiking, it being a little after 4:00 PM, but managed to arrive at the Seth Warner Lean-to by 10:00 PM.




I hiked 11.5 miles, with a good part of that stretch hiked after sunset, with my headlamp glowing. There is something special about an occasional night-hike. Although so much of your surroundings is unseen, there is a certain beauty in the darkness, and your senses are heightened.

When I reached the end of my trail today, I arrived at the shelter to find a nice fire burning, and plenty of room for me. I gave out cards to everyone, all NOBOs. I know that I missed the majority of NOBOs when I was off trail, and I am probably the last, or close to last, SOBO... so pray that I will continue to see others while I am out here! Maybe I can catch up to a few of the other SOBOs!

It was a bit of a tough day for the first day back on trail, but the leg seems to be holding up well. I am also amazed at how out of shape I have gotten in just three weeks of not hiking! I've put on weight, and my muscles have lost tone... but if you keep praying, I'll keep hiking! God Bless!

Stickman

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Dr appointment Monday

Kelly has his next appointment on Monday to see if he can resume the trail. We are hoping that he will be able to start out wed or thursday...haven't heard from David to know how he is doing....more later!

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...8/4/07 to 8/22/07... Hi everybody! It has been an interesting stretch of days... I had thought that I might have shin splints, but... no. Maybe a stress fracture... no. It was an infection in my shin. Who'd of thought!?! I had thought that the hike was finished, but after an x-ray, a bone scan, and an MRI, it was decided that I had an infection, and ended up on antibiotics. I questioned the Doctor on this... How could it be? I don't even have a scratch on my leg! He laughed, and said, "As dirty as you people are on the trail, it could have been something as small as a puncture from a raspberry thorn!". I had to laugh, because I really hadn't considered that. Although we try to be clean on the trail, there really isn't such a thing as "cleanliness" out there. So... looks like I have the opportunity to go back out on the trail! Please keep me in prayer as I venture back out, and pray for Cari, as she continues to work, and handle everything at home.

Faithful ventured back on the trail 1 1/2 weeks ago, and we wish him well, praying for his safety and a happy hike. Would you include him in your prayers too? Thanks!

I will be praying for God to Bless all of YOU! G'night!

Stickman

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Kel Still in Maine

Kel saw Dr Curran on Monday....he has him off trail for one more week with an infection in his right shin area. It still had some swelling and tenderness on Monday, but is looking great now...he is on antibiotics, and hopes to be released to hike again next Monday...meaning he hopes to be heading for Bennington VT next wed or thursday. Dave decided to get back on trail last Saturday and has made it to Dalton,Mass.. and should be hiking on today toward his next stop. He has met hikers from Maine and is doing well. More soon!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hoping for good news on Monday

Monday Kelly has an appointment with Dr Curran to talk about the results of the MRI. He still has redness and swelling...not sure what is up. We will post news as soon as we know. Hoping he will be back on the trail soon.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Still at a standstill for the moment

Hello to all who anxiously await any news of the continuation of the trail hike! We are waiting too! Kelly's leg is not fractured (we do thank God for that!) and it doesn't seem to be shin splints! After xrays (by the way good ol brother Larry went to Vermont to get them!) , bone scans, an appointment with Dr. Curran (orthopedic) it does not look broken but rather perhaps an infection in the soft tissue. After 3 doses of an antibiotic, the swelling and redness is much better and kel walked today to test it out. So far so good. He is still scheduled for an MRI tomorrow morning to see what is causing this and exactly what it is. Exactly what? who knows, but all is not lost! If everything comes together he may be back on trail!!! We are so excited. He says that he wants to be where God wants him to be, so please keep that in your prayers! More later after the MRI tomorrow at 9:30 AM.

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...8/3/07...Friday... My Brothers' Larry and Bill came to Bennington to pick us up today, but not before I had a massive breakfast at the Blue Benn. We had a pleasant trip back to Maine, although my leg is very painful and swollen. Good to see family again... Home sweet Home, and still feeling so Blessed! Please pray for quick recovery, and speedy return to the trail! Later!

God's Blessings on you all!

Stickman

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Bennington, Vermont

The hikers have made good time once again and have had some great weather.They were at the Spruce Peak shelter just south of Manchester Tuesday night. They met "Radar" from Lisbon, Maine there and had a great time sharing stories of the trail. Last night they called from the Novel Naiheim Shelter. The news wasn't great...Kel may have either shin splints or a compression fracture. His shin(s ?) are very painful and swelling. They will hike into Bennington, Vt today and find a place to hold up for a couple of days. Please pray that it is the shin splints and he will heal quickly. It will give them both a chance to get fully rested, too. When they complete Vermont they will have 27 % of the trail done!

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...7/30/07...Monday... Had a wonderful night last night, got up this AM, and scurried to the top of the observation tower... pretty nice view, looking out over 5 States! ... No hurries today, but was up quite early. I made up for that though... headed downtrail towards the trailhead, with intent to go into Manchester, I stopped and chatted with another hiker... for 45 minutes! We finally got to the road, was quickly picked up by a friendly motorist, and deposited in Manchester. We did all of our laundry, chatting with other hikers, giving out cards. We saw Connor and Amanda again, and also talked a bit with Fiesta and Siesta, who we had met way back in the 100 mile wilderness, up in Maine. They are hiking for Charity, I believe it is "Blood and Water", and provide help to Africa. I will have to investigate more later. The charity is backed up by "Jars of Clay", and "Caedman's Call". Gosh!... and while I'm at it, I might just toss in a Golly! What a day! We really enjoyed seeing everyone!

We then walked a couple of miles, (one way...), to go to a recreational facility, where we were able to remove some stink with a nice shower. Although the smell can never be completely removed, I felt much better, and people no longer run away from me... After my shower, I was walking back to a common area, outside, to gather my belongings. I was in my sandals. Some kid left his skateboard at the entrance of the common area. ...I, of course, walked squarely into it! Anybody recollect me talking a while back about one of my toenails that had turned black? Well, it isn't anymore. Oh, no, don't get me wrong! It's still black, and all that, but it isn't on my TOE anymore! When I hit that skateboard, my toenail lifted straight back, or up... WOWZA! ...I had to pull it the rest of the way off. Hurts a bit to walk now... told the young fella he could keep the toenail as a kinda trophy. ... Let's see.. We walked the two miles back into town, so that we could walk back out of town, on the other side, to get back to the trailhead. While we tried for a ride, we met a NOBO Hiker, RADAR, from Lisbon, Maine. Had a good, long visit with him, real nice guy! We eventually got back to the trailhead in style, catching some cooling wind, in a Saab convertible. I could have rode around all afternoon in that buggy! Great! ... We met a couple more hikers who were NOBO, but had backtracked, as one was ill. They were at the trailhead, trying to catch a ride. When Faithful and I started back onto the trail, SOBO, I hadn't gone a great distance when I found "trail magic"! Most of it had already magically disappeared, but the best of it was still there. Fresh Fruit! I grabbed some bananas, and ran back North, got across the road, and gave them to the two hikers. You never know how long you will wait for "the ride", and I thought some potassium might help out the sick hiker. I crossed the road again, slipped through the veil of foliage, and hustled along the trail. As I began to gain elevation, I heard a car pull up for them. I looked back, and finding a small viewing portal amidst the leaves, was able to see that they were getting into a real sweet BMW! Wow, Limo service!

We hiked up in a ways, coming to Spruce Peak Shelter, at about 6:30 PM. Even though it is a beautiful evening, and quite early, we called it a day. We got ourselves some food cooking, and I called my Beloved. I miss her so much, and love to hear her voice! She said that she had recieved a very positive e-mail from a hiker whom I had talked with. He is another who is wondering, seeking... I hope that I was able to be of some encouragement, and that he might find the answer. God is so good!

"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:13

Well, it really was a wonderful day! Bromley Mtn. to Spruce Peak Shelter was only 5.8 miles. We were short on mileage, long on rewards! It's now after 10:00 PM, so I will call it a night. I hope the mice behave themselves tonight, and let me sleep! God Bless you all!

Stickman

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...7/31/07...Tuesday... Got out of Spruce Peak Shelter at 8 AM, and made our way to Story Spring Shelter by 6:30 PM, covering 18.3 miles in 10 1/2 hours. We took lot's of mini-breaks to talk to hikers, and one very long break to do the same up on top of Stratton Mtn., elevation 3,936 feet. It was a very fun day, meeting all the hikers. I met "Uncle Tom" today. He is from Maine, and a brother-in law to the lady from Waterville, Maine, who I met on the 29th. I had another memorable discussion with a young lady from down South. She was talking about being in the Bible Belt, and that down there, you would be "well churched", but quite often, not saved. (I believe this to be somewhat true, no matter where you are.) She told me about two hikers that she had met, hiking up from Georgia. Both men had been raised in Catholicism, but one was now agnostic...

AGNOSTIC
n.

1. a.One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.
b.One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.

2. One who is doubtful or noncommittal about something.


...and the other was practicing Buddhism...

BUDDHISM
–noun

a religion, originated in India by Buddha (Gautama) and later spreading to China, Burma, Japan, Tibet, and parts of southeast Asia, holding that life is full of suffering caused by desire and that the way to end this suffering is through enlightenment that enables one to halt the endless sequence of births and deaths to which one is otherwise subject.
...

Although agnosticism doesn't deny the existence of God, it doesn't embrace His existence either. They believe that it is impossible to know if God exists. Buddhists flatly deny God, and practice a religion of "self". ... So, as I see it, both of these gentleman are practicing the same religion, the religion of "self", totally removed from God. ... Now, where was I?... Yes, the young lady hiker discussing folks being "well churched", and unsaved! Well, I suppose that there are too many people out there who practice the Christian Religion, who are also unsaved, and in the same boat with the Agnostic hiker and the Buddhist hiker. Religion will not save anybody, Relationship will! Only through a relationship with Jesus Christ can we be saved! It is a sad thing to see folks practice a God-less religion, and maybe a little sadder to see them practice a Godly religion, and leave God out of it. Folks, it doesn't matter to God how many Bible verses we can recite, or how many times we attend Church services, or do good things for our neighbors, if we don't KNOW Him! The "Religion" part of our lives should follow the "Relationship" part of our lives with Jesus! Building our relationship should lead to practicing our religion, to enable us to further build our relationship with Jesus Christ. ... there!... finish the story!... yes, the young lady hiker had good news! Both the Agnostic Hiker and the Buddhist Hiker, within a month of hiking the trail, had acquired Gideon New Testaments, and were carrying them, and reading them, in an attempt to know God, and His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ! How Awesome! I hope you will join me in asking in prayer that these young men, (and all the other hikers, too!), will surely come to have a wonderful relationship with Jesus Christ. Also, thanks go out to the wonderful Gideons, who continue to provide New Testaments, all over the world, even on the trail. ...

On a totally different subject, I have been having some difficulty with my right leg. The lower leg is quite swollen, and painful to walk on. It acts like shin splints... what are shin splints, anyway???

shin splints 
–noun (used with a plural verb) Pathology.
a painful condition of the front lower leg, associated with tendinitis, stress fractures, or muscle strain, often occurring as a result of running or other strenuous athletic activity, esp. on a nonresilient surface.

Origin:
1940–45
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006


Oh... Well, it made for an awful tough day of hiking, and prayerfully, it will begin to get better. As for now, I am completely worn out. I will rest the leg tonight, and prepare to attempt 18 more miles of hiking tomorrow. Meanwhile, I sleep... Good night all, God Bless!

Stickman

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...8/1/07...Wednesday... Got up and going awful slowly this morning. We never hit the trail until 9 AM. My leg is still swollen and sore, but I made the best of it, hobbling along until I reached Melville Nauheim Shelter at 6:00 PM. I somehow made it through a 9 hour day of hiking, and completed an amazing 17.4 miles! I had to make a couple of extended rest stops to try to get the pain and swelling to ease up. I lost a good 1 1/2 hours of hiking doing that, but was happy to be able to continue walking. I'm pretty concerned at this point, as I don't want to make matters worse, and have to give up the hike, and the trail ministry. I am considering going into Bennington, Vermont tomorrow, and get a room. I really hate to spend the money, and it will set us back a bit, trailwise. Also, our next maildrop is in Cheshire, Massachusetts. We would end up there on Sunday, instead of Saturday, if we take a break. Well, maybe losing two days is what is needed. God always has a plan, and I will pray for direction.

We only saw a handful of hikers all day, as everyone had literally run off to Bennington yesterday and early this morning, to take advantage of a big, free, hiker's bash that was going on there today. At the shelter tonight, we have been blessed by more good company, a NOBO, and another hiker who tented off just a ways. I continue to be encouraged by all of the opportunities I have been given to meet these hikers. I just pray that my health holds up, so I can keep on trail...

Hmmm.. only 9:30 PM, but I think it would be wise to get all the rest I can tonight. So, see you tomorrow! God Bless!

Stickman

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...8/2/07...Thursday... Well, here we are at Bennington, Vermont. We checked in to a motel, and I have spent some time in the pool, and elevated my leg to rest it. My brother, Larry, is going to come pick us up tomorrow, bring us back to Maine. That is a 6 hour trip, each way, and I am thankful for him, grateful that he would do that for me. He has been there for us at every stage of this hike!

We got to talk with folks around the pool, also Teapot and Dreamer were here. We also had a wonderful meal at the Blue Benn Diner, and did a lot of relaxing.

I am not sure what to say right now, my mind is all over the place... although a little sad that I will have to stop the hike, I remain optimistic that I may heal up, and be able to return. One thing is for sure... in looking back over these last days and miles and people, God has truly Blessed me. He is continuing to Bless me now, even if I can't see it. I have His assurance that He will Bless me tomorrow! Yeah, God STILL Blesses, and I pray He is Blessing you!

Good night!

Stickman

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Bromley Mountain in Vermont

The hikers called from a cabin on top of the mountain to say that they went about 16 miles, met a women from Waterville maine and one from Embden! They were excited to meet them...they met and spoke to a lot of people...they are almost a quarter of the way! Hope to have new pictures on site soon.

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...7/27/07...Friday... As always, morning brings good things! I checked on mileages, and it looks like we actually hiked over 13 miles yesterday! We also need to hike just about 19 miles today!

We got a late start today, at 7:45 AM. Faithful is not feeling well, with an upset stomach and a tender knee. He was willing to try and push on, so off we went. We got up and over Killington Mtn., with much effort! Then, it was onward, trying for Minerva Hinchey Shelter, a mere distance of 19 miles. On our way, we met a dozen or so hikers that we were able to speak with. We were also pleased to come across some "trail magic", not once, but twice!The first time was a cooler full of Coca-Cola, and a box full of cheese/peanut butter crackers. That was extra special magic, as it included a note to the SOBO hikers that they should celebrate their 500th mile of hiking! Sure enough, as we left the cooler to resume hiking, we stepped, shortly, onto a road, where we saw that the magician had left another message. He had artfully placed stones to say "500!". That was SO THOUGHTFUL, and lifted our hiking spirits greatly!

We eventually made the miles that would bring us to Minerva Hinchey Shelter, at 8:15 PM. That's 19 miles in 12 1/2 hours, even with our breaks! Not bad... the last 4 1/2 miles were hiked in the rain and thunderstorm, but we made it...wet to the bone. Upon arriving at shelter, we were pleasantly surprised to find Connor and Amanda here. We had met them in Monson, Maine, at "Shaws". We had a great time with them tonight, and now everyone is asleep, except me. It is now 11:00 PM... and I should probably turn in. We have another big day tomorrow, as we need to get to the Post Office in Wallingford, for a resupply. ...and we also need to wash our stinky clothes! We will need to do a quick hike of a little more than 4 miles to get to the trailhead, then hopefully hitch a ride to town. Looks like thunderstorms are forecasted as the weather of the day, so please pray for everybody out on the trail.
For now, good night to you all, God Bless!

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...7/28/07...Saturday... Up and at'em this morning in good order. We were on trail at 6:30 AM, and happy to hike only 3.6 miles to the trailhead. I know that yesterday I said it would be 4 miles... so... you might ask, "What's the difference? Why even mention that it is 3.6 miles? Doesn't that just round up to 4 miles?". Well, yes, it does indeed round up to 4 miles, on paper. On trail, it doesn't round up at all. It is 3.6 miles. Hiked. So, the difference would be... let's see... 0.4 miles! There are times when a tenth of a mile or so is not significant, and rounding up, or down, is OK. Examples of those times would be when it is sunny, and evening has not come, and you arrive at shelter early... OK to round off miles. Nobody is counting. But, when it is in the middle of a thunderstorm, or it is late at night and your headlamp is getting dim, then it becomes significant. Not having to hike 0.4 more miles becomes VERY significant! Yup! It was 0.4 miles less... but it seemed like 0.4 miles more... so it all works out!?! The climb out of Minerva Hinchey Shelter somehow took us down first, then up and over Bear Mtn. ... Now, I don't think Bear Mtn. got its name from being big, but rather, tough... bear tough... tough as a bear. It is only 2,220 ft. high, but STEEP! ...We got to the trailhead and were fortunate to quickly be picked up by a nice man in a worktruck. We couldn't have been waiting more than ten minutes. The man was a building contractor, and chatted with us as he kindly brought us into town. We were able to pick up our resupplies at the Post Office (Thanks, Cari!), then had a nice lunch. There is no laundry in town, so I guess we will hike dirty for a bit longer. I got to talk about the ministry with several folks in town, and gave them all cards. That included the store clerks in three different stores, the Postal worker, and some folks in the parking lot who asked where we were headed. We had a wonderful time! Then, it was time to try to get back on trail. We were again blessed to have another contractor offer a ride. We piled in to the back of a Suburban, and said our hellos to Jack's wife and two children. They were so nice, and (Michelle?) said that she would contact Cari via e-mail. So nice! After we said good-by at the trailhead, we looked up and realized that we were faced with yet another steep climb. It had an elevation gain of about 1300 ft., and it was a very quick gain. Off we went, and (PHEW!), we eventually made our way to Little Rock Pond Shelter, at about 6:00PM. We had been able to do all of our town business, eat, talk to lots of people, and still travel 9.5 miles, so it really was a great day!

We were blessed with the company of a young couple at the shelter tonight, Magnolia and Dudeman, and they were lot's of fun. They were ecstatic when I gave them a whole bag of marshmallows that I had carried up from town! Magnolia proudly made her first ever campfire, and they had a fine marshmallow roast. It was a happy time, with only one moment of near-marshmallow cooking-disaster! Magnolia had one of her treats burst into flame, and as she gently tried to whip the flames out, the little puff flew off of her stick, careening through the air like a miniature meteor, and crashed onto Dudemans foot... DUDE!!! Fortunately, and somewhat miraculously, it never hit flesh, but quickly burned itself into the sandal strap, where it will remain for eternity. As the bellies became filled, the roasting slowed down. The fire had become a wonderfilled ember-glow, and we chatted a little longer. We all decided that it was time to retreat to our sleeping quarters, and I told them to take the rest of the bag of mallows with them on their hike tomorrow, so they can try it again. They said they would love to, and that they would start a tradition of bringing marshmallows to other hikers, whenever they hiked. How neat!

Well, it certainly has been a long day, hasn't it? My watch says it is now 12:02 AM, so it is really tomorrow already. Time to SLEEP! Good night to some of you, good morning to the rest of you, and God Bless to ALL of you!

Stickman

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...7/29/07...Sunday... Ouch! Rough start... didn't even wake up until 9:00 AM, never got on trail until 10:15 AM. Even so, we began hiking with a mindset to get, somehow, all the way to Bromley Shelter. That was asking alot from both of us, as the distance is 18.2 miles. There were also threats of thunderstorms, but we decided to give it a shot. Fortunately, the day ended up not being about where we would end up, but about seeing and talking with people! We talked with so many people that my mind is still spinning tonight. We stopped, on trail, several times to talk, enjoyed frequent shelter breaks to talk, and enjoyed our lunch and many rest breaks to take time with several other hikers. ...WOW! I had some great conversations and gave out plenty of cards. Folks stopped to chat, share pictures, and talk about anything and everything. It was so much fun! One interesting meeting was with two women at a shelter. One was from Waterville, Maine, and the other had moved, about two years ago, to Embden, Maine. For those of you who are from away, those two towns are very close to my hometown, Madison, Maine.

OK, time to wrap it up! We never made it to Bromley Shelter, as we spent so much time talking with folks today. Good trade-off! Somehow, though, we managed to drag ourselves to the top of Bromley Mtn., which has a nice skiers warm-up building there. They are very kind folks, and leave the building open for hikers.

Although we talked... and talked... we somehow managed to still tear up 17.2 miles of trail today, and arrived here at 9:15 PM! Although the hiking was great, the hikers are better, and I can't begin to mention all that we talked with. We did run into Rambo and Dreamer, two girls we had met in Maine, between Moxie Bald and Monson. Teapot was with them, and we had a brief, but nice visit before they went on. I did get to talk more at length with Teapot, when he, Faithful, and I shared an outcropping and a beutiful view during lunch. Real nice guy! Also, a shout out to "Life Traveler", up there on Peru Peak. I really had a good time talking with you!

As always, getting a little late, getting a little tired, need to turn in. God Bless all of you wonderful people... Good night!

Stickman

Thursday, July 26, 2007

5 Miles to Killington Peak

Yesterday the hikers saw beautiful views from the Cabin Rd...met Ski Man and Ketchup on the way, and made about 12 miles. It is still incredibly hot and humid with a lot of ups and downs but a fairly smooth trail...tonight they were able to call and report more hot and humid weather....they were about 5miles from Killington Peak...staying at the Churchill Scott Shelter....visited with a pot belly pig and sheep at a stop today (that would be the latest wild life!)...met up with Mr Cowpie ( please pray for his knee, he has injured it) and daughter Jessie who are hiking with Tengu. Kel was pleased to meet up with them again, as Tengu was at the Caratunk shelter when he stayed there. They again made about 12 miles today....the humidity is slowing them down. They hope to make Wallingford Saturday to pick up the next drop box.

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...7/26/07...Thursday... Woke up this morning at Stoney Creek Shelter at 5:30 AM. Although I had little sleep, I had much rest. Before my eyes were able to open, my ears were attuned to the crackling, popping, and hissing of a friendly camp fire. "Stealth" had risen quietly before the daylight, and kindled the beginnings of another wonderfully blessed day. Thank you, Stealth, you made my day! We all moved somewhat slowly, pacing the grey area between waking and hiking. Eventually, Stealth and Megaphone were headed towards trail, amidst thank-yous and good-bys.

After they departed, I looked around the shelter a bit, as it was a little too late last night. I always look forward to the shelter log, placing an entry, and checking up on other hikers. The first thing I saw today, however, was a small book, placed up on a shelf with a few others. ... This book stood out from the others, as it was about 1/4 burned. I new immediately, without further investigation, that it would be a NEW TESTAMENT. Such a shame... For some, it is the most cherished book, for others, most hated. And, sadly, many of those who hate it so strongly have never taken time to open it. I replaced it with a new one, in which I wrote a request... I asked that the next person who would like to burn it was welcome to do so, but ONLY AFTER READING IT COMPLETELY. Hopefully, it will not be burned. Prayerfully, a hiker will come to know Christ as his Savior.

Well, again, it was a hot and humid day. We started a little later than what we wanted to, took frequent breaks, and still managed to get to the shelter a bit after 7:30 PM. ...It was, of course, not the shelter we were trying to get to... that one was 5 miles downtrail and uphill, on top of Killington Mtn.! ... We only walked on 12 miles of trail today, which means that tomorrow needs to be a big hiking day... about 24 miles big! I'll have to check my maps tomorrow, for mileages... maybe (hopefully), I'm mistaken.

We have good company again tonight, four other hikers. We have had several times today that we shared with others about our missions trip. We have met a very diverse group of people along this journey, and pray that we can be part of a positive difference in their hike and in their lives.

Hmmm... the clock has ticked off to 10:30 PM, and beyond, and everyone is fast asleep except Faithful and I. If I close my eyes, will sleep quickly pursue me? Let's see!

God Bless!

Stickman

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Vermont...very hot and sticky but beautiful

Last night the hikers called us from the woods of Vermont. The weather has made this hike tough with yesterday's humidity and heat a challange. They had hiked 14 of the 20 miles that they had wanted to hike in the day. Kel called at night from the edge of a clearing...making his shelter under the low hanging boughs of a tree. No rain but the heat was lingering. It was dark and their headlamps were attracting moths galore! they are catching up to hikers that they met in Maine, and have met many that have lived in Maine at one time in their lives or another, making interesting conversation. They hope to catch up to "Tengu" again. He was one of the hikers that they shared the Caratunk Shelter with. No large wild life siting to report...please do leave a comment and list the questions that you have concerning this trip. I am mostly reporting their progress quickly as I jump from one task to another here at home. Your questions will add interest to this post! I, myself, can't imagine walking through the wilderness day after day with breathtaking views, sweating, and collecting bugbites and not showering, but that isn't all there is to thru hiking...although you hear a lot about the hiker smell...and, I can tell you it is different. So....email or leave questions on the comments...PLEASE! Clint, our hiker friend here at home ,was hiking in the Stratton area recently and he met hikers there that had met "Stickman & Faithful" on the New Hampshire border. How Cool. Hope to hear from you all (y'all for our southern friends) soon. About 1702 miles to Georgia!!!!! They have gone about 475 miles!

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...7/25/07...Wednesday... Another hot, humid day today. We managed to get on trail at 7:30 AM, and made our way to Stony Creek Shelter by 9:40 PM, a fairly long hiking day! We also were able to cover 17.0 miles of trail in that time. Had to do a bit of night hiking to get there, but everything worked out in the end. I find that I enjoy doing a bit of night hiking, as long as the L.E.D. headlamp holds up. We initially couldn't find the shelter, as it had not been marked out properly for SOBO hikers. Oh well, it was a nice night for an evening walk! We arrived at the shelter to the warming glow of a fine fire crackling in the pit. Stealth and Megaphone were our campfire benefactors, and they had done a great job of building it and gathering extra fuel. I went about collecting a bit more wood, wanting to contribute to their efforts, and, by participation, more closely share the fellowship of hikers around the fire. We spent a nice hour socializing, while I nibbled away at a packet of salmon for my evening meal.

Now, I have found my way into my sleeping bag... Although it is late, I pleasantly replay the days events in my mind, as I attempt to jot a few notes into the trail journal. Strange how these actions oppose each other... The act of journaling requires that I remain awake to pen my thoughts... the reminiscing of the day softens the hard floor of the shelter, and pulls my mind deeper into a featherbed of sleepy dreams, where the happiness of the day would be content to remain a memory. ... I will try to go on...

The day was quite warm, so frequent waterstops were the call of the day. It was not a day to pass up opportunities for water. At each water source I would drink up, while filling my bottles, then drink a bit more, before filtering the last bottle to the top. We also moved a bit more slowly, taking advantage of any stop that would rest us enough to "go a little ways more". We made one stop that was very refreshing. It felt as though we may have walked into an oasis! There was food and fellowship! It was the ON THE EDGE farmstand, where they had a nice selection of fruits and vegetables, cheeses, meats, ice cream, and pies. ...plus, all kinds of other things! I purchased a small strawberry-rhubarb pie and a coke. YUMMY! I also bought a nice chunk of cheese to help sustain me on trail. Aside from food and rest, the most refreshing aspect of our stop was the great time we had conversing with other hikers. Feeling, once again, capable of placing one foot in front of the other, we resumed hiking.

Near the end of the day, we had a great surprise! A sighting! No... not moose, deer, bear, or the like... We had just crossed a stream, and were walking quietly and respectfully through a fairly large group of hikers that had set up camp for the night. Some were by their fires, others walking about, some lying down, relaxing after a hard trail day. Suddenly, one saw me, and said, "Stickman!". It was MR. COWPIE! We had not seen Mr. Cowpie and his daughter, Jessie, since Avery Peak, in the Bigelows, in Maine! Then, here comes Jessie, (now TWISTED SISTER), along with TENGU! We hadn't seen Tengu since Pleasant Pond Shelter, in Maine! We had a wonderful reunion! It was so good to see them, and I am sure that they might pass us by, within the new day. They invited us to set camp with them, but we regretfully declined. As we parted, Tengu said, "See you down South!". ... which, of course, could be ANYWHERE South of where we were now standing! I had to chuckle!

I guess I'd better close for the night, (before the sun comes up!), but in closing I would pray, and ask for your prayers, for MR. COWPIE. He is trying to heal from an injury, and I pray for his healing, and good, safe hiking. Thank you all for your prayers!

God Bless you all, good night!

Stickman