Friday, June 1, 2007

On The Trail!

It's official! Kel and Dave are on their way! The trip started off on a good note, as many friends and family joined the hiking partners on their departure from Andover, Maine. As soon as we hear from Kel and Dave, we'll update with some more info!

STICKMAN'S JOURNAL...6/1 Overcast...Our cast of characters are Wayne & Teresa Morris, Pammy-Sue & Dennis Dawes, my brother Larry Hibbard, Sister Jody & her husband Pete Peterson (my 12th cousin), my wonderful wife, Cari (Please pray for her as I'm on trail...her burdens will be greater than mine...), our precious daughter, Elizabeth, and others, including Dave "Faithful" Barnes, my trusty hiking partner, his family, and their Pastor...Well, here we go! We started the day nicely, getting up early to head to Andover, Maine. Our plan is to hike from Andover North to Katahdin, go back to Andover, head South to Springer Mtn. in Georgia. We met Faithful and his folks, Dan & Lillian, brother Jonathan, and Jonathans' friend, Misty. They had stayed at the home of Pastor Al Buzzell and his wife Margaret, in Andover, for the overnight. Pastor Al leads the flock at the wonderful church, Canaan Calvary, in Canaan, ME., where the Barnes' attend services, and are active participants. We all met at a little church in Andover, (sorry Pastor Ken, can't recall name of church), and were greeted by Pastor Ken Wagstaff, a wonderful man, who is a "Village Missionary Pastor". VILLAGE MISSIONS's work is "Keeping Country Churches Alive"...something we all should be supportive of. We all had a wonderful breakfast and fellowship, then headed to the trailhead. We got our gear together, were lifted up with prayer. (Thank you all!). I had the honor of presenting a Scripturestick to Pastor Al, to thank him for his hospitality during our visit to Canaan, and for offering his house in Andover. Then, the pictures, lot's of them! Final goodbys, (We love you all...miss you already, Honey!), then, at 10:40, we hit the trail! We were off like a herd of turtles, burdened by slightly overloaded packs, (This section will help us figure out what we really need...), but as yet undaunted by anything, including weather. We struggled up the bank of the roadway, Lillian venturing up the path a ways with us...Then, suddenly, we were on our own...I can only speak for myself at this point, but I believe that reality was beginning to creep in. Along with each step/balance/look/step/balance, my mind began to wander, the rythm of the hike and the lyrical sounds of a nearby brook turning my thoughts to Wayne and Teresa, our friends from North Carolina, who saw me off today, and have graciously shared their gift of music with us and our family...walking on, walking on...As I took off my cap and pawed at my sweating brow, I realized that the cap in my hand was not mine. Mine was at HOME. Again, Dennis was there for me. Always there. He and Pam. Solid...Thanks, pal, for the hat...and the HOME...Press on...feeling "not too bad"!...Further...Thirst hits me hard! I uncap the water bottle and smile. "That's my Beth!", I think, as I see the "smiley face" flow regulater capping my bottle. Way Cool!...step, step, step...Thoughts swing to my family, and I feel it deep in my heart. I realize how incredibly I love my wife, how amazed I am at who she is, and all she does. How I will miss her! And then, there is more love...for brothers and sisters. Overwhelming...And what did I hear Brother-in-law Pete say as I was leaving for the trail? "I love you man, mean it!" Yeah, you got it right. That's how it's supposed to you too, man!...Now focus on hiking. Hey Dewayne and Janice! Ever done the "Moose-trot", or the "One step-Moose step"? Although we saw two moose on the drive over, so far we have seen none on the trail. The evidence, however, would seem to indicate that there are hundreds, even thousands of them in the very near vicinity! Of course, the evidence is deposited rather evenly along our trail, and you have to "Dance" around it...
...So, made it 1.9 miles to Surplus Pond. Had a half of an apple and some H2O while sitting on the deck of someone's camp. Pretty spot. Had taken a couple of pictures, but at this time, the camera is not working. Might be the batteries...So, press on. Climbed some big hills and small mountains, finally arriving at Hall Mtn. Lean-to at 5:00PM, just as it started to pour. Temp. is 58 degrees and falling. Made out the Shelter Log, then entered into my journal. Still need to get H2O when the rain lets up. Had 1/2 apple, 4 muffins from our good neighbor Ms. Guevin, and one of my wifes' home-made energy bars, yum...more later...I'm back...Animal sightings! My first sighting was a slug...what does that mean? I took it's picture. We do have at least one mouse in the shelter, friendly little guy, looking for a handout.but not from me. Last chore of the night...Hang the food bag in a tree. Lights out, love to all!

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