Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Night

No new news from the hikers...we are waiting for a call from Monson tomorrow so that we can head up to bring them more provisions for the 100 mile wilderness...then they will be climbing Katadin!

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...6/14/07...Thursday...Woke up to a fire and fresh coffee! Thanks, Larry! King Crimson and Tengu are ready to roll, so I offered them some fresh fruit to go. It was only about 6:00 AM, so they were off to a good start. Larry (Diehard), Faithful, and I sat around having coffee, breakfast, getting things ready to go, and swapping funny stories. Larry decided that he better get headed for home, as he had some work to do, and Faithful and I doused the fire and finished packing. Boy, were those packs heavy! But, on the upside of that, the packs were full of food! Off we went, at 8:30 AM, climbing up and over Pleasant Pond Mtn., then down to Moxie Pond. We stopped at the pond to pump some H2O, and noticed a pontoon boat going by, headed towards the ponds inlet. We finished filtering our water, and headed off. As we walked toward the inlet, we had to pass the boat, which was sitting idle, the occupants having a good time fishing. I waved, said “Hello”, and made the comment that that is exactly how life should be. It got a chuckle, then I heard, “Hey, Kelly! Are you starting your trek!?” I couldn’t believe it. The Lord has continually provided all our needs so far, has given us several opportunities to share our mission, and has continued to bless us with meeting friends along the way! In the boat was Peter Lloyd, a long time acquaintance, who is an owner of M.L. Lloyd and Sons, in Anson, Maine, across the river from my hometown of Madison. They are earthmovers, road builders, etc. In fact, when I asked how it happened that they were not working on a Thursday, they joked that I was to tell everyone that they were building the road to the pond! Good bunch of guys! My nephew, Cory Peterson, is also an equipment operator for their outfit. Anyway, Pete was there, and his son, Scott. Also, someone I hadn’t seen for quite some time, Peter Chenevert! (Sorry, Pete, if I misspelled.) Pete and I were in High School together, and he also had his son with him. So good to see you Pete! We all had a good chat, as I watched a trout being landed. (Further proof that they were not really working!). I got to share with them all why I was out hiking the trail, and I also got a chance to thank Peter Lloyd for letting me cut poplar saplings on the company property, to make the ScriptureSticks. Again, Pete, thank you so much!...Off we went again, to do our last 3 miles of the day. All went smoothly, and we arrived at Bald Mtn. Brook Lean-to at 4:40 PM, doing a total of 9 miles for the day. It’s almost 5:30 PM, I will start a campfire. So nice to have, and other hikers really enjoy arriving to camp with a fire already going. I hope some folks show up! Well, that’s all for now...God Bless!


STICKMANS' JOURNAL...6/15/07...Friday...Got up a little late this morning, but then again, I have no clock to punch. We did get off to a bit of a slow start though, leaving Bald Mtn. Lean-to at 9:30 AM, and arriving at Horseshoe Canyon Lean-to at 6:30 PM, having trekked a distance of 13 miles. Moxie Bald Mtn. is awesome! The views from the top are absolutely beautiful! We sat awhile beside the elevation/summit sign, and had ourselves a snack, trying to take in all of God’s incredible creation. I am still struck by it! Also, someone had built a stone dog at the summit, a “rock hound”, if you will. Always so much fun to see what people will come up with! Afer the Moxie Bald, we came off mountain, and had no more big hills to climb. Our trek into Monson won’t be to bad either, just 9 miles, and tending to go upward. We met a few hikers today, usually getting to speak to them briefly, and was able to speak with all but two hikers. They just breezed on by when I stopped to say “Hi”. They nodded, but kept on hiking, heading up Moxie Bald. I am sure that they had a pretty good head of steam, and didn’t want to lose momentum. We generally get to share that we are hiking the trail as a mission trip, and get to tell them about our ScriptureSticks and such. We also direct them to our website, in the hopes that they will be interested enough to get on it, and read the message there. I also make them aware that I have a blog that is accessible through the website. Some of the hikers we met today include Tom and “Bo”, Lacey and her dog, “Diesel”, Sprocket and Ranger, and some other hikers here at the shelter. Oops! Forgot about two young ladies, Rambo and Dreamer, who I got to speak with for a few minutes. One of the girls was from Winston-Salem, NC, and the other from Asheville, NC. I shared with them that Cari and I had lived in Garner, NC. When I told them about our mission trip, and having the youth groups give out ScriptureSticks, they thought it was great. One of them asked how she could get one, and the other said, “Me too!”. I got the address for one of the girls, and will have Cari send them each a stick. I was kind of thinking Proverbs 3:5, and Proverbs 3:6, so that the girls will always be “joined” by the ScriptureSticks, much as the two scriptures go together. Hope you have a wonderful hike girls, and also that you enjoy the walking sticks. ...Back to the shelter...We have Grey Goose, Yellowbird, and Neal here. Yellowbird is Grey Goose’s daughter, and I got to get to know them a bit while Neal gathered more wood for the fire that he had gotten started. The girls were pretty tired, and eventually went off to sleep. Faithful and I stayed up to cook while I had a really great conversation with Neal. He is a very kind young man, and always at the ready to help wherever he can. We got to talk about many things and places, and I thoroughly enjoyed his company. Before he turned in, he jotted down the ScriptureSticks website. I hope to meet Neal and the others further down the trail, after we flipflop back to Andover, Maine, and head South. Neal says that a lot of the hikers have already dropped off the trail. Well, I hope they don’t! Hmmm....guess I’d better think about stopping for now, and getting some sleep myself. It’s after 10:30 PM! I know I always have more to say, but seem to run out of time. Good night, God Bless!


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Caratunk,Pleasant Pond Lean-to

Kel and Dave are in Caratunk tonight at the Pleasant Pond Lean-to. They arrived in town at about 11am from Pierce Pond...after a wonderful 12 pancake breakfast (each!) complete with sausage links and a side of the most wonderful fluffy scrambled egs! Yum Yum! The gentleman from the Harrison camps at Pierce Pond cooked and served and they had a great time....and then they were on their way. Kel made aquick call to Cari from the rangers station in Caratunk, she called Larry, and a plan was born to visit the hikers around a warm campfire that night! Dave's mom, Lillian drove to Madison to meet Cari and close friend Lisa... and, after picking up fruit, italian sandwiches, chinese food, and supplies, they were off! What a beautiful ride up through North Anson, Solon, Bingham, and Moscow. As the roads narrowed and the trees got denser, it gave you a small sence of what the trail was like. Larry had gone ahead to meet the hikers, and had fed them before the gals arrived. More food, hugs, and conversation...what a great time. Two other hikers shared the lean-to (we shared the food!), and time went too quickly. Kel and Dave look great and are going well. They have met many hikers and others along the way and continue to share their faith. So far 17 sticks have been given out, many cards, and 25 sticks to the Cannan youth group to give at a hike they will organize soon. We are so thankful for God's provision everyday!

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...6/12/07...Tuesday...Wow! What a day! Went all the way from Little Bigelow Lean-to, to Pierce Pond Lean-to. Started hiking at 8:00 AM, got to camp at 6:10 PM. We did our biggest miles yet, 17.3 miles. It was good walking, although the blister on my right heel is a bit of a problem. My knee, however, is holding up quite well. We had quite a surprise when we hiked from Long Falls Dam Rd., up Roundtop Mtn. We met a young fella with the Maine Conservation Corp. He said that they, and a group from Americorps, were in doing some trail work. Awesome! Well, as we walked up the hill, we kept coming across young ladies that were quite busy, wielding pick-axes, shovels, pry bars, and the like. Come to find out, it was a group of about 30, comprised of 3 guys and the rest young women. Tell you what, they were all working extremely hard. All the way up the trail, they had constructed waterbars, placed step-stones, done ditching, and had completed other work. As we met them, we shared with them all why we were on trail, and we were warmly received. We handed out many ScriptureStick cards, and several said that they would check out the site. Before we moved on, we thanked them all for their hard work. When you get out to hike, and see all the trail work out there, remember that a lot of it is done by these young folks. If you see trail workers, stop and thank them!...Upon our arrival at Pierce Pond, I dropped my pack, and went looking for Harrison’s Pierce Pond Camps. I found it, and the owner, Tim Harrison, and set it up for Faithful and I to have breakfast at his place. Then, Tim and I sat and talked for a bit. I shared with him the details of our missions trip, and he shared that he was also a Christian. We also found that we knew a lot of the same people, including my former employer, Val Roy, at Campbell’s Building Supply, and my cousin Chet Hibbard, who owns the pharmacy up in Bingham, Maine. Such a small world...there were others, also, but the bugs are eating me alive, as I write this down, so it looks like it’s “lights out”! Good night, God Bless!


STICKMANS' JOURNAL...6/13/07...Wednesday...Up at 5:30 AM, pack up, and head to breakfast. I had set it up with Tim Harrison to be at his place, Harrison’s Pierce Pond Camps, by 7:00 AM. We got there at 6:50 AM. Tim treated us much better than we should deserve! We each had a 12 pancake (BIG pancakes!) breakfast complete with sausages, scrambled eggs, coffee, and juice! The eggs were some of the best I’ve ever had, but the PANCAKES! Wowza!!! They were light, fluffy, and full of berries. Top that off with some syrup, and yummy! I think that the best part of the meal may have been having the opportunity to share it, along with some great conversation, with someone that you immediately like upon your first meeting. Seemed like we had been friends for years...I told him that I would get a ScriptureStick up to him, and he said that if I could get it to cousin Chet, Chet would get it up to him. We sat and chatted about many things, and at 9:00 AM said our goodbys. He asked us to contact him later, and let him know how our trip went...can do, Tim. Tim talked with Steve Longley, the Kennebec River Ferryman, via radiophone, and let him know that we were on our way. The ferry service ends at 11:00 AM, and we had 3 miles to hike. We got to the river at about 10:40 AM, and saw the canoe on the opposite shore. It wasn’t Steve in the canoe, but David Corrigan, who promptly came across to get us. I had a great conversation with him, and gave him my last card that I had with me. Dave is a Master Guide, and he helps out in the ferrying. Dave’s outfit is “Fletcher Mountain Outfitters”, out of Concord Township, Maine. As he ferried us across, I noticed a young lady on the other bank, who was taking pictures of us. She was doing a photoshoot for promotion of different activities available in the area. She works for a local river guiding/rafting outfit. Forgive me, I don’t remember her name...Stephanie seems to be it, but not sure... Sorry! She asked us who we were, if we were doing a thru-hike, etc., and I told her that we were doing it as a mission trip, and about the ScriptureSticks. Who knows, we may end up in a promo! The next wonderful thing to happen was that we were lucky enough to find Forest Ranger (Extraordinaire) Darrell Rich, onsite at the Caratunk Ranger’s Station. We got to chat for a bit, and he was able to let me use the phone to call Cari, as I had no reception. Thanks, Darrell, wonderful to have you be part of our “trail experience”! Looks like we may have some company tonight. Cari, my sister Jody, and my brother Larry? Hope so!! We got to the shelter at 3:50 PM, it is now 5:05 PM. I will probably walk back out to the road and wait to see if anyone shows up. Two young fellas (anyone younger than me...) showed up to stay the night at the shelter. They are Tengu and King Crimson. Tengu is doing a thruhike, SOBO, and King Crimson is doing a section of the trail with him. I took a walk out to the road, sat down, and brother Larry drove up. I showed him a better way to drive in towards the shelter, allowing for a shorter hike to the shelter itself. Then, I gave Cari a call. She and Lillian are on their way here also. I headed back to the shelter to spend some time with everyone, and gather some more firewood. Real nice fire going tonight, helping to keep the bugs down. I eventually walked back out to the road, and as I got to it, I heard a vehicle coming. I looked up to see that it was our friend Lisa Mann, and she had Cari and Lillian with her. What a great surprise! They brought in all kinds of goodies, Chinese food, Italian sandwiches, and extra supplies. We all shared with the other two thruhikers, who had already eaten. But, as is typical, (and polite), they found a little more room in their bellies for food. We all had a great time! Lillian had brought her ScriptureStick walking stick along, and showed it to our fellow hikers. That was really nice, as it puts something tangible in front of them to look over, rather than just trying to explain it. Thanks Lillian!...Well, the girls eventually went home, as it was getting late, but Larry was prepared to spend the night, and set up his tent. We all had a great time, the other hikers zonking out, as they wanted to get off to an early start in the morning. With full stomachs, we eventually all settled in, the remains of the fire warding off the bugs. Looks like another great night! God Bless!


Monday, June 11, 2007

Beautiful Day/Some Clouds for the Hikers

Jody heard from Kel today...he was up on top of the Bigelows but we are not sure where! He sounded chipper and said it had been sunny and was just now (early afternoon) clouding in a bit. Larry got a partial message...not sure just where they were....all he heard was the Bigelows, too. They are having a great time and about on the schedule that is posted on the web site. We hope to know soon what day we will try to meet them in Caratunk.

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...6/11/07...Monday...Up early, pretty day. No one at the campsite, anywhere. I left a card at the shelter, maybe someone will look at it, go online, and read the message. Pray they do. Ok, time to filter some H2O, then get hiking. 6:50 AM, and 10 miles to hike. We got to Little Bigelow Lean-To at 5:30 PM, 10 ½ hrs. of hiking. Have the H2O filtered for the night, and Faithful has the soup on. It was a very strenuous day for me. My right knee is giving me some trouble, hurting considerably when I bend it. I pray that it gets a lot better over night. I have a shorter, and hopefully, easier day ahead tomorrow. We met just a few hikers today, all SOBO (Southbounders) and thru-hiking. I didn’t get all of the names, but one group was “Three boys and a Boo (dog)”, two of the crew being Anchor and Firebox. I gave Firebox my card, and he thanked me. I believe that they were from Texas. Two others were from Oklahoma, and a very nice Father/Daughter team were from Kentucky. They were Mr. Cowpie and Jessie. I gave him my card, and he said that he hoped God would bless this ministry. That lifted my spirits quite a lot. We talked for a bit, and took pictures for each other. We met at Avery Peak, and both groups posed by the sign. Mr. Cowpie is a children’s entertainer. Please check his site out, at MRCOWPIE.COM...Neat little site! As we parted, he again said, “God Bless”. Thanks, Mr. Cowpie, you lifted me! I will keep you and Jessie in my prayers, hope you have a safe and happy hike!...Well, let’s talk about feet. They do a lot of work for us, and we tend to neglect them. Tonight I am giving mine the royal treatment. A nice alchohol rubdown, followed up by an even nicer massage of baking soda and corn starch...Ahhh! I also have to patch up the blister on my right foot. The “second skin” that I had applied has fallen off, so I will now try “Newskin”. It didn’t really bother me today, but it looked bad, just the same. Oh yeah, the middle toe on my right foot...the toenail has turned kinda blue, so I suppose I may lose that nail eventually. We’ll see...I think I will close for now, get my bed all made, and read my Bible. It’s about 7:45 PM, so I won’t be awake much longer. Good night all, God Bless!


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunday Back on the Trail

Stickman and Faithful are back on the trail after 2 nights sleeping in their own beds and good home cooked meals! Stickman has dropped 14 pounds in 8 days! We call it the AT diet...anyone care to join them? They had left the trail in Stratton when they came out onto route 27 on Friday. A neighbor from Madison, Jim Elias, picked up the two hikers and drove them home after taking them to the local store for gaterade and whoopie pies! He had been in the area on business, and had passed them by, but turned around after he recognized Kel. Thanks, Jim! Kel enjoyed visiting friends and family, ice cream from his favorite place the Kennebec creamery, and Sunday services at Crossroads Bible Church. We are adding more info daily along with the pictures to this blog. Some of the past entries have Stickman's journal added to it. We hope you are enjoying following this awesome trip as much as we are as it unfolds.

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...6/10/07...Sunday...Yum!, breakfast with the family at Charrier’s Restaurant in Skowhegan, had a wonderful time! Looks like brother Larry will try to continue to be a big part of our support while we hike, meeting us where he can, and giving us awesome computer support. Thanks, Larry! We got to Church, had a great service. I spoke briefly about God’s provision, and how everyone’s prayers are so important, not just for this mission, but for the group headed from Crossroads Bible Church to do missions in Ecuador, and for every other Christian you know. As Christians, we ALL have a mission, and we ALL need to be held up in prayer...Now, it’s off to Rt. 27, to jump back on trail. Cari stopped at the little store, and I dropped a ScriptureStick off with the clerk, and asked him to give it to Sue. When we got to the trailhead, I left another hiking stick at a vehicle that was at the parking lot. We then started the 5 mile trek at about 3:45 PM, and reached the Horn’s Pond Shelter at 7:45 PM. I grabbed a snack, and started making some calls. Sorry, Doc, we seem to be playing phone tag, but we will talk. Love you, man! Very mild night, crashing out for a good nights’ sleep. God Bless!