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!


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.