Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hibernation...2009 A.T. season, ATServants, Bark and Berry, etc.!

Hello everyone!
As you might have noticed, I have been in a state of semi-hibernation! I've not actually been hibernating, but I've slowed up a bit on some things this last couple of months, like updating the "blog"... We of course are still making ScriptureSticks, but doing so in a bit of a "slowed-down" mode. Other things, such as shoveling snow here in Maine, have been full tilt. We are seeing definite signs of Spring lately, with occasional warming weather! Yay, it hit the "low to mid-thirties" a couple of times recently, and we are getting some melt, in between storms! I saw three robins a couple of weeks ago, the crows are more prevalent, and other birds are in the area. Shortly, the 2009 Appalachian thru-hiking season will be ramping up, and flocks of NOBO's will also be migrating to Maine... They will be well on their way before the first group of SOBO's leave Katahdin,(about June 1st),in Maine for their "summer vacation", that will hopefully take them all the way to Springer Mtn., Georgia. We applaud them all, as they begin a journey of over 2000 miles! As we anxiously await their passing by, we keep ourselves busy in preparation... to hopefully be of some service to them, acting in kindness, as "trail angels".

...service... I would like to talk a bit more about that! Have any of you heard of ATServants? They are a wonderful organization with a heart for serving the AT Hiking community! Here is an excerpt from their site...

"Appalachian Trail Servants is a 501(c)(3), mission organization dedicated to serving the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of hikers so that they may take the next step towards Christ. We achieve this in two ways-- through Trail Angels and Trail Chaplains. We also practice trail stewardship through conservation. By informing churches about issues that effect the trail and equipping them to effectively help both hikers and the trail, we meet our purpose."

Awesome!... I have been in brief contact with them... Craig "Clay" and Suzy "Branch" Miles head up this ministry, and have hiked the trail as "Trail Chaplains". Their ministry is quite far-reaching, not only in it's activities, but in the lives of hikers. Get on their site, at ... find out more about the ATServants ministry, read all of the trail journals from the Trail Chaplains, and perhaps see if there is a way that you could be of service! You will also find opportunity to follow the ministry of this years' Trail Chaplains, Joel "Bark" and Cortney "Berry" Leachman. I was browsing their trail journal and found the following, which I thought would be to the benefit of all who are preparing a hike into the woods... I don't believe they will mind me sharing with you...

Bark and Berry 's 2009
Appalachian Trail Journal

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Sunday, March 01, 2009
"Stay calm and pack bricks"

As I said my goodbyes at work on Friday, I was presented with a very special gift from the "Grasshopper" class at the preschool where I was a teacher up until this past Friday. The Grasshopper class is full of extrememly bright, creative and curious 4 and 5 year olds. When they learned of this future hike one of their teachers was embarking on, they were full of very "helpful" advice. We felt selfish keeping it all to ourselves and thought it would only be fair to share it with the rest of the hiking world.
1. Take healthy food like bananas and steak. Carry ice in a bag that you made cold at home.

2. Take a tent. Use sticks to hold it up. Put a fire inside but be careful. (Like a teepee.)

3. Don't wake up bears.

4. If you see bear: make noise and stay calm.

5. No princess clothes, but take dresses, spring shoes and fancy shoes for Spring.

6. If you have to go potty... find a tree or some grass.

7. How will you take a shower or bath?-Wait til it rains or find a creek. Call Home Depot and they'll bring you a shower.

8. In case we see a wolf: Freeze! Make a lot of noise. Take some instruments.

9. Watch for wolves sneaking up and biting through the tent, put bricks around the tent and tape something on the door to keep the wolves out. Keep a stick to poke them.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST....Stay calm and pack bricks!

A special thanks to the Grasshoppers in Ms. April's class and huge thank you for the love and support from Prospect Latin Preschool in Prospect, Kentucky. We'll do our best to follow your advice... You will be missed!

-Bark and Berry

Isn't that incredible?!? Those little critters were very thoughtful in the advice that they were able to give. I will be sure to keep some bricks handy for Bark and Berry when they get up here to Maine... just in case they are running low on them, and need a resupply!

Well, getting a little late, and I have to go to my "real" job, bright and early. So, I guess that I would like to end this post in the usual way... by asking for God's Blessings, for all of you. I pray that you will all join me in petitioning our Lord to richly Bless the ATServants Ministry... and that they will be kept safe and be led in the ways that they should go, in His name.

Until our trails meet, God Bless!