Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Back to the "Little Biggie"!

Hello to all,

What a beautiful day! I was off to a bit of a slow start today, and didn't know if I would get out on trail at all, but... I managed to get in a couple of miles! I headed North, with a stop at Embden Lake to check up on my old friend... (I meant GOOD friend!), Dave, who was up from Florida for a bit to work on the camp. I thought I might get him to tag along, but he had quite a bit going on, and little time to get things done. I guess I will try to pay him a visit tomorrow...

So, off I went. I decided to head back up to Little Bigelow for a quick hike, and to leave a bit of trail magic. A quick stop to pick up a 6-pack of soda, and I hit the road. A short while later, I was at the trailhead, and parked beside another truck. I think it belonged to Clint Buzzell, the trail maintainer. I was hoping to hear from him if he came back up to repaint the white blazes... but, I goofed... we recently changed our phone number! (Our NEW number is 207-521-4990. I just edited the ScriptureStick website to reflect the change!... oops!)...

Up the trail I scooted, until I arrived at the Little Bigelow Lean-to. I dropped the sodas into the spring to cool down for any hikers that might show up, then read the shelter log. Looks like there are some NOBO's and SOBO's and, quite possibly, others who have stopped by this year. There was a "Rock", and "The Irish Kid", Mary and Dan, "Ledge", "Lupine" & "Black Toe". There was also "Brewer", "Fiddler", "No Money", "Beaner", "Happy Feet", and "Navajo". And... "Gooch", "Animal", and "Bacon"!

As I still wanted to do some work in the garden, I decided not to go to the top of Little Bigelow. I kind of wanted to, and I figured I would probably run into Clint up there, (some of the blazes looked fresh), but I had to go... so off I went, downhill, towards the truck. It was quiet going back, and I came upon a young deer, watching it for a few minutes. On I went, and as I was nearing the trailhead, I crossed paths with four young ladies. They were not stopping to chat... I was not offended, as it is sometimes a very good practice for ladies on the trail to keep moving, and not divulge a whole lot of information to strangers. There have been incidents on the trail where lady hikers have been harassed, stalked, and worse. But, in passing, I enquired as to where they had hiked from, and they said "Caratunk". I told them that the shelter was about a mile away, and to look in the spring for cold drinks. Yay!, that made them very happy hikers, and they thanked me before moving on.

Back to the truck, Clint still not out yet. I had a pleasant drive home, and had a couple of hours to weed the garden. It ended up being a wonderful day, even if I didn't pace out more trailmiles. I reflected on the fact that I didn't get to give away a ScriptureStick today, but was content in knowing that I had tried to give just a bit of myself. The day is not complete, though, until I ask God to Bless you all... Hikers and Homebodys, too!

Good night to you all, God Bless!


Monday, June 15, 2009

Rain, rain, go away! (I want to hike this next wednesday!)

Hello, All!

Rain, rain, go away, come again some... nah, I don't think the rhymin' approach is going to help.

Sure is wet out there! I hope all you hikers are having a safe walk even with the added treachery of rain... and mud... and slippery, slimy rocks! And that is just the tip of things, isn't it? That constant trail-swimming, and staying more than a tad waterlogged will wear down your ability to fight off illnesses. So, take extra care out there, and please know that I pray that you all keep your heads above water!

Since my last entry, (Little Bigelow Birthday Hike), I ran into Clint Buzzell, of Anson. Clint is a local hero of mine. You see, he is a Volunteer Trail Maintainer on the Appalachian Trail, here in Maine. He just happens to maintain the section that I last hiked, up to Little Bigelow. I consider his level of care on his section to be exceptional, and I hereby declare him a Trail Maintainer "Extraordinaire"!... –(adjective French. extraordinary; uncommon; remarkable.)

I've known Clint and his wife, Helen, for a number of years, and, on my 2007 SOBO Thru-hike attempt, was pretty tickled to find him on the trail, waiting for me. He had brought me some much needed gear, and an awesome batch of no-bake cookies that Helen had made for Faithful and I! In typical "Trail Maintainer Extraordinaire" fashion, Clint had passed the time waiting for us by doing... you guessed it! Trail maintenence!... on a section that he isn't even responsible for! Wow!

Anyway... Clint filled me in on trail stuff. He has already assisted NOBO's by offering up a lift in his truck. He took a tumble on the trail, breaking a finger, and doing some damage to the joint. It looked very painful, quite swollen, but he still intends to be out there. He said that he needs to repaint the white blazes soon. My heart quickened just a bit! The beloved blazes! (How cool would it be to actually paint your own white blaze!?!). I know that to some it would seem a bit "funny" to get excited about painting these little white rectangles, that are 2 by 6 inches (5 by 15 cm), but to a hiker on the A.T., (especially thru-hikers), each blaze is taken kinda... you know... personal, like! I left Clint with the offer to carry the paint for him, should he like some help that day. (THANKS, Clint!)

I caught up with another friend, John Bernard, at Church the other day, and upon talking with him, found myself succumbing to one of the "seven deadly sins"...ENVY! He told me that he had taken his daughter, Katie, and her friend Rebecca up to Katahdin the day before! Yay! I was so happy for them! (and a "little" envious). It was the first time up the mountain for them, and they had GREAT weather. They went up via the Hunt Trail, and returned on the same. I was so happy for them!...

...boy, do I have the urge to go hiking! ...and that is the plan, if all things work out. My target, of course, is my next day off, Wednesday! It probably won't be a big hike, but if the weather clears, it will be wonderful! Rain, rain, GO AWAY!!!

...and I, too, must now go away... God Bless!