Thursday, June 9, 2011

One moose, two moose, three moose...and no camera!

Hello everyone,

(Yes, Dave E., "everyone" means especially you!) I have to kid a bit, as my friend, Dave, is up home from Florida to work at camp and visit a bit... and I had a chance to catch him there yesterday. He asked why I hadn't been posting to the blog for almost a year, and I was "Honest" with him. I was busy!!! Of course, he will read the previous blog regarding the "prodigal stickman" and see the truth... I squandered my time. So the whole truth is that if you "get busy" you can become complacent about important things, relegating them to the back burner. After a bit you just.... you know what I'm trying to say, and I again ask you all to forgive (not ovelook) my shortcomings.

Shortcomings... brings me back to the subject of the title of this post. If I had just brought a camera I could post up a picture... now I'll have to use up a thousand words! This last Sunday I got up, showered, and readied for Church. Suddenly I realized that I was attending alone. Cari had picked up my "cold" (I'll call it that), and was miserable. Of course, she had only had it for a few days, and I had suffered with it for three weeks... and mine was a MAN-COLD!

When all was said and done, I decided it best not to attend either. No sense in infecting a whole congregation... Alternate plan: attempt a hike up to Little Bigelow!

I changed into hiking garb, grabbed a daypack and a ScriptureStick, and headed to the store. There, I picked up a six-pack to leave at the Little Bigelow Lean-to for other hikers to enjoy. I thought of leaving "Moxie" but picked up "Pepsi" instead.

So, off I went. A very pleasant 33 mile drive from Madison up through Lexington/Highland to the Bigelow Preserve. Hanging a left at "the mailboxes", I was quickly parked at the trailhead. To the Trail! I walked slowly, on easy trail, enjoying the music of the birds which were accompanied by the sounds of the wonderful stream running off to the right of me. Becoming lost in the experience, I was somewhat surprised to realize that there was a big animal just off to my left. Wait! It was a BIG "big animal", and two LITTLE "big animals"! MOOSE!!! Yes, it was a cow moose with two young'uns! They couldn't have been more than 20 - 25 feet away, and I had no camera!!! The babies looked at me a bit nervously, fidgeting just a bit around Mom, looking to her to see what to do. She just gazed at me for a minute or more, then started to slowly walk alongside the trail. We walked together for just a little way, then she angled slightly away from me, taking her children ever deeper into the tree cover, and safety. This is, by far, at the top of my list for animal encounters... and I was totally unprepared, camera-less!

To try to make up for my slip up, I will re-post another "very cool" moose picture, one from the 2007 thru-hike attempt. The picture is NOT mine. Huck Pendolino snapped the shot as the moose peered into his tent!

Thanks, Huck, for letting us post your moose picture! I'm sure it was a harrowing experience hearing her walking around outside your tent, then "checking in on you"!

Sooo... my hike continued. It is only 1.3 miles to the shelter, on fairly easy terrain, but I was huffing and puffing like an old Stanley Steamer by the time I got there, with my lungs not quite right from my recent man-cold, and lack of activity. By the way, the Stanley Steamer was a creation of the twin brothers, F.E. and F.O. Stanley, of Kingfield, Maine, and you can visit the Stanley Museum right there at Kingfield!

Arriving at the shelter, I found the little springhouse destroyed by fallen trees, so I made a bit of a depression in the spring-stream flow, depositing the drinks to cool for any hikers that should come along. I sat at shelter, reading log entries, and was surprised to find only half a dozen entries thus far this year. I added my own entry, while swatting away at the vicious blackflies, then returned to the main trail. I looked uptrail, thinking that I should surely continue another 1.8 miles to the top of Little Bigelow, and take in the view... but my lungs weren't going to get me there, and the weather was changing quickly. I returned to the trailhead, jumped in the truck, and replayed the little hike in my mind over and over again on my way home. It is amazing how Blessed our time can be... if we just take the time!

So, I'll get this blog closed up for now, take a little ride up to the lake to see my friend Dave, and enjoy all the Blessings God has in store for me today!

Take time to let God Bless your time too!