Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hiker dies on Appalachian Trail

Hey folks,

Some sad news up here in Maine... a hiker died yesterday on the Appalachian Trail. I don't have a lot of details, other than the following... suspected cause of death is head injury, caused by falling and striking head on a rock. Hiker was probably from New York. He was apparantly hiking solo, and was found by a couple of other hikers, about a mile off of the Long Falls Dam Road, on the stretch of trail near Flagstaff Lake, leading towards the Bigelow Range.

Whenever I have a lumber delivery up that way (not often enough), I make it a point to stop on Long Falls Dam Road at the Trail crossing, if only for a few minutes. It is the "unofficial" 2000 mile mark for all of the NOBO (Northbound) Thruhikers, and is thus marked, in the center of the road. I am always in hope of spotting a hiker or two, have a brief chat and offer up encouragement and a cold drink.

Yesterday, I was fortunate to have an early morning delivery up to Spring Lake... At the Trail crossing, I stopped for a couple of minutes, and looked up and down trail. I saw nobody. On my return trip, I once again made a quick stop. This time I stepped out onto the Trail. I didn't venture very far, as I only had a couple of minutes of "break time" left before I needed to get back on the work clock. I again saw no one. I did, however, think that I was out of shape, and certainly not used to navigating such rooty, rocky, mucky, slippery terrain... I considered that I would be in a fine mess if I should take a tumble...

The timing of my stop happened to be just about the same time that the hiker was found, and a 911 call went out... I believe I may have missed meeting him by such a short time...

I would ask you all to take a moment to offer up a bit of prayer. I am sure this will be shocking news and difficult times for the hikers' friends and family. Also, for the hikers who came upon him... I am sure this was a stressful situation for them.

For all of you out hiking, please be extra careful around the rocks, roots, and mud, especially if you are alone. In 2007, when I was out on the A.T., I sometimes found myself stumbling 10 or 12 times a day... and I thought I was doing great!

Pray you are all well... God Bless!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Taking a ZERO day!"

Hello all,

Thought I would take time to do a little blogging, and say "hello", before getting back to the hard work of taking a ZERO day.

Hikers sometimes take a ZERO when out on trail, not putting in any miles for the day. It gives them an opportunity to heal, rest, do a few necessary town chores, or lay around the tent/hammock/shelter reading a good book. ...and, quite often, just enjoy the sounds of the falling rain.

Today happens to be my second day off from work... it is raining steadily, I have some "corn on the cobb" cooking, that will soon supply me with some warm comfort food, and I have few desires to make any foreward progress.

There certainly are some things I need to get done, but not before eating some delicious corn! My goal for the day is to sand up at least ten ScriptureStick hiking stick blanks, getting them ready for an application of scripture. The New Portland Fair is coming right up, and I am in need of some more ScriptureSticks for that event. That little fair, co-ordinated by the Lions Club, is the premier "small town" fair in our area, where everyone is sure to see all the friends and neighbors that have not been seen since last fair. Suprisingly, we have also had encounters with many hikers at that fair, and that is always a treat!

Work has been going well lately, and has been a bit more enjoyable with my being able to deliver a few loads of lumber to my favorite places... places that cross the Appalachian Trail! I've had a couple of runs to Jackman, which takes me through Caratunk, where the trail crosses the Kennebec River. The official means of crossing the Kennebec on the A.T. is via the Kennebec Ferry. It is a canoe, and I believe Dave Corrigan is the current, and colorful, ferryman. I've also had a couple of runs up to Spring Lake. That run takes me up Long Falls Dam Road, up past the Bigelows and Flagstaff Lake. I cross the Appalachian Trail at the trails' "2000 mile mark", and always look up and down trail to see if I might spot a thruhiker.

Hmmm... and mmmm! My corn is ready, and I must go! Sorry to run, but I promise to come back soon!

God Bless you all!