Life Verse:

"...I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly." -- JESUS in John 10:10

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Hiking: Orange Beach, AL -- 08/19/2016

Hike: Along the beach of Orange Beach, AL to Gulf State Park pier and return, Fri., 8/19/2016, 16:15-17:30CDT
Distance: 3.3 miles  Difficulty: Easy  Rating: 4.8/5
Conditions: Some clouds building but still mostly sunny.  Breezy.  Beautiful Gulf beach!
Thoughts/Observations:

What a wonderful way to enjoy an afternoon birthday hike?!  Sand, Surf, and Sky were all gorgeous.


Hiking: Backcountry Trail, Gulf State Park, Alabama -- 08/19/2016

Hike: Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, Gulf State Park, AL; Fri., 8/19/2016, 07:30-09:30CDT
Distance:  5.2 miles  Difficulty:  Easy  Rating: 4.8/5.0
Conditions: Partly cloudy. Hot. Humid. A light sprinkle provided some cooling relief near end of hike.
Thoughts/Observations:
This is a paved trail-way in the "backcountry" portion of Gulf State Park.  It is shared between hikers, runners, and bikers.  Facilities are wonderful.  (Great job State of Alabama!)  Trail does get some traffic, but it is not hard to find solitude.
Lots of wildlife abounds in the area.  Passerines, alligator, turtle, tortoise, snakes, frogs, dragonflies, butterflies, and the like.  The only wildlife viewed today were birds, dragonflies, and butterflies.

Excellent hike to celebrate my birthday at the beach!




Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Thought of the Day - 8/17/2016

There’s always going to be bad stuff out there. But here’s the amazing thing - light trumps darkness every time. You stick a candle into the dark, but you can’t stick the dark into the light.

Jodi Picoult

Author

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Hiking Swayback Gold Trail - 8/13/2016







Hike: Swayback Trail of Legends, Gold Trail, Sat., 8/13/2016, 08:00-10:30CDT
Distance: 5.1 miles  Difficulty: Easy  Rating: 4.5/5
Conditions: Cloudy to Partly Cloudy; warm; muggy.  Trails wet from recent rains but not too muddy. 
Thoughts/Observations:
Passerines in abundance.  Bird song serenade.  Several mountain bikers, hikers, and trail dogs.
 


Monday, August 01, 2016

Quote of the Day - 08/1/2016



Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

-- Mark Twain

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Hiking Swayback Bridge TOLA - 07/30/2016









Hike: Portions of Lakeside (Red/Black), Big Zipper, and  Upland Trails, Sat., 07/30/2016, 09:00-12:00CDT
Distance: 6 miles (by GPS)  Difficulty: Easy  Rating: 4/5
Conditions: Hot/humid.  Light, steady breeze.  Trails dry and in good shape.  Three significant blow-downs from recent thunderstorms had been cut up and moved off trail (good job!).
Thoughts/Observations:
Gray squirrel, damsel flies, cicada, and lizards were observed today.  No deer and not many passerines in attendance.  Lake was near full pool and largely placid.  
 Excellent time of worship and introspection.  Working on sermon topic for tomorrow.
Get out and enjoy GOD's Creation!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Quote of the Day - 7/29/2016

 

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. 

-- Winston Churchill

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Urban Hike Overlook II - 7/26/2016


Urban Hike: Overlook II, Tue, 07/26/2016 19:00-19:40CDT
Distance: 2.2 miles  Difficulty: Easy  Rating: 4.5/5
Conditions: Warm. Cloudy, Tstorms building. Moderate breeze.  Light sprinkles by end of hike.
Thoughts/Observations:
Ramblr App did not function properly.  It recorded 3.3 miles - actual length should have been around 2.2. 
 
Enjoyed the breeze and cooler temps!
 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Verse of the Day

Hebrews 11:3 NKJV
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. 


Friday, July 15, 2016

Hike: The Deadening Alpine Trail - 07/15/2016

Hike: The Deadening Alpine Trail, Sat 07/15/2016 09:00-12:00CDT
Distance: 4.4 miles  Difficulty: Difficult due to scrambles  Rating: 4.5/5
Conditions: Hot, humid.  Partly cloudy to mostly clear.  Calm.  Trails wet from recent rains but not muddy - in good shape.
Thoughts/Observations:

This hike is always a workout and today was no exception.  Forest sounds were limited to birds and insects except on the lake, where boats and jet skis were the order of the day.  Some of the trail has been modified but the route is largely unchanged.
Portions of this trail have challenging scrambles (up and down).  Hiking poles are an asset here.  

Time of worship and introspection.  LORD, GOD, YOU are amazing!


 



Thursday, July 14, 2016

Mountain Biking - Swayback TOLA - 07/14/2016

Bike:  Swayback Trail of Legends, Thu 07/14/2016 09:30-10:30CDT
Distance: 4.5 miles  Difficulty: Moderate due to heat/humidity and technical aspects  Rating: 4/5
Conditions: Hot/humid.  Calm.  PCloudy.  Trails in good shape.
Thoughts/Observations: 

Quite a few roots and rocks on most of the single-track.  Makes for a more technical ride.  L-o-n-g hill coming up from Swayback Bridge is challenging; especially when one is just getting back onto the mountain bike!  Can tell I need more saddle time.

Enjoyable ride and good workout.  Some of the trail time is off-bike, exploring some small side trails I found.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Verse of the Day - 7/13/2016

 ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ 
-- Jeremiah 33:3

Monday, July 11, 2016

Urban Hike Silverhills & Overlook II

 

Urban Hike: Overlook II and Silverhills, Mon. 7/11/2016, 19:45-20:45CDT
Distance: 2.5 miles  Difficulty: Easy  Rating: 4/5
Conditions: Early evening Thunderstorms cooled the air.  Very comfortable walk through the neighborhoods.  One small Thundercloud still visible in the west provided some distant lightning displays.
Thoughts/Observations:
Good time to think, pray, and worship as I hiked from Overlook II through part of Silverhills.  Prayers for those sick and hurting.  Thankful for answer to prayers!  Prayers for wisdom, discernment, and understanding to guide HIS church in these difficult times.  Our nation is in dire straits.  If we do not turn back to GOD I fear there will no country left for our grandchildren.

Thought for the Day - Love & Light - 07/11/2016




Love changes darkness into light and makes the heart take a wingless flight.

-- Helen Steiner Rice

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Summer Hike - Swayback TOLA - 2016-07-09

Hike: Swayback Trail of Legends - Lakeside - Sat., 07/09/2016, 09:00-12:00CDT
Distance: 7 miles  Difficulty: Moderate due to heat/humidity Rating: 4.5/5
Conditions: Mostly cloudy to Thunderstorm.  Rain starting at end of hike.  Hot/humid.  Light breeze.  Trails in excellent shape.  
Thoughts/Observations:

Great hike.  Time to worship, pray, meditate, and enjoy GOD's Creation.  The thunderstorm came up quickly.  One of the typical "pop up" summer storms.  The cooling effects of the accompanying rain were most welcomed.
Birds, insects, frogs, turtles, squirrels, and lizards were quite busy along the trails.  The frogs were very small (a new crop?).  Insect repellent creme (DEET 40%) seemed to work effectively keeping mosquitoes at bay.  Ticks and horseflies were also non-existent. 



Friday, July 08, 2016

Thought of the Day - 7/8/2016

“When one with honeyed words but evil mind persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.”
 – Euripides

What an appropriate thought for our current culture.  GOD help us!

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Urban Hike: Overlook II & Silverhills - 7/6/2016

Urban Hike:
Overlook II & Silverhills. Wed. 7/6/2016. 20:00-20:50CDT
Distance: 2.5 miles. Difficulty: Easy. Rating: 4/5
Conditions: Partly cloudy. Warm. Recent thundershowers cooled temps. 
Thoughts/Observations: 
Good evening walk after church. Enjoyed the rain-cooled air. Orange sherbet sunset. 

Monday, July 04, 2016

Cherokee Ridge Alpine North Trail, Chimney Rock, and Kowliga Bay LoopTrails - 7/4/2016



Hike: Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail (North and a portion of South), Chimney Rock Trail, and Kowliga Bay Loop Trail (clockwise from trailhead), Mon., 7/4/2016, 09:30-13:00CDT
Distance: 5.6 miles  Difficulty: Moderate (due to heat and humidity) Rating: 4.5/5
Conditions: Hot (mid 90s) with high humidity.  Mostly calm with occasional moderate breezes.  Mostly clear with some darker clouds.  Trails dry and well maintained.
Thoughts/Observations:
This hike was a workout with the high temps and humidity but it was very much enjoyed!  Forest was alive with plant, insect, and animal life.  A few various wildflowers were in bloom -- though the floral stars of the day were the ferns.  Cascading up and down the ridges and softening the forest floor, the green ferns stir primeval thoughts (they have always done that for me).

Though boat traffic was heavy on the lake at least one turtle seemed to be lazily swimming along the shoreline off Kowliga Bay.  One family had anchored their boat at one of the moderate sized islands off Kowliga Bay and set up a tent. The kids were enjoying playing in the water with floats.  They should have an excellent vantage point for the 4th of July fireworks tonight.

Got within 40 feet of three does near the end of the hike.  I was upwind from them and they had trouble spotting me.

Another thought and worship filled hike!







Hike: Swayback Trail of Legends - 7/2/2016

Hike: Swayback TOLA, Sat, 7/2/2016, 09:00-12:00CDT
Distance: 5.8 miles Difficulty: Easy
Rating: 4/5
Conditions: Hot. Humid. Calm. Mostly clear. Trails in good shape. A few blowdowns. 
Thoughts/Observations:

Enjoyable hike but quite hot and humid.  Made an effort to drink plenty of water but I still felt drained at the end of the hike.  The combination of high heat and oppressive humidity really sap your strength.

Birds, locusts, and a few frogs were singing.  Excellent time of meditation and worship.




Saturday, July 02, 2016

Urban Mountain Biking: Overlook I, II, and Seasons 7/1/2016

Bike: City streets -- Overlook I, II and Seasons, Fri night, 7/1/2016, 20:00-21:00CDT
Distance: 7.4 miles  Difficulty: Moderate (due to night-time cycling and traffic conditions)
Rating: 4/5
Conditions: Calm.  Clear.  Very warm and humid.  Traffic ok -- heavier on Sheila and Tara.
Thoughts/Observations:
Nice neighborhood biking on the ATB.  Trying out the lighting system (gift from Diane).  The headlight (a CREE flashlight) works quite well.  Enough light to be seen and to see.  The alternate strobe flashes of the red tail light is particularly effective.  Thanks Diane!

Friday, July 01, 2016

Urban Hike: YMCA East / Seasons 7/1/2016

Urban Hike: YMCA East to Seasons and return, Fri, 7/1/2016, 06:00-07:00CDT
Distance: 3.1 miles  Difficulty: Easy  Rating: 4/5
Conditions:  Calm.  Low clouds - some fog.  Very warm and a little muggy.  Sidewalks available throughout Overlook II, McQueen-Smith Road.  No sidewalks available in Seasons area, but traffic was not a problem.
Thoughts/Observations:
Good morning for an urban hike.  Birds were quite vociferous and melodious!  As today was the beginning of a long, holiday weekend for many people, traffic noise seemed less.  Excellent time to think, pray, and meditate.

I enjoy morning walks but my work schedule forces me to do evening walks most of the time.


Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.
-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Kayaking Cooter's Pond Area 6/25/2016

Kayaking: Cooter's Pond Area, Sat., 6/25/2016, 08:00-10:00CDT
Distance:  3.8 miles  Difficulty: Moderate due to heat/humidity  Rating: 4.5/5
Conditions: Very hot/muggy.  Calm.  Mostly clear and bright.  Lake was extremely smooth.  
Thoughts/Observations:

Many water birds visible today.  Alligator gar were jumping and rolling -- they seem to be quite active in the hot months.  Small shad breaching the surface (probably running from the gar!).  One massive alligator snapping turtle surfaced about 30ft from me between the large dock and the bridge at RTJ.  He took a look and then disappeared underneath the dark water.  
This was a beautiful, although very muggy, morning.  Being able to explore small nooks and sloughs among the cypress trees and snags was exciting and peaceful at the same time.  

I took the GoPro camera this time -- will review the video and attach here when time permits.