Life Verse:

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

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mountain Creek June Hike

Hike: Mountain Creek, 6/14/2008, 06:45-09:00
Distance: 4 miles (approx.)
Rating: 5/5
Difficulty: Easy
Conditions: Mostly cloudy to mostly sunny. High 70's. Humid. Thunder in the distance.
Soft, delicate sounds this morning. Stillness and peacefulness in the forest. In pine upland area, some type of Oriole, black head, khaki breast turning to copper as it moved to wings. Gray squirrel, cottontail, cardinals, crows, bream, & big tadpoles.

Turned partly sunny for a while, but it is amazing how fast it can get cloudy!

In pine upland came within 20 yards of large doe. I could even hear her snort as she ran off.

Thank YOU, LORD, for this peaceful experience in YOUR forest. Please bless the mission outreach as we surrender it all to YOU. Be honored and glorified. Draw people to YOURSELF.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Chinnabee Silent Trail - June Hike

Hike: Chinnabee Silent Trail, Cheaha Wilderness, Talladega National Forest, Mon. 6/9/2008 10:15-15:30
Distance: 7.4 miles
Rating: 5/5
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Conditions: Hot, humid (normal for the South). Mostly sunny. Very light breeze to still.

Hiked with Glenn. Traveled 94 miles from Prattville to trailhead on AL281. Got on trail at 10:15. Hiked to Lake Chinnabee, where we snacked and rested up. Retraced our steps, arriving back at trailhead about 15:30.

We got tired and hot by the return side of the hike but Cheaha Falls was quite refreshing! Not quite as cold as Blue Springs, but it will rapidly cool you off. It was very much appreciated on this hot afternoon. The falls refreshed our spirits and bodies. It was certainly a GOD send.

Scenery was spectacular - what else would you expect from Alabama's highest point. There were many wildflowers still in bloom (this was a surprise to me) and the Oakleaf hydrangea was showing off everywhere. A couple of great vistas greeted us on this hike. Most pleasing and enjoyable of the scenery was probably at Cheaha Falls and Cheaha Creek. The area around Devil's Den reminded me of scenery one would expect to see in an Indiana Jones movie - complete with wooden bridge. "Hike Alabma" describes the Chinnabee Silent Trail as one of the most beautiful hikes in the state - I believe him.

Many lizards and butterflies observed. Lots of birds (as expected). Saw no mammals (unless you count the few humans at Cheaha Falls and Lake Chinnabee).

I ran out of water with 1.2 miles to go in the hike - reminder to self to take minimum of 2L of water on summer hikes!

Thank YOU, LORD, for this great time and place. Focus my spirit and mind on YOU every day!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

National Trail Day - Kayak Autauga Creek

Kayak: Autauga Creek, Prattville, AL 6/7/2008 18:30-20:00 From Downtown to US82 Bridge
Distance: ~ 2 miles (rough estimate)
Rating: 4/5 (due to technicality and failing light)
Difficulty: Very difficult - technical due to numerous snags, brushpiles, blockages and shallows. Had to portage several times. One log and brush jam before US82 bridge was very bad, just one small place to scoot through!
Conditions: Hot and humid. Ran out of daylight! Had planned to take out on County Road 4 but coming darkness forced me out early at Hwy 82 bridge.
A lot more difficult than I expected. Numerous snags, log and brush jams, and shallow areas made this very (technically) challenging for me. I was about as wet from sweat as from water by the time I finished the route. Somehow lost my sunglasses during the trip (probably during one of the portages).
Observed several herons and ducks. Scenery was pleasant, but I did not get to admire it much as I was busy navigating snags, logs, and jams.
Thank YOU, LORD, for this challenge and for getting me through this "new thing". Teach me YOUR will and way, that I may shepherd YOUR people at Crestview.

National Trail Day - Hike at Mountain Creek

Hike: Mountain Creek, 6/7/2008, 08:30-10:30
Distance: 4 miles
Rating: 4/5 (Due to heat/humidity and equipment trouble)
Difficulty: Easy
Conditions: Extremely hot and humid - much more like August than June.
Extremely hot and humid today - even for the South. Serenaded by wonderful bird songs near the creek. I had to stop for a little while and just listen. More beautiful than any orchestra concert!

"HE is the treasure and We are the vessels" kept going through my head. Please speak to my heart, LORD.

Binoculars strap came loose near the beginning of hike and got sand on my binocs. Carefully cleaned them off - didn't see any scratches.

Inaguration of Alabama River Trail

Hike: Kayaking around Cooter's Pond and Alabama River 06/06/2008, 11:30-13:00
Distance: ~ 2 miles
Rating: 4/5
Difficulty: Easy
Conditions: Very hot (even for the South during the summer) and humid. Got a little sunburned on my arms even though I had on SPF30 Sunscreen!
Inauguration of the Alabama River Canoe Trail that goes from Ga state line to the Mobile Delta! Great time on the water, but extremely hot. I got a little sunburned on my arms even with sunscreen. Numerous herons and egrets; turtles, and fish. Many powerboats but I did not see the canoes/kayaks that were to be coming from Montgomery. Guess they came after I left.