Life Verse:

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

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Deadening Trail - Dec. 27, 2008

HIKE: The Deadening Alpine Trail, near Kowliga, AL on Lake Martin, 12/27/2008, 09:41-12:50
DISTANCE: 4.5 miles RATING: 5/5
DIFFICULTY: Difficult (due to steepness, danger of nearby cliffs, and some bouldering)
CONDITIONS: Mostly cloudy at start to Partly cloudy at end. Moderate to stiff breeze. Fast moving clouds. Lake wind advisory. Temps: upper 60's to low 70's
Perhaps the most difficult hike in this part of the state, but a very beautiful area. Observed 1 small whitetailed buck, numerous insects, a few passerines, numerous types of lichen and mosses as well as ferns and usual pine/oak forest types. Met three hikers as I was exiting the trail (they were from Colorado!). First hike with SPOT - did a CheckOK message from the trailhead. (Kathy and Diane both received the message.) Did the Needles Eye on way out.

Thank YOU, LORD, for this time and place and for what YOU are doing in my life.

Friday, December 26, 2008

OnLine with SPOT now

Kathy & Diane gave me a SPOT (Personal Emergency Locator Beacon) for Christmas. The idea of a GPS enabled, satellite emergency communication tool sounds good to me. I tried a test "Check OK" message tonight and it pinpointed my exact location. This is one of those tools you hope you never need, but it is comforting to know you have.

Hey, Les Stroud has nothing on me!!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful and blessed Christmas. Looking for a tremendous New Year. Agape.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Alabama Nature Center - 12/20/2008

HIKE: Alabama Wildlife Federation Nature Center - Lanark, Millbrook, 12/20/2008 08:12-12:00
DISTANCE: 8.0 miles
CONDITIONS: Mostly cloudy, very warm for time of year (low 70's), nice moderate breeze through most of hike (a few good "leaf showers" in Still Creek Run area). Santa was at the Pavilion and the AWF was running a hayride through part of Turkey Ridge. Largest crowd of people I have ever seen here - but they were all at the pavilion or on hayride. Only met a few people on the trails.
Observed one very vocal Kingfisher (?) at the Still Creek Run pond. He (or she) did not appreciate me or a man and his small son being in the area. Many song birds seen and heard. (This is one of the best areas around for bird watching.) I could hear steam venting from the IP Mill south of Prattville from the Hilltop Pass area as well as traffic noise from I-65/Cobbs-Ford Rd., but they really did not intrude on my tranquility. It is so wonderful to be able to "get out" and enjoy YOUR creation, LORD. Thank YOU.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Red Trail, Swayback Bridge Trail of Legends

HIKE: Red Trail, Swayback Bridge Trail of Legends, Wetumpka, AL 12/17/2008 10:00-13:30
DISTANCE: 7.1 miles
CONDITIONS: Cloudy, unseasonably warm (mid 70's), a few light sprinkles near end of trail. Encountered one mountain biker on the trail. Lots of standing water and a few muddy/mucky areas from the recent rains.
DIFFICULTY: Easy to Moderate
INTAKE: 27 oz water, 1 pack Nekot peanut-butter cookies
Walked to within 30' of 4 whitetailed deer does around mile marker 3 of the Red Trail. The wind was against them and the rain drenched leaves deadened my approach. Also observed great blue heron, numerous turtles, gray squirrel, and chipmunk. Several assorted pasarines observed and heard throughout the hike.
This was a peaceful and enjoyable hike. The deeper I hike into the woods, the more "baggage" of troubles and concerns I seem to be able to drop off! Thank YOU, LORD, for this special time and place.
Was able to spend some quality time in meditation, prayer, and planning for ministry in 2009. Spending worshipful time in the outdoors has been such a special opportunity for me dating back to my adolescence. I know I can worship and commune with YOU anywhere, LORD, but it seems so much easier for me in the outdoors. Please guide me as I seek YOUR plan for outdoor based ministry into the future.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Back on the Trail - It's been a month!

Hike: Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail, Lake Martin, AL Mon. 12/15/2008 10:05-14:47
Distance: 8.4 Miles
Rating: 5/5
Difficulty: Moderate
Conditions: Cloudy; very mild temps; a few light sprinkles near the end of hike. No other people on the trail today.
Saw two white-tailed deer doe (and one carcass floating in Lake Martin), Great Blue Heron, a few dogs (they barked at me but didn't bother me), one small lizard, and lots of birds (as usual). Noticed there were still some large grasshoppers around (would have thought they would be dead or gone due to the cold).
A very nice enjoyable (and needed) hike. It's been a month since I've been able to get out and hike. Thank YOU for this special time and place, LORD. It's so easy to get "side-tracked" because of the "busy-ness" of the season. Times like this help me to refocus.