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 17, 2011

Swayback Bridge Trail of Legends - 12/17/2011

Hike: Swayback Bridge Trail of Legends, Sat., 12/17/2011, 09:15-12:30CST
Distance: 7 miles  Rating: 4.5/5.0
Difficulty: Easy
Conditions: Mostly cloudy to clear.  Bright blue sky for most of hike.  Temp: low to mid 50s.  Wind calm.  Trails damp and eroding in spots (due to ATB traffic and steep slopes).

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. 2 Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard.
-- Psalms 19:1-3 (NKJV)

I was reminded of these verses as I hiked the Pine/Hardwood Forest, looking up often at the stark contrast of dark green pine or deep gray hardwood against an azure sky.

Robins, thrashers, and kinglets were busy today.  Saw at least one chipmunk scurrying around near the lake-shore.  No whitetail deer observed -- several mountain bikers were on the trail ahead of me and probably frightened off any of these regular attenders. 

Praying for Diane's health (she has a gall bladder scan scheduled on Monday) and her final this afternoon. 

Wishing all my family and friends a Wondrous and Joyous Christmas!

Gear List: 
No camera.
Simmons compact binocs
Merrell Chameleon hiking shoes
MountainSmith Lumbar pack (with 1st Aid/Survival kit)
Gerber Prodigy

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail - 12/16/2011

Hike: Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail (North & South), Fri., 12/16/2011, 08:45-11:15CST
Distance: 4 miles  Rating: 4.5/5.0
Difficulty: Moderate
Conditions: Partly cloudy to mostly cloudy.  Light breeze.  Temps: upper 60s to low 70s.  No one else on the trails.  Trails in good shape -- a little damp which prevents the pine straw from being slippery.  Lake below full pool (normal for this time of year).

"Be still and know that I am GOD." was verse on my mind today.  What blessings YOU give us everyday, LORD GOD.  Thank YOU.

Diane being sick also occupied a lot of my thoughts -- she goes for a nuclear med scan of her gall bladder Monday morning.  My thoughts also turned to the future (my role at Liberty) and what it holds.  Of course I do not know what is in the future, but I am persuaded that YOU, LORD GOD, will take care of everything as I surrender to YOU

Observed two whitetail doe near the 3 mile point.  Carried binocs instead of digSLR -- made for a "close up" look at the deer as well as islands and landscapes.  I was amused at one of the doe stretching her neck to get a better look at me down below the ridgeline.  She obviously could not tell who (or what) I was.  Being wary (which is good) she stayed her distance.  Saw an old tin structure (possibly a shooting house) near the one mile mark situated on the lake-side of the trail largely hidden by pines.  Had never noticed it before, which attests to how well it is normally obscureced. 

Listening to the gentle slap of the waves along the shoreline I thought of family & friends that are so special to me.  Hope they have a wonderful Christmas and maybe they know I love and think about them.

Gear List:
MountainSmith Lumbar pack w/ 1st Aid & Survival Kit
1 Kleen Kanteen (water)
Merrell Chameleon hiking shoes
Gerber Prodigy
Swiss Hiking Staff
Simmons compact binoculars (7x35)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hiking Mtn Creek - Sat. 12/10/2011

Hike: Confederate Memorial Park, Mountain Creek, AL, Sat., 12/10/2011, 08:25-10:25
Distance: 4 miles  Rating: 4.5/5
Difficulty: Easy
Conditions: Clear. Beautiful blue sky. Calm to light breeze.  Upper 30s warming to near 50. Trails damp.  No one else on the trails today.
Many gray squirrels busy on ground and in trees.  Most leaves are on ground now.  Beech and a few other trees are still hanging on to their leaves, but most of the mostly brown leaves are now a soft carpet on the forest floor.  Cardinals and a few other passarines observed.  Did not see any whitetail deer, coyotes, or rabbits. 

The Sycamore at trail's end stands tall and bright in the early morning sun.  It reminds me of a monument, a monument to the majesty of GOD.  Sycamores have always been special to me.  Few trees (especially in our area) are as massive and beautiful as the Sycamore.  This time of year, the brilliant white bark shines in the winter sun.  I see this tree on each of my hikes here, but it really captured my attention in the morning sun light.

Received the sermon topic "Get in Shape" for New Year's Sunday. 

Trying out the Gerber Prodigy during my hikes.  Wears well at my right side.  Need to put in some camp-craft tasks soon.

Hiked lighter today - No camera/pics.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Hike @ Swayback Bridge - 12/03/2011

Hike: Swayback Bridge Trail, Sat., 12/3/2011, 08:25-12:10
Distance: 8 miles  Rating: 5/5
Difficulty: Easy
Conditions: Mostly clear, bright blue sky.  Light breeze stirring the tree tops -- bringing down a few leaves during the hike.  Temps cool at the start but warming to mid 60s by noon.

Started on the Black Trail in Reverse.  Included portions of the Red Trail and double-track.  Many hikers with dogs out today but they were all friendly.  Only met 4 mountain bikers. 

Observed many robins again near the 2 mile marker.  Not sure what attracts them to this area so much.  They fly away from me as I hike the trail but never leave the general area.  This forest is predominantly oak and hickory -- perhaps this area is abundant in one of their favorite foods.  Observed about 4 whitetail deer (doe).

Thoughts on GOD of Wonders - message for tomorrow. 

Right foot bothered me a little starting about mile 6.