Life Verse:

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

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Lakeside Hike - Swayback TOLA - Sat., 2/27/2016

Hike: Lakeside Trail, Swayback TOLA, Sat., 2/27/2016; 08:45-12:00CST
Distance: 4.7 miles  Difficulty: Easy.  Family and Pet friendly  Rating: 4/5
Conditions: Clear.  Beautiful blue sky.  Calm.  Lake was tranquil.  Low 30s at start headed to Hi of about 63 today.  Trails wet and muddy in spots from recent storms.  A couple of blow-downs due to previous stormy weather necessitated at least one minor detour.
A little more comfortable hiking weather than yesterday due to calm winds.  Sky was clear and Lake Jordan was peaceful.  Only a couple of bass boats made an appearance.

Birds (of several different stripes) and gray squirrels were quite busy today.  Woodpeckers' cadence could be heard in several spots.

Encountered a few mountain bikers, a handful of other hikers, and a couple of dogs (both on leash -- and one of them needed to be on leash!).

Time of prayer and worship -- Hiking is a spiritual refreshing time for me.  It is cathartic to be immersed in GOD's Creation as I fellowship with HIM.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail - Fri., 2/26/2016

Hike: Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail North Loop, Chimney Rock, South Loop Trails; Fri., 2/26/2016; 08:45-12:30CST
Distance: 6 miles  Difficulty: Moderate  Rating: 4.5/5
Conditions: Upper 30s to Low 50s; Wind: steady and moderate off the lake; trails in good shape; some white caps on the lake!
Absolutely PERFECT hike.  Thank YOU, LORD, for a wonderful day and hike!  Excellent time of worship and introspection.  Except for the occasional bird and one coyote, I had the trails all to myself today.

Tested out Black Diamond Alpine Ergo trekking poles -- five stars in my opinion.  Certainly made the ascents and descents easier to manage.  The Fjallraven Vida Pro pants were comfortable and certainly up to the demands of the trail.

“For you shall go out with joy,
And be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills
Shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Isa. 55:12 NKJV 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Gold Trail - Swayback TOLA - 2/20/2016

Hike: Gold Trail, Swayback Trail of Legends, Sat., 2/20/2016 08:30-11:00CST
Distance: 4 miles  Difficulty: Easy  Rating: 4.5/5
Conditions: Foggy to mostly cloudy.  Comfortable temps.  Light breeze.  Trails wet from recent rains.  A few muddy spots.  Saw no mountain bikers today, only trail runners or hikers.
Quite enjoyable hike.  The moderate fog made for a mysterious hike.  Taking the Gold Trail was a treat.  It hugs the ridge line and offers panoramic views of the lake.  With winter at it's latest, and all of the leaves off the trees, one can see deep into the forest.  Some features are visible this time of year that you would never notice otherwise.

Several birds, including some noisy crows, were busy about spring preparations.  Woodland violets are blooming and I am getting spring-fever!

A good time of Worship and Reflection.  Thank YOU, LORD, for life and life more abundantly.

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.
Psalms 19:1-4 NKJV

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Lakeside Trail - Swayback TOLA 2/13/2016

Hike: Lakeside Trail Swayback, Sat. 2/13/2016 09:45-11:45CST
Distance: 5.8 miles Difficulty: Easy Rating: 4.5/5 
Conditions: Clear blue sky. Low 40s. Wind calm to moderate. Trails dry with a few muddy spots.
A pristine blue sky was the backdrop for the entire hike today.  One could not have asked for a more perfect setting.  With cooler temps (lower 40s at start) and moderate winds the frog choirs were not active today.  Birds of all sizes were actively involved in "bird-business" though.  Their songs and squawking were joined by the trees moaning in the wind.  Altogether a wonderful hike.

I was glad to see the bright Northern Cardinal -- Spring is coming!

As I was hiking out the main trail toward the trail head, I met two families on mountain bikes.  They were riding in reverse order of age (youngest in the front).  I was impressed with the young girl's trail etiquette and presence of mind.  Upon seeing me she immediately yelled out to the riders behind "hiker ahead, move to the right".  There were about 6 kids from elementary age to teens with their two moms.  (Don't know why neither dad was present.)  Kudos to you both, Mom, for taking your children out on the trail!

Great prayer and worship time today.  Had the trails largely to myself.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Thought of the Day - 2/10/2016

 “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
 – Will Rogers

Friday, February 05, 2016

Fab Friday Hike @ Swayback

Hike: Lakeshore Trail Freestyle, Friday, 2/5/2016 09:30-12:30CST
Distance: 5.6 miles Difficulty: Easy Rating: 4.5/5
Conditions:  Almost perfect for hiking. Clear and quite cool. Moderate breeze. Trails wet from winter rains. No one else on trails. 
Bright azure sky contrasted by the gray and brown of the Southern winter forest was the setting for my hike today. I was serenaded by numerous birds and frog choirs. The forest itself joined the chorus as it swayed and moaned in the breeze. Altogether the forest & I worshipped our CREATOR