Sunday, July 15, 2007

Appalachian Trail Adventures

Here are more pictures from the Appalachian Trail. I will post some details of the trip later, but wanted to share some of the pictures right away. Bring your sense of awe and your sense of humor. It will help enjoy the pics if you engage all your senses in imagining yourself hiking 85 miles of mountain trails with your house, bed, stove, food, clothes, and everything you need to survive a week on your back. Don't ask "why" at this time. Just imagine you are doing it and enjoy the pics.

Please remember these are taken with a disposable camera. I decided not to carry my 35 mm this time because it is bulky and the hike is hard on the camera.

People always say "the picture doesn't do it justice". That is certainly true of these landscape pics. Here you get some sense of the mountains rolling into the distance to what seems like infinity. It really gives a person a sense of the enormity of the universe. I saw a group of men drive up to the Walasi outfitter store, walk over to the scenic view and one said to the group "Did you know such a view existed an hour and a half from home?" Then they climbed into their VERY racy sports cars and roared off. That is not the same as hiking up a 6000 foot mountain, finding a rocky outcropping, and stopping to enjoy the breeze rising from the valley while you try to take in the view.

We walk past many, many interesting rock formations and trees growing where there seems to be no soil. If I had the camera capacity and anybody would be willing to share them, I could take a thousand pictures of the character of the various mountains.

Although we hiked later in the summer than usual and Georgia has had drought conditions much like Alabama, there were many flowers and various colors of Rhododendron in bloom.

Often I take many pictures and rarely am I in any of them. Here are a couple of pics to prove I was there!

Here is my good friend Joel, taking care of some business via cell phone even in this remote wilderness. Joel is a hard-working man and a great asset to his company and his family.

Here is another shot of Joel taking care of business. My ex-friend, Joel. Sorry, brother, it is just funny.

Here is Joel with his brother Jeff. What a duo!

If a photo can capture the difference in personality of two brothers, this may be it;

Yes, one is standing perfectly still and straight like you are SUPPOSED to even though he cares nothing for pictures and doesn't want a lot of attention. The other is monkeying around, pretending to throw a knife at his brother's back like you are NOT SUPPOSED to, because he loves attention and can't get enough. Below, is Jeff eating raw bear meat off his pocket knife.

Remember the story of Jacob wrestling with the angel all night? That is about how long Jeff wrestled with rigging the rainfly from his tent to serve as both pack cover and rain coat. He won about the time it quit raining.

We hiked a long way!

And finally this one;

It is not a top-quality photo of the men nor of the mountains. But it is a photo of a top-quality friendship. Over time Joel has become a true friend. His brother, Jeff, asked me on the hike how Joel and I became friends--what we had in common to begin with. My answer was that Joel had not only a willingness, but an eagerness to discuss spiritual matters at a deep philosophical level and at a very personal level. Joel has a directness that puts some people off and intimidates some. But that quality makes him a valuable accountability partner. And he allows me to be very direct and personal with him as well. What I share in confidence, I know stays with him. He can count on the same from me. He invites me to step on his toes much more than he steps on mine. And he tolerated my pace on this hike although he worked very hard to be in shape and was able to sustain a faster pace. Largely because of his leadership we held devotionals each day of the hike and were able to show the love of God to a few other folks even in these remote areas. That is the kind of friend I need. Thanks, Joel. I will hike with you anytime.


bbeth said...

Your last paragraph in this post is a perfect example of what our LBC studied Sunday morning. We are covering Stormie Omartian's book "The Power of a Praying wife" and our lesson for yesterday was praying for your husband and his relationships..."I pray for my husband to have good, godly male friends with whom he can openly share his heart. May they be trustworthy men of wisdom who will speak truth into his life and not just say what he wants to hear."
How wonderful for you (and LaWanna) that you have these men in your life as friends. I am glad that you had a wonderful week with your friends and that you were able to see God's beautiful world - up close and personal.

Bonnie Anderson

Anonymous said...

I love this blog! I love the pictures and the stories that go along with them. I think your pictures are great!

JSM said...

love the pics! can't wait to hear of all your adventures. let's say.... wednesday night over a baked potato? :)

Roxy Wishum said...

Good line, Judy. Baked potato it is.