Gardens Overlook parking area to Mountain Creek Loop and back

img_0399.jpgBoy, I sure didn't want to hike this morning. My 6 month old son has a virus, so he was up and unconsolable many times last night. My turn to get him to sleep came about 5:00 a.m. and it took about an hour to get him back to sleep. So, needless to say, I was not looking forward to hiking over 4 miles this morning.

But I did anyway.

Yay me.

In my second hike, I started at the parking area on Hwy 190 called the Gardens Overlook. This hike is only a piece of the Pine Mountain Trail, and the majority is the trail that goes around the camping area of FDR State Park. It's a very easy trail. Pretty flat most of the way. There are quite a few creeks here, and since today was pretty muggy and wet, there was a lot of mud.

The trail also has the Abandoned Fish Hatcheries that were built in the 1930's and left during WWII. When I hiked this trail a few months ago, the ponds were full, but today they were drained. There are a number of benches that have been constructed on this trail around the hatcheries by Eagle Scouts, so this would be a great trail to bring kids and stop for some rests. I've brought Tai and Bronwyn here before when Molly was pregnant with Liam.

My thoughts swirled today, being so tired and all. But I came across a few interesting things.

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First, there's this great wooded area that looks just like you're about to enter Narnia or that creepy cave that Luke Skywalker has to enter on Dagobah in the Empire Strikes Back. I like Narnia better.

img_0403.jpgThen, I came upon a tree that had recently fallen and blocked the path. It was kinda fun crawling through it to get to the other side.

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Finally, I saw this really cool tree on the Delano Trail, which is a section of the Mountain Creek Trail that doesn't go through the campsites. I have tried to stay on the Mountain Creek Trail through the camp, but I always lose the trail. So today I decided to just do the extra .7 miles of the Delano Trail a

nd bypass the confusion.

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For my sermon prep, I meditated on the following Scriptures:

Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23

Psalm 125

James 2:1-10, (11-13), 14-17

Mark 7:24-37

My thoughts went in a couple of directions. The first 3 readings are clearly about our response to the poor. But I can never quite get over Jesus' response to the Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7. So it will be interesting to see where the Holy Spirit takes me this week.

Last week, I meant to post the music that I listened to on my journey. Music is always such a part of my life and I always have something on. Last week was the Decemberists' The Crane Wife. The Decemberists are a fantastic band out of Portland, Oregon. What I love about them is that they are storytellers. You feel like you're sitting around a campfire at the turn of the 20th Century listening to stories of captains of ships and horrible interactions between families and forbidden love. Pretty melancholy, but fantastic music.

Today's soundtrack was Sean Watkins' Let It Fall. Watkins is one-third of the neo-bluegrass group Nickel Creek, who went on hiatus a year or so ago. All three members have done solo projects and this is Watkins' first album. He has such a great sound, and does a great job of blending bluegrass with more progressive rock and pop. The title track was written for and sung by Glen Phillips, of Toad the Wet Sprocket fame, who later joined up with Nickel Creek to create an album under the Mutual Admiration Society moniker. All great music, especially if you like acoustic and progressive bluegrass guitar.

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So there you have it. Another great hike and if you join hiking, music, and Scripture together, you get a little piece of the Kingdom.

Jeff+

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