Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Backpacking the Knobstone Trail

This past weekend we took a handful of our young adults from the church backpacking on The Knobstone Trail in southern Indiana. It was a blast, and for many, it was their first experience backpacking. There were 6 of us [me being the only girl], and of the 6 of us, only 4 made it to the end. We had one guy, Nick, who's foot swelled up, and he pulled off at mile 25. The other guy, Rich, we got separated from around mile 6. It was a crazy few days, but luckily, we were all at the end of the trail so we didn't have to go home without someone, or call someone's parents and tell them we lost their son :). Overall, I think everyone had a blast and even learned some things about themselves. Backpacking will do that to you, and if you're not careful, you just might catch 'the bug' and periodically get drawn back out into the woods or mountains for undefined periods of time. Beware - it's contagious! :)
At Deam Lake Trailhead...packing up and getting ready to shuttle the cars and make water cashes. One of our only pictures of Rich, the guy in the army gear with his arms crossed [read on to find out why].

The beginning of the trail, viewed from the parking lot. Step one toward mile 45.

This is what most of our breaks looked like; Mike, on the right, demonstrates how we all felt :).

At a water cash. We hid water off of road crossings near the trail b/c most of the streams had dried up and it was 80+ degrees outside.

Hiking along the trail.

Hiking some more. We had this constant fear of poison ivy. We usually hike this trail in April, so it's all still dead. This time it was extremely overgrown. Don't touch anything with three leaves!

The view up one of the rediculously steep knobs. Who built this trail anyway? Ever heard of switchbacks?

Our last morning on the trail, we discovered this nasty thing on Mark's backpack. Before this moment, the only spiders we'd seen were daddy long-legs. Glad it was on Mark's pack and not mine!

Here we are at mile marker 45 - the end of the trail! Yay! We made it after a few days of bustin up and down steep knobs in 80 degree weather. The tree canapy was definitely welcomed.

Mike "mohawk" Hartlett at the end of his first backpacking trip.

The beautiful lake that marks the end of the trail.

Brandon "Boots" Engleking. He wore army-issue boots that started to fall apart on day 2. They were nicely held together with black electrical tape.

Rich "Footprints" Hendricks in what ended up being his 'home' for a couple days. We also began calling him "invisible rich" for awhile, since we got separated from him around mile 6, and didn't see him again until the end of the trail. He accidentally took a side trail that took him out to a road that he followed toward the hills. Luckily he reconnected with the trail once, ahead of us, and we were able to follow his footprints for a few miles before they disappeared again. Later we realized that when he ran out of water, he found someone to give him a ride to the state park where the trail ends to wait for us. He had quite the adventure, and we were so pumped to see him when we walked up to our car!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Fun with People I Love

This past week I got to spend four days in Spring Lake, MI with Emily Stokes, Julie Collins, and Amber Abel, three of my best friends from college [and still today!]. We had a blast...just hanging out, walking around the little touristy downtown, helping Julie paint her new office, and painting pottery as well! It was so relaxing and refreshing to "just be" with people who simply know me and have known me. I tried to post more pictures, but blogger says no, so these will have to do for now :).
Em and her masterpiece.

Amber's sushi bowl.

Julie's intense concentration.

At the Ceramic Cafe!

This is my "pre-kiln" bowl.

Em and I both dyed our hair brown. Mine just got darker...hers went from blond to dark brown. I hear Josh likes it!

Right before I left for MI my good friend Jill Gay got Jill Stoxen! My camera died, so I only got 2 pictures the whole time...congratulations Jill and Josh!