Thursday–March 4, 2021
Another great stay with Rick and Martha Cranford! Took another hot soaking in their guest bathroom tub (for my tired old bones). Timing couldn’t have been better for finishing my journal entry before falling asleep.
We’re early at it this morning, as Rick has a shuttle to do before delivering me back to Pine Glen. Ahh, but Rick had planned it perfectly and finds time to prepare coffee and blueberry pancakes for us before we hit the road! Shuttle completed, Rick has me back to Pine Glen and on trail just after eight.
Plan is to shelter it at Choccolocco tonight, then trek it up and over Dugger Mountain tomorrow to CR-500 on the north side of Dugger where Rick will pick me up again tomorrow afternoon.
Another blue-perfect hiking day as I climb beside Shoal Creek. There are little riffles and rapids along, and as the sun sets the waters glistening, the gentle sound of the cascading water is so comforting to my ear.
Mid morning I stop in at the neat Laurel Shelter, to rest a while and to read the recent hiker entries in the shelter register. Ahh, and a note with kind wishes to me three days ago from Kanati. Good energy–thanks friend!
Late morning I arrive at the old hewn log Shoal Creek Church and cemetery. Here I walk among the graves, most of which are marked only with field stone. Below the cemetery is the old church. The door is open so I enter the sanctuary–to pause and give thanks. Coming here, visiting these sacred grounds in the forest brings pause. In this place there’s a presence of quiet, unassuming dignity. It emanates all about, from a long time ago, a very long time ago.
Late afternoon, and near the end of another long sideslab around the ravines feeding Choccolocco Creek I meet the only two people I see today; Ribeye & Stich. It’s Stich’s 12th birthday and they’re out to celebrate. Dad and son, big smiles. A happy time! Evening, I arrive at Choccolocco Reservoir and the fine trail shelter.
Seems I have an ongoing problem with roots in the trail. Hung my toe on one this afternoon and did the most inglorious face plant! A minor nosebleed. A little mopping up. Then back on trail none the worse for wear. This IS day 13…
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
(Neale Donald Walsh)