Saturday, October 30, 2010

Father-Son Camp Out

The 5th annual Father/Son camp out at Camp MACOBA is over and there was a pretty good turnout.

Most of Friday afternoon was spent setting everything up, and then some cooking and hanging out around the fire.

On Saturday morning everyone woke up to near freezing temperatures, clear skies, and calm winds. This later proved to be the recipe for a great day!

I arrived after breakfast and the groups had already started their rounds. There were three different groups: the trail, missions, and the events. Sam Kelly was busy with many things one which was clearing off all the trails. I drove up to the top field where the events were held. Chris Wilson was manning the snack booth and informed me that we had 100 participants this year! I went around taking some pictures of the events first. There was an archery shoot, air rifle, hatchet throw, slingshot, and finally blow darts.

Speaking of that last event, Chris Wilson had evidently done this before as he was pegging the bulls-eye.

There was a missionary from Iraq who had some stories to tell and held the boys attention.

Everything finished up around noontime, a little earlier than in years past due to some fall festivals and other things going on. All in all things went well and we look forward to this event again next year.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Easy" on Trail Patrol

Every time a storm blows through the camp I go out on Trail Patrol very soon afterward, to make sure all roads and trails are clear. With so many trees on the place there are bound to be limbs and even possibly trees down somewhere. Me and "Easy" headed out this beautiful afternoon to see what we could find. Now since Easy has come along it has made this venture a whole lot easier.

Before coming into the ministry, Easy had a life that was, simply put, easy. For the first 15 years it traveled the paved streets about a mile, twice a week, down to the Valley Hill Country Club, where it transported its owner for 18 holes (maybe even 36, on a great day), go up and down the hills and fairways that was almost as nice as a road, then carry him the mile back home where Easy was kept in a nice garage out of all the weather.

I would say while his life was filled with luxury, it was lacking in adventure. That has drastically changed! Shortly after the Fall Jamboree, Easy came into the ministry and I must say it's adjusting well, along with a few scratches and bruises.

A lift kit and some off road tires would probably save it from some bumps on the trails but other than one flat on a real rocky stretch things have been just fine. Just the other day I installed some headlights so the adventure would not be limited to just the daytime.

Anyway, the first place we went was down Beech Bottom Trail.

This is the trail that leads down to the secret creek and has been blocked by some huge trees. Since I don't have the equipment yet to handle quite that big a job, I managed to cut a trail around the trees. There were a few limbs down but nothing too big to handle.

After all the rain in the past week and especially yesterday, the creek was up and rolling. Right now this is the only trail that you have to eventually turn around and come back the same way you came; I'm working on changing that.

Next we went across the road to High Ridge Trail which begins shortly after you enter the gate, on the left. It goes up, down and around, and when the leaves are off the trees there is a beautiful view of the ponds, especially the Upper Pond.

Speaking of the Upper Pond, I created a new picnic area there this week and cut a path down to it from the main trail. Plans are to put another picnic area there in the spring or maybe even the winter. As we were nearing the top of the last hill there was quite a big tree that was blocking the way. I managed to pull it back just enough that it cleared the way. There were a few more smaller ones but nothing that was a big deal. We left that trail and traveled up and then across the field to the Nature Trail.

Easy must have thought it was back on the golf course for awhile -- well, maybe the rough any way. We started down the path and right away there were a few limbs in the way. Now this trail was cleared off by Sam Kelly earlier in the year and Sam did a great job. Easy's brakes got quite a workout for the next 15 minutes or so as I had to stop several times in the middle of going down the big hill.
Really there were no major obstacles, just some small limbs and a few rocks I moved out of the way. The squirrels did not seem to appreciate all our work as they were barking at us everywhere we went. Occasionally a chipmunk would dart in front of our path and would be gone in a flash.
Of all Easy's duties, I would guess Trail Patrol is his favorite, though last week he was a workhorse and there was some groaning going on. On patrol you just never know what will pop up. Here is a picture of what was discovered on High Ridge Trail last week. I am sure they could tell a story of days gone by.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Whitesburg RAs -- The Raincheck

The Whitesburg RA's had scheduled an outing up at the camp back in the spring, but the weather caused them to cancel. This time it all went according to plan. I had talked to Ray Romine but had never really got to meet him until this outing. He seems to be a great guy and a little younger than I thought. The younger and older groups were both up here on this trip. After everyone was settled, Denise and I drove up to chat with them a bit and get a picture or two

Later that evening I went back up and did a little mingling, snapping a few more pictures and meeting a few folks. I met John Crocker, which I had heard quite a bit about before this day. John seemed to be a very outgoing guy and suggested we have lunch sometime in the future. This sounded like a great idea to me.

They had everything laid out for supper and were finished when I arrived up there.

Matter of fact John was just about to begin their devotion so I quietly eased on off.

The moon that night was full and bright. We didn't need any headlights on Easy that night!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Earth Movers . . .

I arrived home on Tuesday morning and was refilling the bird feeders, when I heard a vehicle coming up the hill. It drove on over to the upper field and parked. In a few short minutes Easy and I were on our way over to check things out. It was Louis Rickets and his son. Mr. Rickets is a friend of Sam's and had been helping clear out some areas of the campground and the permanent location for the new campground restroom.

I had never met these men so we spent some time in conversation as they loaded up the dozier to take back to the farm. Sam had told me that when it came to equipment Louis Rickets was the man. I thanked them both for all the help with the camp and they said they were glad to do it and would help again in the future. I think Sam had told me Mr. Rickets was close to if not 80 years old. Man I pray I am in half the shape he is in at his age.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Birthday Celebration

After church we had our kids and their families up for Denise's birthday. I grilled out some burgers and some dogs and even through in a couple of brats...or as some folks call them sausage dogs!

Jocelyn made a birthday cake which was chocolate on chocolate and very good.

Sawyer, our grandson was present and this always brings a smile for Denise. Everyone had a good time and after a few hours folks dispersed.

Later this same afternoon the Kimbrough family came out to do some fishing and just walking around the camp. They had relatives from out of town - Michigan, I believe. Eddie and I were up at the pavilion talking until dark. After awhile folks finally started returning to the truck.
Grandma had gone for a walk and was coming along but the hill below the pavilion proved to be too much. Eddie's wife asked if I could go down and help her. Well this is before Easy had lights but we could still see enough to make the trip. I also had a flashlight just in case.

We traveled down the hill, scooped up Grandma and completed the rescue mission without a hitch. She was very thankful and we were pleased to be of service.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mayfair Weekend

Doug Smith from Mayfair brought the "Young Pros" out for a weekend of rest and relaxation and they picked a perfect weekend to come.

He has come out before and we really love having them. They did some exploring, walking, talking around the campfire and even had a small service on Sunday morning before packing up.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


This morning at Lighthouse we had the privilege of hearing Dr. Charles Richards preach. Our normal pastor, Randy Watts, was away on some much needed R&R with his family.

Brother Richards did a fine job and has been a member of Lighthouse for quite awhile now. He is often away preaching at other churches or teaching from the book he wrote on the end times. I really like Brother Richards and have known him for several years.

Rob Peavy had called me on Friday night and said he had a willing and able group from Willowbrook Baptist Church that he wanted to bring up to help around Camp MACOBA on Saturday. Well of course I was glad to hear it, though I would be away at work during the time they would be here. Rob asked for a list so I left one. They did a mighty fine job and many trees were cut and brush picked up. They also split quite a bit of wood and stacked it for future campers. This will be great as I believe there are still four more groups scheduled for this year.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall's Turn

My wife's favorite time of the year has finally arrived "Fall". Summer is quite a strong season and really just did not want to let go, as it was still in the mid 90's only a week or so ago. The other day I took a tour around the camp just doing some reflecting and getting ideas for the spring. I took a few pictures like the one here of the first sign of fall up here. Summer is only the boss for so long.
The ponds look good, especially the upper one, and there will be some major changes coming up there before spring. While I was easing around up there I caught this little critter just sunning himself on the bridge. Won't be too long and he will be hidden away for several months awaiting a warm spring day.
We are proceeding with our plans to replace the gate at the entrance of the camp. Last week we placed the order for the gate and the electronic opening system. The actual gate is scheduled to be installed in about 4-5 weeks while the electronic parts will be here next week. The owner of New Market Iron Works, Inc. has been gracious enough to sell it to us at cost...we are getting a great deal on a quality gate! We appreciate this very much.