Robinson Road to North Conway Road: 14.9 miles
Mackinaw State Forest

The sky was not just overcast but we could see the thunder clouds. The lady at the reception desk wondered if we were wise heading out. I wondered if we were wise but nothing is quite as refreshing as walking in the rain when it is warm. The rumbling thunder was distant and we saw no flashes of lightening.

Ron had his plastic rain gear. I call it sweat gear. I wore my usual shorts and shirt. Hiking in the heavy forest I did not anticipate getting completely soaked so I had not removed my underwear. Nothing is quite as irritating as having the sun and wind dry everything but your wet underwear.

It rained for several hours. The droplets were heavy and large as they dripped from the maple leaves. There was no good place to rest, everything was damp or soaked. We came up to the Pleasant View Township Hall at this rural quiet intersection. The door was unlocked and the light was on. The lady looked up from the phone as I tried to open the door. Interrupting her conversation did not seem wise so we sat on the bench outside. I wonder what she thought as she must have been watching us through the window with her shotgun on the desk.

2There was total quiet; no birds, squealing chipmunks, or even the rustle of the wind in the Aspen leaves. I heard the voice the same time Ron did, “Excuse me!” She was young, not unattractive, outfitted like she was well acquainted with wilderness hiking, and wanted to pass us on the trail. We immediately went into our “Let’s get acquainted mode” but she was in no mood to stand and talk. She was gone. It was like, “Did this really happen?”

It seems to me that this is the way God often works in my life. It is not often he puts me on the ground or hits me on the side of the head to get my attention. It is almost always unexpected, surprising, and polite. “Excuse me” can I have your attention? Have you thought of this? Why and what are you doing? Have you forgotten I am here? An hour later she came bouncing back down the trail toward us. This time we discovered she was from Colorado, very used to hiking, and was just having a fun time by herself. We also realized we should not feel bad. She was 50 years younger, about 50-100 pounds lighter in body weight, and used to hiking in the Rockies. So, she was real after all and we had new insight into our own limitations and abilities. God always seems to confirm His presence with new insights.

Later we saw some serious bark damage on a maple tree along side the path. It looked like a bear had been getting some exercise there.

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