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Monday, April 24, 2023

Surprises and Blessings - Day 416

My SIL, Loretta, wished me surprises and blessings for today. She got it right on both counts.

The first surprise was... snow again.
hiker on snowy trail

Who is that hiking with me? Dan, the trail work manager for the Jordan Valley 45 Chapter. He spotted me and hiked with me. He's an expert level sawyer with hand tools (think axes and big crosscut saws). He is part of the crew that cleared the tornado damage in the Boundary Waters. So, he has been a blessing to many of us!

Next up was a big surprise. We were doing the final road mile of the day and a car stopped. A man yelled out the window, "Joan Young!" He introduced himself. He'd just been out doing trail work in the Harbor Springs Chapter area, literally cleaning trail we had just hiked. He saw our names in a register book and hoped to catch us. He introduced himself as Tim Calloway.
man with sunglasses

The surprise part is that he has been helping NCT people since 1978. "1978, you say? It wasn't even a trail until 1980."

Right, but what big event occurred in 1978? Carolyn Hoffman and LouAnn Fellows followed the proposed route of the trail. He lived in Marquette at that time, and he hosted them. But wait... there's more. Remember that iconic picture of LouAnn (left) and Carolyn (right)? That picture was part of what inspired me to want to hike the NCT in the first place. Well... Tim took that picture!
hikers in 1978

Moving on to more blessings. My morning snack... picked at random from my snack tub in the car as I loaded my pack... looks like a festive birthday cake. It was yummy, too.
snack bar with sprinkles

I had decided a couple of days ago that I was going to treat myself to hot dogs at a deli/meat market in Petoskey. I like an occasional hot dog, and I like this place mostly because of the funny hot dog statue they have that is decorating himself with ketchup and mustard.
hot dog statue

Did I need TWO hot dogs? Did I get two anyway? I think the answers are self-evident. (Yes, ketchup, pickle relish, onions for those of you who want to take issue with my condiments of choice.)
hot dogs

For years, I've made it a goal to go for a hike on my birthday. Last year, I was flat on my back in the trailer with the flu. That was ironic. In the middle of a big hike, on my birthday, I was not hiking. Link below for that. So, the universe was put back in the right order this year.

I was going to title this post "A Bad Joke Gone Wrong." That sounded pretty negative, but I'll tell you the bad joke anyway. When things started to get difficult in the UP in December, I joked that I had better be done with this hike before I got to be 75. Well, guess what? Now I'm 75, and I'm still not done. I know, I know... shut up and keep hiking.

Miles today: 12.1. Total miles so far: 4613.2.

See Still Down


Dan Dueweke said...

Nice to hike with you today Joan. Hope those hot dogs hit the spot.

Cindy said...

Happy Birthday. Hot dogs look pretty good..

Ellie said...

Happy birthday, Joan! I agree with your perfect choice of birthday activities and birthday food. I hope it was a great day..

Ann said...

Happy Birthday. Glad you had some pleasant surprises for the day. Those were perfect choices for the hot dog. The only thing I would add would be mustard.

Doug said...

Excellent post! Love the history and your indomitable attitude. God is good. I'd never heard of hot dog man, I'll have to track it down.

The Oceanside Animals said...

Lulu: "Hot Dog Man is my new favorite superhero. They say not all heroes wear capes and now I know it's true. Some of them wear buns!"

Secondary Roads said...

All the best to you. Lots of hugs from Sylvia and some from me too.

Sharkbytes said...

Thank you all! The hot dogs were yummy.

Doug- Plath's Meats on Division Rd.

Lulu- Hot Dog Man is a worthy hero!

Chuck- so overdue for a visit with you two, but not sure when it can be.