[Ken and Deb 12/25/2016] We are enjoying a wonderful Colorado Christmas this season. Sans any snow, Faith sits alone down in Texas awaiting our return, but dressed as festive as ever! Wherever YOU happen to be, Deb and I wish you the most loving and warm Christmas possible. There are countless reasons to be excited for the Season, but none greater than the promise of Hope. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
We woke up this morning to a ther-mometer struggling to indicate a meager -1 degree outside temperature. An hour later it was -2 degrees. This was not a good trend. There were gusty winds, and overnight we were honored with the first Denver snowstorm of the season. Gifted with about 10 inches of snow, Geoff and I accomplished the snow-shoveling for mom -- I was quite happy when we finished as I no longer have any viable winter clothing.
ON EDIT: Last night the outside temperature dipped to -15 degrees. Zowie!
[Ken 12/10/2016] We had purchased a trailer to tow our Jeep (we have not been able to tow it 4-wheels down behind Faith since mid-summer, but that is another story). This weekend we found it necessary to do some work readying the trailer -- we were working in the parking lot of the local Lowe's store so that parts would be handy.
It was a pretty breezy and brisk day. A police officer pulled up in her cruiser. Instead of commenting on our impromptu construction zone, she offered to go get us a couple cups of warm coffee! Then she invited us to the local Christmas parade that evening. We thought that we were going to be busted for using power tools in a public parking lot, and what we got was some of that great Texan hospitality. What a great police department!
our picks for
"best" of the year
Most Miles Driven in a Day (Jeep): 1225 (Denver to Dayton, OH (2X))
Most Miles Driven in a Day (Faith): 456 (Birmngham to Shreveport)
Fewest Miles Driven in a Day: 42 (Livingston to Forest Glen Camp)
Number of States Kayaked: 11
Number of Lighthouses Toured: 9
Number of Cannon that Ken Sat On: Too many to count
Number of Forts Visited: 18+
Number of National Park System Units Visited: 33+
Number of Countries Visited: 3 (Canada, Mexico, USA)
Number of nights Wally-Docking: 8 (overnighting in a parking lot)
Number of Train Rides: 5
Number of Different Churches Attended: 23
Number of SOWER Projects: 11 (34 weeks total)
Number of Great New Friends: See cannons that Ken sat on
Email is a great way to keep up with friends and family!
Most Meaningful Project: Camp Loma de Vida, Edinburgh, TX (our first project)
Coldest Project: Billy Graham Training Center, Asheville, NC
Hottest Project: Lighthouse Camp, Smithville, TN
Wettest Project: Baldwin Baptist Camp, Elberta, AL
Dryest Project: Billy Graham Training Center, Asheville, NC
Smokiest Project: Billy Graham Training Center, Asheville, NC (forest fires)
Most Personally Challenging Project: Summit Grove Camp, New Freedom, PA
Most Accomodating Project: Baldwin Baptist Camp, Elberta, AL
Best Project Leadership: Forest Glen Christian Camp, Huntsville, TX
Best Overall Project: Deer Creek Camp, Medina, TX
Best State Park: Niagara Falls, NY, and, Fall Creek Falls, TN (tie)
Best Private Campsite: My brother Doug's backyard
Best Public Campsite: All of the State Parks in Texas are extremely well done
Best Wildlife: Rio Grande Valley State Park, TX (tropical birds galore!)
Best Connection to History: Summit Grove Camp, New Freedom, PA
Best Spontaneous Meeting: Max Lucado, Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, TX
Best Sunset: Baldwin Baptist Camp, Elberta, AL, and, Lighthouse Camp, Barker, NY (tie)
Coolest Lighthouse: Thirty Mile Light, Golden Hill, Lake Ontario, NY
Best Restaurant Experience: Lambert's Cafe, Foley, AL (Home of the "Throwed Rolls")
Best Roads: All the roads in Tennessee were great
Worst Roads: I70 around Indianapolis, and, roads in the Schnectady, NY, area (tie)
Prettiest Campsite: Ponchartrain Landing RV Resort, NOLA
Worst Campsite: Winton Woods Campground, Cincinnati, OH
Best Drivers: Central Texas region
Worst Drivers: Asheville, NC, and the entire New England area
Best Museum: Noah's Ark Encounter, Williamstown, KY
Best History Lesson: Erie Canal, Lockport, NY
Best Hiking Trails: Red River Gorge State Geologic Area, Stanton, KY
Best Kayaking Trail: Erie Canal, Lockport, NY
Best Running Trail: Golden Hill State Park, Lake Ontario, NY
Best Biking Trail: Valley Forge NHP, PA
Best Putt-Putt Golf: Baldwin Baptist Camp, Elberta, AL
Best Scenery: The Blue Ridge Parkway, NC
...AND THE REST
Most Beautiful Town: Portsmouth, NH, and, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (tie)
Town that Most Closely Resembled a Town in a Hallmark Movie: New Freedom, PA
Most Unique Worship: Cowboy Church, Bandera, TX (YeeHaw!)
Most Memorable Worship: Mission Hills Church, Littleton, CO, "Jonah - Building His Faith"
Longest Season: Fall (it started when we were in Pennsylvania in September and we followed the
leaf changes all of the way south to Texas in December)
Most Wildlife Encounters: Wild turkies, chickens, long horn steer, alligators, white-tailed deer, turtle, fish, frogs, rabbit, squirrels, black bear, dolphin, and lots and lots and lots of birds
Injuries: None, but Ken did get Poison Ivy at Lighthouse Camp, TN
Greatest Disappointment: Towing the Jeep Cherokee TrailHawk turned out to be a Big Fail
Greatest Blessing: Discovering that serving the Lord in this way can be so fulfilling (for the Project, too!), and that so many of the people we have met have also received this validation.