Adventures in GOD's Creation!

Chief Ladiga Trail Bicycle Ride Saturday, 2007/11/10 - COMPLETED!

Fourteen people participated in this Bike Hike on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2007.  Had a great time of Fellowship, Exploration, and Appreciation of GOD's creation.  The Fall colors were spectacular in the Piedmont area of Alabama.  Thank YOU, LORD, for making such a place as this and for allowing us to experience this day together.  We hope that perhaps next time, you too, will be able to join us in an Outdoor Ministry Expedition!

Check out pics of this Expedition: Photo Album

Hiking Expedition to Walls of Jericho 2007/12/08  (Date:  Saturday, December 8, 2007) - COMPLETED!

See Walls of Jericho information from Alabama Dept of Conservation and Natural Resources.  Nature Conservancy webpage on Walls of Jericho.  See pdf Trail Map here. 

Expedition #3 - Alabama Wildlife Federation Nature Center Hike, Millbrook, AL 2008/01/19 - Nature Center was closed due to weather!  Alternate site was Mountain Creek Historical Park - COMPLETED!

This was an absolutely wonderful Expedition.  We had planned to hike at Lanark, the Alabama Wildlife Federation Nature Center, but found it closed due to weather.  This worked out for our benefit - GOD knows what HE is doing!  Confederate Memorial Park in Mountain Creek received 1-3 inches of snowfall.  Wonderful time of fellowship and appreciation of GOD's Creation.  Emily, Jonny, Nathan, & Martha joined me for this Expedition.   YOU made this an awesome place and time LORD!  Thank YOU.  Mountain Creek received a much better snowfall than Prattville or Millbrook. To say that the area was beautiful would not adequately describe it. The tranquility, peace, quietness, softness, and pristine beauty of the snow blanketed forest is something you must appreciate for yourself.  This was one of those life-memory-making events. Message for tomorrow morning is "Snow & Frost" from Psalm 147. I love YOU, LORD.  Check out our photo album.


Expedition #4 - Moundville Archaeological Park - 2008/02/16 - COMPLETED!

This is a Day Trip to the Alabama Moundville Archaeological Park near Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Participants will enjoy a day focused on the history, culture, and native people of Alabama between 1000 and 1500 A.D. We will be able to explore on foot and by vehicle the impressive mounds built by these people. If you are still and quiet you may
even be able to picture this area, the second largest Native American city in the U.S., as it was over 1000 years ago!
We will also be able to enjoy GOD’s Creation on the ½ mile Nature Trail Boardwalk overlooking the Black Warrior River. You will NOT need hiking or backpacking equipment for this hike.
Plan to bring a sack lunch, drinks, and snacks to share in this event and fellowship! We will plan to have a short time of Bible Devotional and Sharing at the park.


Expedition #4.1 - Prattville - Church Campus - Total Lunar Eclipse - COMPLETED!

NASA Website with complete info on the lunar eclipse can be viewed
here http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/LEmono/TLE2008Feb21/TLE2008Feb2...

GOD blessed us with clear skies during the total eclipse time!  We had a perfect view from the field on the south side of the church campus.  While the moon did not display the turquoise color NASA had speculated might be seen, the warm red glow covered our nearest celestial neighbor in this beautiful astronomical event.  GOD orders the path and timing of all celestial objects and this is a wondrous example of HIS power and beauty.

It was great to have Emily, Jonny, Martha, Nathan, Jim, ConnieT, and Kathy join me on this Expedition 4.1. 

All of the images captured of this event are in our minds – none of our digital photos would do the event justice!

Expedition #5 - Backcountry Hiking/Camping - Providence Canyon GA State Park - 3/14 through 3/15/2008


This was an ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC experience.  GOD answered our prayers and gave us wonderful weather during this two day expedition.  It was great to fellowship with all of you and to enjoy GOD's creation.  Thank you to Emily for bringing the Bible devotional on Saturday morning.  I believe Psalm 121:8 was most appropriate!

Hope you will check just a small sampling of the 200 or so photos I took in these canyons!  Look here.


Expedition #6 - Coldwater Creek, Milton, FL Canoe/Kayak - Sat, July 26, 2008 -- COMPLETED!

Twenty-two people, 14 kayaks, and 2 canoes... we had a blast on Big Coldwater Creek on this Expedition.  Even our three youngest adventurers, Ashton, Nicole, and Savannah thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  We were on the creek by 10:30 and finished about 2:00pm.  No serious spills and we came back with everyone we left with!  Thank YOU, LORD, for a wonderful day of fellowship and fun in YOUR Creation.

Expedition #7 - Gulf State Park / Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge - Sat., August 16, 2008 - COMPLETED!

Eight people, a beautiful day with clouds (to cool things off some), a few sprinkles, gorgeous landscape -- and you have a wonderful Expedition!  We had a great day of beach fun and hiking the salt marshes and sand dunes of the Pine Beach Trail at Bon Secour NWR.


Expedition #8 - Completed

Hiking & Picnic at Alabama Wildlife Federation Nature Center -- Lanark, Millbrook, AL -- Sat. 01/17/2009

Four hearty souls on a cold winter morning.  Throw in beautiful landscapes from hardwood uplands to riparian bottoms, a large flock of turkeys, a roaring fire in the stone fireplace of the pavilion, some hot chocolate, and wonderful fellowship -- and you have the making of a fine expedition.  An excellent way to start off 2009!

Expedition #9 Completed

Hike & Picnic at Barton's Beach Nature Preserve

Hike: 2/21/2009 09:25-13:25
Distance: Estimated at 4 miles (pedometer did not function correctly)
Rating: 5/5
Difficulty: Easy. All trails were flat. Little to no elevation changes throughout the area. Some blow-downs to negotiate but bushwhacking required was not a problem.
Conditions: Absolutely gorgeous day! Bright blue, clear sky throughout the expedition. Temps started out around 40, but warmed up to low 60's by afternoon. Breeze was light to moderate and except for the sound in the tree tops was not noticeable in the forest.
Martha, Jon, Nathan, Charlie & Cynthia (their first expedition) joined me for Expedition #9 to Perry Lakes & Barton's Beach Nature Preserve. We had a wonderful time, though we did miss some of our regular ones. Hiked Ridge Trail, Round Lake Trail (did a little bushwhacking through slough trail area), and climbed the 100' Birding Tower (views were amazing here and the wind was more noticeable up top). Also hiked the Beach Trail and Secret Trail. Spent some time on the white sand beach of the Cahaba River. The white sand is truly amazing - almost as pristine as one would expect on the Gulf beaches. We picnicked together and shared a devotional from Romans 1 and Psalm 1. A great time and, as Martha said, "This is one to do again." 


Expedition #9.1 - Completed

Free Trial Campout -- Fri. 3/13/2009 through Sat. 3/14/2009 -- Try your hand at camping but from the "safety" of civilization (our church campus)! 

Expedition #10 - Completed

Paul M. Grist State Park

Thirty people enjoying a picnic (complete with grilled burgers), fishing (from the banks and boats), and a wonderful time of fellowship March 21, 2009.  Little Charlie fell in the lake while fishing but was none the worse for wear!  We did not endanger the fish population very much, but everyone had a great time.

Expedition #11Completed

Easter Picnic at Mountain Creek

Sixteen people enjoyed an Easter afternoon of fellowship at our annual after-Easter service picnic under the pavilion at Confederate Memorial Park in Mountain Creek.  We enjoyed our picnic lunches, fun and games, hiking, and the gorgeous flowers blooming all around.  What a great way to wrap up a wondrous day.

Expedition #12 -

Canoe/Kayak on Coldwater Creek, Milton, Florida

Join us for a fun-filled day and a day to reflect on the wonders that GOD has blessed us with in HIS Creation.  Our outfitter will be Adventures Unlimited (Tomahawk Landing, Milton, FL).  Cost per single kayak is $30.00.  Be sure and bring drinks and snacks for the river (No Glass containers allowed) and additional money for a stop at a fast-food type place on the way back.  We will depart the church at 6:30am on 8/22/2009.  Contact Pastor Larry for additional info.

 Expedition #13 - Bioluminescence Tour Merritt Island, FL -- Cancelled due to Tropical Storm


Expedition #14 - Chief Ladiga Rail Trail Bike Ride -- Cancelled due to storms


Expedition #15 - Hiking Chinnabee Silent Trail -- Completed

Five people enjoyed a wonderful day of hiking the 8 miles of the Chinnabee Silent Trail from Turnipseed Trailhead to Lake Chinabee and return.  The weather was gorgeous, the company was grand, and the view was breathtaking.  Cheaha Falls was in fine form as reams of water plunged over the falls.  Devil's Den was also very photogenic.  We shared a picnic lunch, fine fellowship, and a devotional from Psalm 121 at Lake Chinnabee.

Expedition #16 - Hike / Picnic at Horseshoe Bend National Military Park - Canceled due to weather/illness.

Expedition #17 - Hike Cheaha Mountain

Wonderful.  Glorious.  Spectacular.  These are a few of the adjectives used to describe this expedition.  Twenty-six people enjoyed the beauty of GOD's Creation in the valley and up to the top of Cheaha Mountain.  Most of us tackled the Rock Garden Trail from Lake Cheaha to the summit.  We also enjoyed a picnic lunch near the Rock Tower.  Our devotional thought was from Psalm 50.

Expedition #18 - Camp out / Hike Conecuh National Forest

Due to schedule conflicts this expedition wound up just being Kathy and me.  Took our pop-up camper to Open Pond Campground in Conecuh National Forest.  Had a wonderful time hiking the Conecuh Trail, star-gazing, and relaxing around the campfire.  Food cooked in a Dutch Oven over a campfire cannot be beat.  Sitting back by the low campfire late at night, staring up in the openings of the tall Longleaf Pine sentinels at GOD's beautiful heavens was especially peaceful and inspiring.

Expedition #19 - Hiking Noccalula Falls 4/10/2010

Had a wonderful time!  Gadsden's Annual BBQ Festival was held on same day (which I didn't know about) but the crowd was mostly confined to the parking lot and vendor areas.  We were not crowded at all in the gorge or our hike to the falls.  It was amazing to hike behind the 90ft waterfall and peer out through the dazzling curtain of water.  The flow is significant and the crash of the water is certainly audible - though it is not too loud.  To me it felt as if we were entering a secret world as we descended into the gorge and especially as we entered the cavernous area behind the fall.  Cliff swallows plied through the mist (chasing insects I presume) as we were misted by the wind-blown fog from Noccalula Falls.  Rocks all around the falls were slippery necessitating the careful stepping from rock to rock.  It was best to step on soil rather than rock if you could.  The water flows down the gorge from the pool, often dropping through slots and small waterfalls.  Massive boulders line both sides of the creek and often intrude into the water.  I don't believe this is water you would want to find yourself in - at least not in this area.  Wild hydrangea lined much of the downstream side of the trail (though it is not in bloom yet).  Other wildflowers joined the Redbud trees in wonderful displays.  The purple wisteria in this park is particularly showy - bathing the hiker not only with a visual treasure but also a sweet perfume.  Kathy, Liz, Jon, and Amber joined me on this expedition.  I hope everyone else had as great a time as I did.  It ended much too soon.

Expedition #20 - Cahaba National Wildlife Refuge

(Glenn, Liz, Larry G., Josie, me).  Intention was to hike to see Cahaba Lilies.  Cahaba River was very high, fast, and muddy -- heavy rains in this part of the state.  Almost all lilies were covered by the muddy, fast flowing river.  Did see and photograph some gorgeous wildflowers.  Stopped by Bibb Glades Nature Preserve on way back.  Little Cahaba River was not muddy and the wildflowers were wonderful.  Eventhough we missed out on the lilies this year, the expedition was great.

Expedition #21 - Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge / Bio-luminescence Tour

Two portions of this Expedition:  (Part I) (Liz, Jon, Amber, & me).  Toured the Thousand Islands area near Cocoa Beach, FL.  Mangrove coastal area.  Viewed several manatees, Great Blue Herons, Osprey, Green Heron, Night Heron, Snake Bird, Florida Stingray, different species of mangrove trees.  Such a beautiful area.  Liz and Amber tried their hands at single kayaks for the first time.  Both did well.  Traveled through some mangrove tunnels near the end of the tour.  Was a beautiful time in so many ways.  (Part II) (Pam and Barry joined us for this portion.)  A phenomenal, joyful experience!  The bio-luminescent algae, the myriad stars, the jumping mullet, porpoises, beautiful coves of the Indian River - GOD, YOU, were magnified in YOUR creation.  Thank YOU for this special time.  Felt like a kid chasing the mullet and wide eyed in amazement at the surreal glow of the dinoflagelates.  Liz & I shared a tandem kayak.  What a wondrous time.  My heart was filled to overflowing.

Expedition #22 - Kayak/Canoe Coldwater Creek, Milton Florida (July 10, 2010)

For info on Adventures Unlimited see: http://www.adventuresunlimited.com/