The X-Hiker Wife One Year Anniversary

Shoal Creek Church

Tent packed.  Check.  Sleeping bag packed.  Check.  Water packed.  Check.  I head downstairs to my pantry.  Food packed. No.  I grab at least six cans of various foods items and head out my back door.  Backpack on back and I decide on the same four and half mile trek I take on my runs.  Not on a trail, but right here in my neighborhood.  I am conditioning for my upcoming backpacking trip on the Pinhoti Trail in Alabama.  I do this several times leading up to the actual trip in order to get ready for the ten mile through hike on the trail.  Within 30 minutes my shoulders and feet begin to ache.  I am not used to carrying an additional thirty pounds of weight and my body is rebelling.  I push on and I make it back to my back door.  Thank God that’s over with.

The big day arrives.  I meet my fellow hikers at the assigned meet up spot and we head over to the trail head in Alabama.  Temperatures hover in the mid-forties for most of the morning.  I secretly wonder if this is what it will be like tonight.  Before we embark upon our journey we make a stop.  Our car creeps up to very old structure in the middle of a wooded area.  Later, I would find out it was the Talladega National Forest.  At first glance, anyone could tell this primitive structure was built long ago.  As I stepped inside and looked at the bare interior, I wondered about the lives of early settlers in the area.  This was Shoal Creek Church.  The structure was in built in 1895.  No doubt this church has been site of an untold number of celebrations and gatherings.  That was precisely the reason I was there today.  A couple on our hiking trip were married in that church and was there to celebrate their one year anniversary.  Needless to say, there aren’t many structures remaining from the 1890’s and this is one of the few remaining hand hewn log churches. The craftsmanship and quality of construction allowed this building to weather many storms.  Buildings constructed after it had fallen, but this still stands as a testament to the determination and will to survive of the early settlers.

The serenity of the woods, the gentle flow of water and this church gave me a new perspective on life.  I had to ask myself, what I am building that will stand the test of time?  Is it a friendship, a marriage or some other life’s work?  I don’t know the answer, but I am willing to find out.

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