Monday, October 13, 2008

Just a Few of the Critters of the Blue Ridge Parkway

How Big a Boy Are You? Only ~2.5 Ft. and ~3 inches of Timber Rattlesnake

Beech Gap Tunnel Gap Area Monarch Migration
Did not see a single Bear, but this was the Mac Daddy evidence ~3 Pounds worth
Wooley Worm says
"Cold start to the winter followed by a warm spell and then a cold end to the Winter season."
Salamander found outside my tent door after 15 hours of steady rain
Katydid or Katydidn't
Just a few of the Critters I encountered on my walk on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Lots More to Come in the Coming Weeks

Kaci Campbell, Dr. Harley Jolley, Dave Barlow, BRP Superintendent Phil Francis at Headquarters
Sun's Rays settling behind Water Rock Knob
Fall has arrived at the Water Rock Knob Area of the Parkway

Dave "Sojourner" Barlow and Granddaughters Rebecka and Alicia Barlow with a wagon load of Operation Christmas Child Gift Boxes.

Now that the Blue Ridge Parkway Walk is finished, the work really begins. I kept a detailed Journal and have more than 350 pages of information and more than 2,360 photos that were taken on the 42 -day "Walk of a Lifetime" Some of the photos and Trail Journal entries will be posted here soon.

Anyone that hikes long distances will recognize the expression "Trail Angels" I will try to list in the coming days some of the Trail Angels that have enriched my experience. I will also try to post some of the absolutely incredible photos that I have had the privilege to try to capture for all to see.

Sooooo...... Here is a little sampling!!!
Dave "Sojourner" Barlow

Derek - The Trail eMail Publisher

Derek Miller and Dave Barlow
(Click to Enlarge)
Many of you have followed my walk through regular "Trail eMail" Posts from the ubiquitous E-mailer - Derek Miller. Let me take a few minutes of your time to introduce you to this unique individual. Derek is a personal friend of mine that is like both a Brother and a Son, a mentor and an apprentice. We sometimes jokingly explain to others that we are "Long Lost Brothers from Different Mothers"
Derek is the "Lead Staff Member" of my summer American Odyssey programs that have been offered for the last 13 years. Derek assists me in designing the offerings of American Odyssey, Derek and I have traveled throughout North America together, from the Arctic Ocean throughout Alaska, Canada, New England, and Mexico. We have been to all of the lower 48 states together as well as all of the Canadian Provinces.
Derek and I met in 1998 and he has served as a Staff member from 1999 - to the present on almost all of the American Odyssey offerings. You can ask any of the American Odyssey participants and they will tell you that it is uncanny how you can ask Dave or Derek the same question at the same time even if they are in different locations and you will receive the same answer. We are programmed on the exact same frequency and have the same wavelength down to the nano Angstrom.
He is a former High School Math Teacher, a Nurse at the Burn Center in Chapel Hill, NC, a student of New Games and Initiative Games, Tom Brown Jr. and Early American Ways, Music, Guitar and Native Ameican Flute.
Derek took most of the photos at the end of the Blue Ridge Parkway Hike and actually was able to assist with the resupplys that took place in Roanoke, Hwy 52 at Fancy Gap in Virginia, Boone, and was there at the end of the Parkway Walk for me. I am Proud to introuduce you to:

Derek Miller
"My Long Lost Little Brother From a Different Mother"
Thank You from the bottom of my heart for the Friend You Are To Me!


David Barlow at Southern End of the Blue Ridge Parkway
MP 469

On Sunday October 12th at 1:35 pm David Barlow took his Backpack off and set it down on the side of the Blue Ridge Parkway next to the 469 Milepost marker and declared that -

"The Original Blue Ridge Parkway Is Mine - And also part of Operation Christmas Child."

A total of more than 479 miles was walked over a 42 day period to raise awareness for the World's Largest Christmas Project. Hundreds of people were able to hear about the ministry of Samaritan's Purse and several newspaper articles and web articles were the result of the effort. More than 250 Business Cards were given out with this Blog site address and other contact information.


An article from The News & Advance, in Lynchburg, VA.
"Retired Park Ranger Hiking 469-Mile Blue Ridge Parkway"
Special thanks to Chris Dumond, the author of the article, and Chet White, the photographer.

Samaritan's Purse -Located in Boone, NC has an amazing Web Article on their Website
Look at the changing Photos at the top left of the website.

This article thanks to Valerie Davis, Rachael Fugate, and Jon Black - Photographer. and all of the folks at Samaritan's Purse in Boone, NC
The Samaritan's Purse Web article is titled
"Sharing The Journey"

The Charlotte Observer
The Christian Post Article
"Russian Adoptee, U.S. Hiker Changing Lives with Shoe Boxes"
By Michelle A. Vu
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Oct. 08 2008

Possibly More to Follow.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

In the Final Week of the Parkway Hike


I can hardly believe it!! I am finally within sight of Mount Pisgah and the Great Smoky Mountains. I rounded the turn at Balsam Gap Overlook, climbed onto the Craggy Mountains and when I looked off into the Weaverville, NC area and toward I-26 I could see them both.

This Journey has been amazing and yet I know there is much still to be done. I still have more than 70 miles to go. I will meet with the Headquarters Staff on Monday, October 6th and then "Press On" toward Cherokee and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

I apologize for not being able to update the Blog as I go. I have passed out so many Cards. I plan on spending quite a bit of time updating after I complete the Journey. I must tell you though, there is enough information for several books. The wonderful kindness of strangers, the intensity of the experience, the sights, the smells, the people, the culture of the road and the visitors and more......

Please keep returning. Within the next couple of weeks, I will have much more here to share.

Also, Remember www.Samaritan'

The National Collection Week is November 17-24, but you may send completed boxes year-round to our headquarters:

Operation Christmas Child
Samaritan's Purse
P.O. Box 3000
801 Bamboo Road
Boone, NC 28607

More Soon to Come!!!!

Dave "Sojourner" Barlow