Every outdoors activity has a beginning
This is a story of my trail beginnings.
Being born into a family with three older brothers proved to have a big impact on my life. We were a lot alike because we all loved the outdoors. My dad worked all day, and my mom could not wait to shoo us out of the house.
My parents bought a retired fifteen acre fish farm in northern Virginia so that we could have some place to play outside. Lots of trees and a small stream called Turkey Cock Run flowed along the northern border of our property. The house on the land was a small log cabin not large enough to keep four boys entertained inside. We made the outside our real home. We made secret hideouts, carved our names in trees, hunted game, fished, climbed trees, and made hiking trails throughout the area.
As my brothers grew up they became more interested in activities away from the farm. That gave me more alone time for the outdoors. Now the wooded trails became my trails with new adventures. Our fifteen acres were nestled between several huge hundred area farms. Those farms extended my outdoor kingdom. I built my secret cabin in my outdoor kingdom. My stream was four feet deep and twenty feet wide, and in the summer I would lie in the stream and look up at the trees and wonder what it would be like to be a bird sitting high in the tree top. The fish in the stream would nibble at my toes, and it would tickle.
My brothers kept a small race boat in our stream, and I often paddled the boat up and down the stream. I developed an elaborate trail system, and I marked it with a special notch so that I could always find my way back home. I knew the trail so well that I could have hiked it in the middle of the night without a light. In elementary school when I missed the bus I had to hike to school through my outdoor kingdom, some three to four miles. I often fell into the stream and had to stand beside the classroom radiator to dry. I did not mind because this was my kingdom, and all of the animals accepted me as their king. The wild animals like the turkey, deer, squirrels, rabbits, and birds were not afraid to be near me.
In the winter the stream would freeze over, and I could ice skate up and down the stream for what seemed like miles. I joined the Boy Scouts and used my trail system to hike to the meetings. There was not a question in my mind that God had created my kingdom, and that it would always remain special to me.
James 1:2-3 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trails of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance."