KLINE'S PAST DISPATCHES FROM THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL

AUGUST 8TH, 2011 .......

My 35th birthday, weather is good let's get to stepping.  It's going to be a rocky path so I better lace the boots tight.  It's quiet out here today, I guess that means lots of time to think.  When you got that kinda quiet and time you'll find out a little bit about yourself and hopefully more about your purpose.  Every day you wake up there's a short term daily purpose.  Those daily purposes build and developed your life purpose.  What's your purpose??

I was about 1/4 way through the section and I was welcomed with the sounds of an eastern timber rattler, he was dark in color about 4' long and had about 5 segments on the rattle.  After a couple mins of watching it, I found it to be a docile creature.  I posed no threat to him and he was none to me, I guess it was a mutual respect.  What is this guys purpose it surely has one.  Who knows what, but I'm certain unfortunate creatures have met their purpose because of it.  With a little nudge of a stick we said our fair wells.

I continued on down the trail a ways and came upon a little campsite that should have had a fresh running spring, according to notes and blogs I had read about the section.  There was a young couple sitting there studying a map.  We offer our greetings and their first words "there should be a running spring here but its dry and we're out of water".  They're hiking from Swatara to the Delaware Water Gap about 100 miles.  I'm actually baffled by this, they could have got water at Hawk Mountain 7 miles back (DON'T PASS UP WATER if your low) but none the less they got 8 miles to reach Port Clinton and MAYBE 8oz of water.  I simply reply you're in luck; I have 2 liters on me and a gatorade.  Your choice.  Water it is and I'm now a liter short but I wasn't concerned.  I kept our encounter brief; they were resting and preparing to cover about 15miles today.  I could tell they had enough knowledge to be dangerous.  I shared some basic knowledge pointing things out on their map (like the next 3 springs providing there not dry) and realized a lot of things I shared I learned from Paul.  Karp moved with a purpose and things he shared and showed me had purpose.  I'm now was able to share that info.  It felt good to help them out with the water and a little map reading class. I found a simple purpose with these folks.

I'm into this for trek about 3 1/2 hours now and 3/4 of the way through and I find my last encounter the infamous hinged-shell turtle, A.K.A the box turtle.  What is his purpose??  He's slow, he eats leaves, he hibernates and he could live to be 100.  Doesn't sound exciting and looking at him is kinda of boring.  He's no threat to me, so I take a seat next to log he's near and pick it up.  He wasn't a fan of me disrupting him so he hisses and sucks his back.  I found his purpose today, he reminds me of time when my purpose was to climb trees, eat grandma's cookies, play, safety was found in hugs, turtle were caught and put in boxes and fed lettuce & war was played in the backyard and if you died you were brought back to life after 5mins.  I put the turtle down, and to my surprise he moved way faster than the Rattlesnake ever did. 

As I concluded the section I'm left with this, is my purpose as Powerful as Rattlesnake, Fast like a turtle, or as fragile as the need for water.  I don't know, I guess my purpose is a little like all of them, but I want my purpose to be identified as contributing to the better.  That’s how to identify Paul; he contributed to the better and for the better. 

Find your purpose and make your dent so that others can follow and live by it.
Right Foot, Left Foot and so on!!
T. Kline

 

JUNE 26TH, 2011: "DECISIONS, DECISIONS ..........."

I stand underneath the Trail head sign & wonder which way to go N or S?  Instinct says North and the fact that we met up with some threw hikers in the parking lot probably helped influence that.  We're met right away by switchbacking up the mountain side. Moving up the switch in a Ranger file I noticed a feather hanging off of the pack of one of the threw hikers.  Process of thought: Feather, Turkey, Bird,.....Blind Owl is he here with us.  I keep the thoughts to myself as I have my hand on my son's shoulder easing his ascent and I'm listening to some details from our new friends.  The threw hikers (names unknown) are a man in his 50's from Georgia and much younger guy from Virginia been on the trail together since mid March.  I'm going to be on the trail for a day and these guys have been on it together for almost 4 months.  That's a decision, are they married, do they have jobs what have they decided to leave behind for 6 months or more?  Bless them and their purpose. Once we reached the top of the mountain we took a short break for some water and a powerbar.  We said our farewells to our companions and stepped off at different paces. 

     I now have time to explain to my son why I'm walking on this trail and for who.  "Mase did you see the feather on that guys pack?" (Typical 10 year old)  Yea  "Good, let me tell you about a Blind Owl"  He now has his own AP Trail story, but better his very own piece of the tale and his position in it.

     We all have decisions to make, North South, East, Or West. Which ever path you take, make the best of it, make a difference.  And if you have time, take notice to the feathers along the way.......

 
Terry William Kline

 

About Paul Karpowich

Born and raised in Freeland, PA; "Karp" was a top-rate Soldier, dedicated husband, avid outdoorsman, outstanding athelete, successful architect and all around amazing human being. Please take a moment to read about Paul's civilian life and then you can catch a glimpse of Paul's military career.

What does the Foundation Do?

The MSG Paul Karpowich Foundation was incorporated as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, on 7 June 2005.  Our mission is to honor Paul's memory and hopefully continue to influence the world the way he did. Proceeds raised from all events, fundraisers and donations are given in Paul's name to several worthwhile causes he was involved in.

Where Your Donations Go

Proceeds collected by the MSG Paul Karpowich Foundation are donated in Paul's name to charitable organizations of his interest. Please click here to read more.

How to Donate

You can donate securely online using your credit card or PayPal account by clicking here. Or, you can mail a check made payble to the MSG Paul Karpowich Foundation to PO Box 125, Southeastern, PA 19399.

The Karp Memorial Footmarch

For the first 5 years of our existence, the Foundation held a fund raising event each fall named the MGS Paul Karpowich Memorial Footmarch, or simply the "KarpMFM." It was our yearly fund raising drive for Paul's charities. In 2010 the KarpMFM was discontinued. Click here to see the details and some pictures from the past marches.