Saturday, December 22, 2007

Logan and the Calf

Some times kids can put it clearer than any of us "grown-ups". This was a real call into a radio station in Texas. You can find out more details at YouTube on the video's page.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pointing High

Some more big trees!

Tall trees combined

Those Trees are Gianormous!

I have a conference in the Monterey Bay area of California every year about this time.  This year Deb tagged along with me.  We left a few days early and spent one night up at Sequoia/Kings Canyon National park before heading down to the coast.  Here are a few pics of the awesomeness of God we saw there.  (Man, those are a some big trees!)


We stayed at the Wuksachi Village in the Sequoia half of the Park.  This is the Wuksachi Lodge.


We climbed Moro Rock these are a few of the steps on the way up (there are over 300).  The picture below is from about halfway up.



Sequoias sometimes get top-heavy and fall.  This is Buttress Tree.  It fell unexpectedly in 1959.



Every want to drive through a tree?


My sweetheart and a big big tree!



Who is that cute couple?



This is the General Sherman Tree.  The biggest tree in the world. It adds 50 cubic feet of wood to it's mass each year.


God sure does amazing work doesn't He!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The View From Up Here!

I ran across this awesome picture this morning taken from the Space Shuttle Endeavour of the International Space Station. The land you see to the left of the Space Station is Italy - to get a real feel for what your looking at NASA has annotated the picture here. What an awesome world God has made for his children to enjoy.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Dad & Tyler in the news.

Dad's Tyler story was picked up by a local newspaper columnist. Here is the write-up.

Published August 20, 2004

Schnieder: Hunter's skills help Charlotte man find lost child

A half-mile down the hiking trail, the others gave up. No way, they said, could a toddler go that far that fast. But small footprints in the sand propelled Ron Wilson forward.

"I'm a deer hunter," said Wilson, who lives in Charlotte and runs the forest fire program for the state Department of Natural Resources. "When you're trailing an animal that might be wounded, you keep going as long as you're finding any little bit of sign. I had to keep going."

One mile farther down the trail, as night was starting to fall, Wilson heard the mournful sound of a child's fearful crying.

Missing child
Wilson and his wife were camped at a rustic site at the Rifle River Recreation Area, east of Rose City in the northern Lower Peninsula. The Wilsons were sitting down to supper when a family arrived at a nearby campsite. Apparently in the rush of setting up camp, the parents didn't notice that their 2-year-old, Tyler, had wandered off.

"They started calling for him," Wilson said. "They were becoming more and more agitated as time passed."

Others at the campground, including a park ranger, joined the search. Noticing that searchers had the immediate area covered, Wilson struck out in a different direction, following various trails to the Rifle River.

Coming up empty, Wilson chose another direction and spotted a small footprint in the dust of a gravel road. Of course, it was a campground, and there were lots of footprints, large and small.
Following a hunch, he crossed the road and came to a hiking trial, where he noticed another small footprint.

About that time, Wilson encountered other searchers who had started down the same trail, then turned back. They believed they had reached the outer limit of a 2-year-old's range.
Wilson wasn't so sure. "Something told me to keep following that trail," he said.

Sweet sound
The hunch paid off. After another 20 minutes on the trail, which cut through dense cover, Wilson heard Tyler's sobs. "I called out to him, 'Stay where you are; I'll come and get you.' "

For some reason, the boy had wandered off the trail and was 50 yards into a fir swamp.

"One of his shoes had come off," Wilson said, "and he was holding it in his hand. I put him on my lap and helped him put his shoe on."

The boy, who had wandered nearly two miles, had no interest in walking back. And he wanted to be carried only one way - cradled in Wilson's arms. He refused to ride Wilson's shoulders or even on his hip. "He was scared," Wilson said.

Contacted Thursday, park supervisor Steve Krantz called the incident an "amazing story."
"We were all happy, indeed, with how it turned out," Krantz said.

A friend of Wilson's, Barbara VanderMolen of Charlotte, tipped me off about this story. She noted that Wilson has a heart condition.

"I was pretty beat when I got back to camp," Wilson conceded. "He was a chunky little guy."
Beat, but joyful - as were all the campers. Especially Tyler and his parents.

"Finding that little tyke - that was the highlight of the trip," Wilson said.

What do you think? Call John Schneider at 377-1175, send a fax to 377-1298 or e-mail Include your name, phone number, city, town or township.

My Dad and missing Tyler.

A few years back Dad had a really great experience that had quite an impact on him. He wrote down his thought at the time - I ran across it today and thought I'd like to save it here.

Rifle River Camping Experience
July 29, 2004

Rifle river recreation area - Spruce Campground - arrived at campground early afternoon and set up camp. Margie and I were going to go fishing that evening. I think we fixed pasties for supper. A family came in to the campsite right across the road from us and were setting up camp. Saw they had two little boys, one riding a small bike with no training wheels; the other was just a toddler. They were together most of the time and had a walkie talkie keeping in touch with their folks.

We sat down at the picnic table and were eating supper when we heard the mother calling for Tyler. We thought he was probably somewhere in the campground. The older boy came to our campsite and asked if we had seen his brother. We said not for a little while.

The folks looked in various areas in the campground with other campers helping. The father went up to the park headquarters and reported the missing boy. The rangers at the contact station started checking all vehicles leaving the recreation area.

When we finished eating I told Margie I was going to help look for the little boy. She said to go look at the river first. I went to the river and there was no sign of anyone being there. Then I went back to the campsite and told Margie I was going out to the road and see if there are any footprints crossing the road. While Honey Bear and I were on the way out one of the park pickups was coming out. There was lady park ranger driving and two men were with her. They said someone reported they saw a small track on the hiking trail crossing the road, and they were going out to look on the trail. I told them I would come out there also.

When I got to the trail I saw a small shoe track in the middle of the road heading away from the campground. The state pickup was parked there and no one was around. I started up the trail with Honey Bear, my dog.

We traveled about 1/2 mile on the trail, seeing the little shoe print in the loose sand every so often. We then met the park ranger and the two men coming back on the trail. I said I had been seeing the track on the trail and they said they saw it some also but they didn't think a 2 year old could walk that far. I told them I was going to continue on the trail until it came out to the road by the swinging bridge. I continued on the trail. At the intersection with the trail to Devoe Lake campground there were a couple of the shoe prints definitely following the trail to the south. Where the trail branched to Lost Lake there was another little shoe print continuing on the trail to the south.

Every so often I would stop, look around and listen. I was continuing to see the shoe print in loose sand spots. I was probably about 1&1/2 - 1&3/4 mile from the campground. Honey Bear was acting a little different, like she does when she is interested in a squirrel. I stopped and listened, it was a spruce fir swamp area. I heard this little voice crying off to the right of the trail. I could hardly believe it. I called "Tyler" and the crying stopped for a second. I called "Tyler stay where you are and I will take you to your Mommy". He was on a little hummock in the swamp, probably 50 yards off the trail, with one shoe in his hand. I knelt down and put him on my knee and asked if I could help him put his shoe on. He didn't want me to pick him up, and he was really crying hard.

I picked him up and cradled him in my arms. He really didn't want me to carry him. We continued down the trail and shortly came to a wood walkway over a wet spot. I was talking to Tyler all the time trying to calm him down. Telling him about the trees and animals in the woods, telling him we were going back to the campground to his Mommy and Daddy and big brother. By the time we got to the road he had calmed down with just a catch in his breath once in a while.

He finally let me carry him on my hip. I was really getting tired. We started walking back up the road toward the campground. We passed a fisherman’s pickup with no one around. Came to a spot where the road was close to the river. I set Tyler down, even though he didn't want me to let go, and I sat down on the bank and rested. Honey Bear went down to the river and got a much needed drink, she was dragging also.

After a few minutes we got up and started back to the campground. At this time Tyler was calmed down and talking to me about lots of things. Some of them I could even understand. Tyler also let me put him on my shoulders, which wasn’t too bad to carry him. A little ways down the road two men on bikes came up behind us and asked “Is that the lost Tyler?” I said yes and also said they could ride to the campground and let people know that we could use a ride back to the campground. Probably about 10 minutes later a fire department 4X4 came up the road toward us and stopped. When I started to pass Tyler into the vehicle he started crying again and it just about broke my heart. But I was too tired to carry him the rest of the way back.

They then turned around and went back to camp. I walked on the road to where the trail cut off and followed it into camp. It was just about dark by then. I must have walked close to four miles and two of them while carrying a scared little boy but it was worth every ounce of effort. Every one was overjoyed when we got back to Spruce Campground. I was beat. Honey Bear was dog tired.

In ten minutes Tyler was running around like nothing had happened. What a joy to see the recuperative power of little children. I’m sure it will take a long time for the adults involved to get over the scare. I’m sure we will never forget it. I know I will look back on it thinking how God directs our lives so that we are in certain places at certain times. It is up to us to be open to His leading and be willing to do what we know we should do, and to give Him the glory.

When I was following the trail and seeing that little footprint in the sand, I knew I just had to keep looking. I equated it somewhat to following a deer. As long as there is any little sign you need to keep going. There is always that hope that you will find what you have been looking for. This time it paid off with big rewards. To know that that little boy wouldn’t be out in the woods by himself after dark. And who knows what might have happened to him. Gray Family- Tyler, Justin, Brad, Linda


It's me (Dan) again. as I reread this I am reminded of the parable of the lost sheep. As much as having our child missing would impact each one of us - that is how God is impacted when we are away from Him. He searches and calls for us. He offers to carry us and we struggle and fight against Him but when we rest in His arms and listen to Him and obey His voice we are taken safely home.

Awesome stuff Dad - I love you!

I'm back!

Wow it has been a long time since I've thrown anything up here. Maybe I can write some more these next few months. I'm on an extended trip for work right now. I'm trying to get my e-mail organized and archived appropriately. I think a few post are going to come out of that.

God Bless