Kindling Neighborly Connections between People and Nature.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Canyon Man 2019

I rolled out of bed at 5am this morning so I could make it to the Burning Barrel Restaurant in Ansonia (at the north end of the Pine Creek Gorge; a.k.a. the Grand Canyon of PA) for the start of Canyon Man 2019. Canyon Man is an annual 100 mile race in the Pine Creek Gorge that is organized by the Tyoga Running Club, and the race consists of the following:

A 19 mile paddle in Pine Creek via kayak from Ansonia to Rattlesnake Rock (a few miles south of Blackwell), a 31 mile trail run along the West Rim Trail, and a 50 mile bicycle ride along Forestry Roads (in the Tioga State Forest) and the Pine Creek Rail Trail.  It is a challenging 100 mile course and it seemed right to pray over the efforts of these tough athletes.

I'm thankful that my friend Grant who is the race director was kind enough to give me the opportunity to do just that. At 5:55am about 15 of us gathered on the back deck of the Burning Barrel, the race director said a few things, and I offered a reading of Psalm 121 along with the following prayer:

Thank you Lord God, for this day and for the power of your love. Keep these athletes safe as they traverse the course ahead of them. Grant them strength for every paddle, every step, and every peddle. And open our eyes to all of the beauty of these wild spaces that surround us. In Jesus' name, Amen.

I hope that the words of Psalm 121 might provide us all with a renewed sense of strength and of faith as we each face our challenges of today, whatever that may be.

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