Puttin’ A Few Miles On A Set Of “Retreads”

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

“a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

The "Retreads" (John, George, David

The “Retreads” (John, George, David)

Click HERE for Trip Pictures

While I may have recently purchased a new set of tires for my truck, I decided to put a few miles on a set of retreads in Louisiana. Now you may be thinking, “Really George, all you had to do was ask. I would have pitched in and helped you get something better than retreads.” (Of course you were thinking that – not!) No matter, the retreads I refer to are none other than my long time, but never met, brothers from another mother, John Donewar and David LeBlanc. We are the “retreads” because we all have a few miles on our tired worn out bodies, and are all in need of retreading.

I flew into New Orleans and John and his wife Cheryl were kind enough to pick me up and open their home to me for my visit. (I love the term “visit” by the way – “Where ya’ll going?” “Gonna go visit for a while”). Our original plan had been to drive to the Natchez Trace Trail and do an overnight, but as the trip grew closer things conspired to change our plans. David was under the weather, I took a nasty little fall at work and my ankle was swollen, John was a little worn down and the weather looked pretty rough on day two. No matter, as it turns out the Retreads are little more resilient than they sound. At this point I will say, “Go ahead and laugh young men. If you’re lucky enough you’ll live long enough to have the same aches and pains too!”

In the morning John and I set out across the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway to pick up David for a day of hiking. The causeway is the longest bridge in the world at just under 24 miles long, and gave us plenty of time to share in the word. Since it was April 5th I started out in Proverbs 5, and the warnings about the adulteress quickly led us to 2 Samuel 11 where we talked of David and Bathsheba. Needless to say, there is comfort in knowing that God uses men with “a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you” (Psalm 51:17) When you go looking to serve in God’s kingdom the sign on the door says “Perfect people need not apply”.

Lake Ponchartrain Causeway

Lake Ponchartrain Causeway

After arriving at David’s and heading into town for breakfast, we set off in search of a hike. By now we were all feeling better, but were glad not to have to deal with the upcoming bad weather on the Natchez Trace. We landed at Bogue Chitto State Park in Washington Parish, and quickly arrived at the Gorge Trailhead.

The Gorge Trail

The Gorge Trail

The park and it’s trails offer some nice hiking and camping options and a few amenities I’ve never seen at home. The trails were very pleasant for hiking, and wide enough to walk two or three wide and talk.

Beautiful paths

Beautiful paths

Any worries of pain and suffering disappeared as three friends shared stories and good natured ribbing, mixed in with lots of belly laughs. If you didn’t know any better you’d think we had been hiking together all our lives. We hiked until the trail started to become ridiculously slippery and muddy, then started back to the trail head. At one point I stopped to take a picture of the Bogue Chitto River, and slipped and fell in the mud. My initiation into the  Retreads was complete now that I had a Louisiana mud bath!

Bogue Chitto River

Bogue Chitto River

At one of the road crossing a nice lady flagged us down and we thought she had car trouble. Turns out she just wanted to show us some nesting Night Herons she spotted in the forest. I’m not much of a bird watcher, but it was pretty cool to see. Before we knew it we were back at the trail head and another adventure was over.

Bogue Chitto State Park

Bogue Chitto State Park

We visited a while with David and his wife Barbara, and all too soon departed my new “old” friend. As I write I am still visiting with John and Cheryl, and tomorrow will be a sad adieu. It, however, is not good bye, but, à la prochaine fois – until we meet again.




4 thoughts on “Puttin’ A Few Miles On A Set Of “Retreads”

  1. Psalm 133:1

    “Behold, how good and pleasant it is
    when brothers dwell in unity!”

    Newton, Lazarus and “PoBoy” (Geowge) became brothers in the Bogue Chitto mud. 😀

    It was long in coming and ended too soon. Bring on the next meeting.

    Laissez les bons temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)

    • Finally got a trail name from someone else, “PoBoy”. I like it 😀

      We definitely have to do it again! Thanks John!

  2. 1 John 7 – 8

    …but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

    If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

    “The sun shines not on us but in us.”
    ― John Muir

    I prefer…

    The Son shines on us and through us so that others may see His Light. 😉

    1 Corinthians 1 10 -13

    I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

    For it has been reported to me by Chlo’e’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brethren.

    What I mean is that each one of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apol’los,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.”

    Is Christ divided?…

    Division comes from the one that would lead us astray. Multiplication is the favorite math function of our Lord.

    Loaves, fishes and followers.

    Do trail miles count? 😀

    • “The Son shines on us and through us so that others may see His light”
      “Division comes from the one that would lead us astray. Multiplication is the favorite math function of our Lord.

      Loaves, fishes and followers.

      Do trail miles count? :D”

      I love it! Good stuff 😀

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