Category Archives: MiSSION:

Happy Trails

3 January 2019, Thursday

Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to another TrailMagick89 missive,

Well come this Spring hopefully March, most likely April we will be tackling an item on our Bucket List. That item is backpacking the Michigan Shore to Shore Trail. We plan on taking the route from Au Sable and spending the next two hundred twenty miles to Empire.

The first step is to get the printed map set from the Michigan Trail Riders Association. And with the map set plot out; where we will be spending each night, where the water sources are (for the first quarter of the trail we will have the Au Sable to supply us with water), and of course with an early to mid Spring backpacking trip we have to carry the right equipment and gear that we will be warm in at night yet comfortable in during the day. So we have quite a lot of planning. We have backpacked around mid Michigan, something like four hundred miles, as well as a variety of towns and villages.

The maps are the best way to plot out the trip as just by going to Google Maps the route is considerably shorter at one hundred fifty eight miles. We could follow the shorter route though our Bucket List does not have ‘Backpacking from Lake Huron to Lake Michigan’ on it, it has “Backpack the Michigan Shore to Shore Trail in reverse’. So we will be starting out on the beach in Au Sable, which in early Spring ought to be quite cold; and ten to twenty days later we plan on stepping foot in Lake Michigan.

Sweets has yet to see the sun rise or set over a body of water. So our goal is to also knock that off of our Bucket List. Which could also add a day or two on either end of the trip or both.

Finding water is relatively easy all along the trail, though it will depend on whether the hand pumps are opened when we get passed the Au Sable River. There is a couple of sections that we have to carry a days worth of water three of the days. And that may not seem too bad as water per gallon only weighs eight pounds, though it will be later Winter or early Spring which means we carry warmer gear. And thicker clothing as well as more clothing. We are not well experienced backpackers and hiking in sand and snow will be a unique interesting experience.

As of December thirty first I will be ending my last bad habit and that will give us an additional five to ten dollars a week. I plan on using that money towards purchasing equipment that we need such as Darn Tough socks, a backpacking tent or hammocks or custom tarps with a bug net, BRS stove, Trail Buddy Trekking Poles, and the list goes on and on. Yes, I know that there is no way five to ten dollars a week for three to four months will pay for everything, it will help though.

Some of the items we are thinking about buying will most likely be hand made by us or a friend; in which case we will share those experiences as well as what we did to make them. We are even curious if we can make the light weight backpacking stove. So Happy Trails to you, our tramily..

We appreciate that you stuck around until the end. If, you have found any value in this post, make sure to hit the “Like” button and “Subscribe” to TrailMagick89 blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts below. And until next time; make sure to seek peace within your own life. You can also find us on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, and of course WordPress.

Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets

The Bucket List

1 January 2019, Tuesday

Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to another TrailMagick89 missive,

This is the year that we, Sweets and I, knock a few things off of our bucket list. We have a few bucket list items that we have put on our bucket list. The first item on our list was to start a business together and today is the grand opening of TrailMagick89. Yeah, yeah we know we have been posting for quite some time and making statements about a variety of subjects; we would call those posts our soft opening.

Well, you may be wondering what a “Tramily” is there are two definitions and we will be using the second definition. As you know we each walk our own trail. Tramily – travel family or trail family. Most people that have become part of a tramily have trail names and as you know ours are Sweets and Elroy. I was given mine by a fellow traveler, who gave me the name as I looked like an old time farmer. And Elroy was the name he associated with old time farmers. Sweets was given her name because she reminded him of his daughter and her mannerisms were so sweet.

Now as this year dawns we will be focusing on our spiritual walk with Jesus, improving our health, and backpacking more and more. Each Tuesday after today we will be either posting about what makes a Christian a Christian on every odd numbered Tuesday, on the even numbered Tuesdays we will be looking at our specific health concerns and how they effect our Bucket List. In sharing what we experience, our hope is that even when health is a concern, our items on a Bucket List can still be checked off.

I was told last Summer I should consider changing my trail name to Trail Magic as wherever I go I have a tendency to hand out power bars and bottles of water. Most people know me enough that I am a grumpy person. And even when I am filled with great joy I am still grumpy, well at least I look that way. It surprises people when I walk up to them and offer a bit of food.

Well this missive is slowly taking shape and it is due to the fact that we want to make sure it is from the heart and not negative. Most of the more controversial posts we have done gets more likes and we seem to get more people following us. That has ended with the end of 2018.

So dear tramily I will be posting blog missives that fit in a happier more pleasant view. Bucket Lists are a unique thing. Many people have them and they include items that people want to do before they die. More often than not they are based on an individual. We have decided to take our Bucket List and merge them so that we can experience life together.

To simply put or rather address what make a Christian a Christian is a follower of Christ. What determines whether or not Sweets and I will knock things off of our Bucket List is can we wake up each morning and put one foot in front of another over and over again. And finally posting on Thursdays will be going towards blog missives about planning each part of each item on our Bucket List.

We appreciate that you stuck around until the end. If, you have found any value in this post, make sure to hit the “Like” button and “Subscribe” to TrailMagick89 blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts below. And until next time; make sure to seek peace within your own life. You can also find us on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, and of course WordPress.

Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets

The Challenge

25 December 2018, Wednesday

Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to another TrailMagick89 missive,

As we prepare for the next year and the adventure we are planning on taking, we have looked back over the past few months and we decided many things. The missives that we post each week, the number of times we post, the subject matter, our attitudes, and the level of fun are all going to change. And no this is not a New Year’s resolution.

We made a resolution about a decade ago, together, no more resolutions. And we have stuck with it.

We would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Our challenge that we are undertaking is to go on two hikes this year the first being the Michigan Shore to Shore Trail. The trail is 220 miles. We will be following the trail from Lake Huron to Lake Michigan and we plan on going shortly after the weather breaks. The second trail we plan on tackling a section of is the North Country Trail which is currently 4600 miles in length and we are planning on taking on first section that runs through the Lower Peninsula and then if there is still time take to the section in the Upper Peninsula. Earlier it was mentioned that the current length is 4600 miles.

Well, over the next two years Congress has agreed to add 107 miles to the Eastern end and an additional 400 miles to the trail in Minnesota. With Minnesota that is interesting as the trail actually ends in North Dakota. We are planning on this year attempting to complete all 1150 miles of the Michigan section.

We appreciate that you stuck around until the end. If, you have found any value in this post, make sure to hit the “Like” button and “Subscribe” to TrailMagick89 blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts below. And until next time; make sure to seek peace within your own life. You can also find us on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, and of course WordPress.

Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets

Follow Your Own Trail

20 September 2018, Thursday

Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to another TrailMagick89 missive,

As I sit here tonight writing this evening’s post I looked back over the last few days and the thoughts that have been dominating my mind have been about two movies that arrived in theaters a little more than ten years ago about missionaries that traveled to the Ecuadorian rainforests back in the 1950’s. The movies are viewed as controversial as quite a few Christian films generally are. Those two movies had a huge impact on my life and the lessons that they teach I have tried to follow in my own life. I will be the first to admit I am not a perfect Christian, I will even agree that I am not a good Christian. I do say that I am a fair Christian. You may be wondering where I am going with this, just stick with me a little longer.

As the slain missionaries families reached out to the tribe that killed their husbands a point was repeatedly made (and I am paraphrasing here); “Will you walk His trail?”. That stuck with me all these years. And over the last few days I have been asking myself “What trail do I walk?” and “Am I following my own trail?”.  Then it occured to me, that each and everyone of us have our own trail to walk. The trails that close friends walk are those of restaurateurs, police officers, trail angels, cashiers, and the list goes on and on. I know that for blog posts to be successful that the creator needs to be passionate about what they are writing. Since I am “Following My Own Trail” that trail involved walking, hiking, backpacking, and cycling, and much much more. It also involves doing research, cooking, blogging and continually learning about the effects on my body from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Peripheral Neuropathy, Non Epileptic Seizures, and Epilepsy. And as you know part of that “Trail I Follow” involves following where my faith leads.

Over the last decade I have learned that the “trail I follow” with the illnesses I am told I have, by doctors and other healthcare providers, will limit my life and may very well one day kill me. Evidently, each of them can at anytime make my heart stop beating. I believe it happens, to some people, though I am planning on living until I am at least two hundred years old. Most do not believe me that I will make it that long, but then again, they believe they will not make it past eighty years old.

When I was a child I was part of the Cub Scouts, and later the Boy Scouts. Along with coming from a family that were reliant on the outdoors to provide food for the table, I participated in school clubs such as the Future Farmers of America and the youth group of the church I grew up in. I joined the United States Marine Corps and for a short time I enjoyed the ice cold rain that came in off the Pacific during our morning runs. Yes, I like being outdoors, no I do NOT like Southern California heat. Every chance I had I spent outdoors. I myself developed a love and a respect for the outdoors. I have slept in tents, hammocks, pallet structures, wigwams, and cowboy camped. Since those early years I have lived in a variety of different places from Shiawassee County Michigan to San Diego California to New Eagle Pennsylvania. I have lived in or near four of the larger metropolitan areas of Michigan; a good portion of that time on the streets, yes, some of it (six months) in a shelter but the remainder in a tent, under a bush, against the wall of an underpass. I have spent countless hours walking barefoot in the sand and surf, down deer paths and into churches. I do not do things for their shock value, nor do I do them because I want to create strife, I do things that I have developed a love and a passion for. Yes, I am a Christian that has stumbled many many times and no I don’t believe I should be forgiven for all the evil that I have done. That is the unique thing about my faith I know I have been forgiven by the one that created me.

One of my most favorite memories is Sweets and I were visiting a local church that wanted to know how they could help the homeless that lived outdoors and we were asked to come and speak to their leadership. There was a dinner after service and as we are sitting there quietly waiting to speak with the group a member came out and announced that the church building was on fire. Now mind you, this event happened roundabout late February early March and that smell was Sweets and I. We had been living in a wigwam and well the wood smoke that could be smelled was us and our clothes was the cause of his distress. The deacon that was causing the ruckus would have nothing of it. He was insistent that it was the building on fire and not our clothes. Of course to convince someone that there are those that prefer to live outdoors compared to staying in a shelter or an abandoned building when the snow is two feet deep, and they will not accept it, is near impossible. The senior pastor came up to me and asked if we would mind stepping into the maintenance closet with our outer layer of clothes and hang them there. We had no objection. No sooner than had we returned to our tables to finish our meal and the deacon came back out and informed us that there was a fire in the maintenance closet. The moral to this story be open to the “trails that other people follow”.

I have met many people in my life and every single one of them were “following their own trail” (some of them were side by side with a loved one); we can learn to travel down the trail and be lonely or we can embrace our life, this life we were given, and in doing that we can seek peace. It is unusual to “Embrace Life and Seek Peace”. Many people that cross our own trail do not want to do one or the other or even both. I have been asked what “embrace life and seek peace” even means and if they do not have a happy life, it is very hard for them to accept such a basic concept. Yes, it is scripture, 1st Peter 3:8-12, but at its core it goes right along with what I have been saying. I have learned to embrace my life. I embrace the good, the bad, the ugly and everything else. I embrace every part of my life. And then I have also sought out the second part of the phrase which is “seek peace”. I not only seek peace between myself and my friends when there is tensions between us, I seek peace with my enemies, and yes I have many. Though the greater part of seeking peace is not with other people but it is with me, myself, that I seek peace with. I am physically, emotionally, and psychologically sick. It is not a matter of if I say it, it comes to be the truth in my life. I can not remember at any given point in my younger life when I decided I was going to speak disease into my life, and because I spoke it happened. That would be insane. I have slowly taken the time to learn what each of these diseases do to the average person and I have accepted that I have control over them. I have each of them, they do NOT have me. I will “follow my own trail”.

The knowledge I have, I choose to share with you because everyone knows someone that is affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis or, Peripheral Neuropathy or, Non Epileptic Seizures or, Epilepsy, whether they themselves have one of these diseases or they know someone with them. The basic knowledge I will be sharing with you over time basically comes to survival for someone. Knowledge is one trail I intend to learn from. I know I have been using the word “trail” in a general sense up until now, now it it time to change it to a more specific meaning. Each of us has a trail we follow. Each trail we follow is made up of other trails. These other trails consist of knowledge, will power, faith, survival instinct, and many many more.

Sweets and I followed similar trails that led us to become “homeless missionaries”. We set up a campsite in a community that was called Wild West due to its proximity to a country bar nearby. We ended up with people donating supplies of all sorts; clothing, tents, bedding, food, Bibles, and utensils. The local police would stop by every once in a while to chat about the local goings on in our community. It was during one such visit that the local township police captain renamed the community Sanctuary. You see the township police would bring us those that they found sleeping under bridges, sometimes those that were sleeping on park benches, at bus stops, wherever they found them, they brought them to us and we would make sure that they had warm clothing, a shelter, bedding, a warm meal and food to last them a little longer, and the utensils to make the food. We didn’t worry about serving a person that was intoxicated or high, we wanted to help, and one of the many ways we did that was to keep them out of lock-up. We handed out Bibles to those that wanted them, some didn’t want a Bible and that was fine. Some took them to use as rolling papers. Many nights we had a Bible study or took Communion, usually with previously frozen boxed wine.

I refused then to force feed someone Jesus before they get food in their belly, just as I refuse to participate in any program now that does that very thing. I don’t expect anyone to convert to Christianity to get a basic need. That is not following a trail, that is a death march.

I will continue to “follow my own trail”; just as you will continue to “Follow Your Own Trail”.

We appreciate that you stuck around until the end. If, you have found any value in this post, make sure to hit the “Like” button and “Subscribe” to TrailMagick89 blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts below. And until next time; make sure to seek peace within your own life. You can also find us on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, and of course WordPress.

Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets

About Us

16 August 2018 (updated: 5 May 2019)

Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to TrailMagick89,

We write these dispatches (short posts) and missives (long posts) to bring awareness for those that live on the streets, under bridges, in abandoned buildings. In most countries it is called “Living Rough”. We cover the subject of life as part of the homeless community; where in some places they are called everything from the derogatory “BUM” to the more accepted name of “COMMUNITY PEOPLE”, along with the biblical term of “OUTCASTS”. We have lived on the streets of the big city and small towns alike. We have encountered people from all walks of life. We have backpacked long distances and followed the trail just to see where it would take us with no destination in mind.

After ten years of living on the streets we have found that stories of life of a vagabond and a tramp (modern day nomads) have lessons to share. Our preferred mode of transportation is on our Terratrike Rover Tandem that we have named Max. Recently, we took on a new initiative that we have named MiSSION: O.U.T.C.A.S.T.S.; this is still TrailMagick89 now with a mission for this blog and for ourselves.

Most of the posts are written by Elroy with influences by Sweets; at the top right corner of this website you will find The Journal by Sweets; she has taken to posting as well from her experiences.

Thank you.

We appreciate that you stuck around. If, you have found any value in this post, make sure to hit the “Like” button and “Subscribe” to TrailMagick89 blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts below. And until next time; make sure to seek peace within your own life. You can also find us on Instagram.

Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets