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Springbrook Trail True Community Gem

October 3, 2019

Pastor Dick Kendall, First Baptist Church, Antigo

Antigo Daily Journal

Recently my wife shared a rather profound quote that she had come across: "What if you woke up today with only the things you had thanked God for yesterday?" I reflected on that quote recently.

Our cottage in neighboring northern Oconto County became our year-round home nine years ago. I've been driving to Antigo frequently from our home 35 miles to the east for six years serving as pastor of First Baptist Church. Over these years, I have not taken the opportunity to explore. The Springbrook Trail.

The weather was gorgeous on Wednesday, September 18 so I brought my bike to Antigo and visited several parishioners around the city with my bicycle as my means of transportation. After the visits concluded I spent a good portion of the late afternoon riding the Springbrook Trail.

The beauty along the trail was stunning and I couldn't help but consider the question as it relates to those of you who live, work and play in the Antigo area: "Have you given thanks" for this wonderful natural resource that is literally in your backyard?

The next week, on Monday, Sept. 23 it was another gorgeous day, so I brought the kayak to Antigo. I launched my craft at 4:30 p.m. and spent the next 90 minutes paddling under the various bridges and around islands and bogs of cattails, lily-pads and duck-weed. I was privileged to see geese, kingfishers, great blue herons and various species of ducks fly up as I disturbed their afternoon tranquility with what I tried to assure them was my attempt to blend in unnoticed. What a fabulous display of wildlife I was treated to! I was so blessed to be part of that natural resource.

Pastor Dick Kendall snapped this unusual view of one of the Springbrook Trail bridges as seen from his kayak during a recent outing.

I was impressed with the number of people who were enjoying this fabulous afternoon. I saw many biking, walking dogs, pushing strollers, holding hands and strolling along with a 'significant other.' Some were seated on the benches provided along the trail. One young lad was fishing; another gentleman was simply sitting on an embankment watching the sun close in on the horizon. I must thank a young man, Carter, who helped me out of my kayak lest I otherwise become not only a paddler, but also a swimmer! Hmmm...could have been baptism by duckweed!

Sometimes those serving on councils or committees that must consider whether to designate funds for these types of projects may be reluctant since budgets are often tight and dollars are finite, to be sure. But the Springbrook Trail and similar endeavors prove that 'if you build it, they will come.'

So, give thanks for what you have, so that your answer to this question “What if you woke up today with only the things you had thanked God for yesterday?'' includes the Springbrook Trail.

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