Canoeing and Singspiration

Everyone woke up cold this morning and begun to take down their tents. After packing up it was time for me to speak at all three church services about United Way, the Community Blueprint and our priorities as well as share a few stories from the walk. We had a great time worshiping and sharing at Marne United Methodist Church

After the church service it was a short walk to the intersection of SR 668/Brownsville Road and the Licking River. At the river I was greeted by a lot of people who had gathered for a canoe ride down the Blackhand Gorge. The trip was led by Bob Williams, the director of Licking Parks District. Bob has been a great help on this 50 day journey. We are blessed to have his passion and commitment in this county. Bill Weaver also came along and added to the trip with his historical antidotes of the Blackhand Gorge. Bill has been leading trips down the Gorge for decades and helped to found a group called the Friends of Blackhand Gorge. If you want to know anything about Gorge then Bill is the one you want to talk with. It was canoe ride but the sun, beauty, wildlife and history made this trip a highlight. If you want to explore Licking County may I suggest a trip down the Blackhand Gorge….you won’t regret it!

At the end of the canoe trip we ended up at Toboso where the Nature Preserve hosts a log cabin that was built sometime in the mid 1800’s. Just up from the cabin is the little town of Toboso.

That evening the Toboso United Methodist Church held a potluck and a “Singspiration”(a time for anyone to share a song and have good time). The evening highlighted Kenny Sidle, world renowned fiddle player, who has played for U.S. Presidents and won countless awards. Toboso is home for Kenny and his extended family and he is proud resident of Licking County. Again, another hidden gem in our county. You couldn’t meet a nicer and humbler guy than Kenny Sidle.

Thanks Kenny for your music.

After the evening of fellowship at Toboso church it was time to head back down the hill to the tent. Bill Weaver was able to get special permission for me to sleep a Blackhand Nature Preserve. I was able to build a fire and enjoy the stars that night surrounded by what is one of the most beautiful parts of our county.

Continue to follow Deb on the 50 the United Way journey. To donate toward 50 the United Way go to

#GiveWalkDo50 #LiveUnited

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United Way of Licking County


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Newark, OH 43058-4490

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