Smoky Mountain Interlude
We were able to take a few days break from our crazy summer to head to the Smoky Mountains. The unexpected bonus this year was that both Kristen and Andrew were able to join us, something we don't take for granted now they are grown. Kristen starts a new job as an R.N. at IU Health Bloomington next week. Andrew, who works as a researcher at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, has extra time off because of the federal sequester. Jonathan made his trip more interesting riding his bike to Dayton (160 miles) so he could drive down to Tennessee with Andrew.
Years ago we found a lovely place to stay in Townsend, TN, just outside an entrance to the park but devoid of all the touristy glitch found in the Gatlinburg area. Top of Townsend is run by a sweet Christian couple, and their cabins comfortably hold from between 6-10.
We hiked some great new (to us) trails, saw a mama bear and two cubs, and went whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River (older kids) or tubing down a smaller river (rest of us.) Mostly, though, it was just a relaxing time spent enjoying one another and a beautiful part of God's creation.
|In a few places the laurel was still blooming|
|The hot tub felt nice after hiking vertically|
|This waterfall purposely isn't listed on any official trail guide, so we had it to ourselves. Absolutely lovely!|
When we came home - kapow! Back to reality. But Tim and I are so thankful we were able to spend these days away with our kids. What a gift!