Saturday, May 23, 2015

Tippy Top of Tennessee

I stood on top of Tennessee today!
My friend Seth and I took a trip up to Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the state.
We then followed it with a 10-mile round trip hike to Silers Bald along the Appalachian Trail. Great preparation for my Peru adventure.

View from Clingmans Dome

With Seth
The last of the wild flowers in the Smoky Mountains were still in bloom and we met some animal friends along the way.

We walked through pine groves, mossy forests and across ridges. Here's a view from a ridge on the Appalachian Trail. I'm standing between Tennessee and North Carolina. I've always wanted to be in two places at once. I finally got my chance. :)

We stopped for lunch at a shelter for thru hikers of the Appalachian Trail. Our exploration of the shelter revealed a hiker registry. We found this inside:

I couldn't get enough of the views!

Check out the river in the distance
We arrived at Silers Bald after a steep climb the last quarter mile. There was not much to see but the rock marker was nice. The white arrows indicate the directions of the Appalachian Trail.

US Geologic Survey marker at Siler's Bald
On way back, Seth decided to check out the climbing potential of this rock. Brave soul!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Warrior Mode. Always.

One of the greatest men I've ever known slipped into eternity this afternoon at 1:17 p.m.
Gosh, my heart is breaking.

James Rich was my master instructor in Taekwondo, my encourager and most importantly, my friend.

I'm so grateful for the six years I trained under him, the gift of his wisdom, his fierce protective love of me and other students and his sweet care.

Mr. Rich fought to the end. Warrior mode. Always. What an incredible role model. Cancer, you did not get the last word.

I am going to miss this man terribly. I miss him now. He taught me so many life lessons on and off the mat. Courtesy. Integrity. Perseverance. Self Control. Indomitable Spirit.

I have so much to say but this writer is having a difficult time putting all of it into words at the moment. This is one of those times when life is hard. And when God is still good.

I love you, Mr. Rich. I'll miss you. Thank you for the way you blessed my life and helped make me the woman I am today.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Inaugural hike of the season

View from Lookout Tower, Frozen Head State Park
East Tennessee is pretty glorious in the spring.
I kicked off my hiking season today in Frozen Head State Park in the southern Cumberland Mountains. There were so many gorgeous wildflowers everywhere and the woods were so lush.

My friend Brandy and I had planned on a 6.9-mile hike. But through a series of (mis)adventures, we covered 12.8 miles and several trails including the interpretive loop judge branch trail, south old mac trail, lookout tower trail and north old mac trail.

Lessons learned today? All of them. :)

Some highlights:

My friend Brandy and me
For more photos from the hike, visit my Flickr account.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Happy wordy Tuesday!

Can I just say that I (mostly) love my job at the University of Tennessee! I learn something new everyday.

Some favorite words I've picked up since I started working here: jute, tartan, quartrefoil, callithump, and now, lamb lollipops. :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

It's coming!

Courtesy of my friend Julia Frances
Spring! New life! Resurrection! It's coming!
I love the pop of color against the backdrop of gray. A nice reminder of what God is doing inside me. :)

Normal Hair

This poem cracked me up and warmed my soul!
Reminds me of this post from some time back.

Monday, March 16, 2015

I Know. {Repost}

*A repost of a beautiful poignant piece written by my friend Amanda in Arctic Alaska.*

I know.

I know what you've tried to keep a secret from me. I guess I'd already read between the lines.

I know you were scared to tell me, but I don't understand why. It hurts so much to realize that you were afraid to be honest with me. Now I wonder what I don't know... and I'm worried about the bond of trust that has been shattered.

I know that this life isn't easy and it is filled with temptations. I know that I am far from perfect; I also think I might understand more than you would imagine.

I know you know what the Word says...

I know I cannot change your heart, I cannot make you stick to the straight and narrow. If I could, God knows I would. All I can really do is pray, and ask, "Do you want to change?"

I know where the Spirit of the Lord is there is victory! So, if the sorrow you feel is godly and not just worldly, change can and will take place.

I know I cannot leave the path to come and find you. I don't really believe that Jesus is going to chase after you either. Rather, it has to be your choice.

I know that He is waiting, and as soon as you turn towards home, He'll come running out to greet you and welcome you back. Please hear me when I say that is true of me as well... after all, I love you!

I know a deep sorrow, but should you choose to return, it will be worth it all. I will help you in whatever way I can. All you have to do is ask. I am here.

I know what you don't want me to know, but the first step towards healing will be telling me yourself.

I know and yet I love.

I know.