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.