Friday, July 27, 2007

Shalee's Last Stand

I think I need to do some clarifying again... Just for the record: I've mostly been blogging when Mr. Right's asleep. I'm not taking away from our great vacation.

And Kelli and Pezmama: I thought the true end of the evening was a given. I mean, it was like a wet outfit contest gone bad, but the prize for us was still just as memorable... ahem. All I can really say is that I'm glad I didn't buy the WHITE dress that I considered getting for the night. It was cotton and very form fitting. That rain would have shown a little more than I would have intended...

Our last full day in the Smoky Mountains was not wasted. We packed our backpack again and headed for the Roaring Fork auto tour, a beautiful pass through a different part of the Smokies. One of the things that Mr. Right pointed out was that every trail/drive we've taken so far has been completely different from the others. It's like we're traveling to different parts of the world in the same backyard. This time was no different.

We decided to take the Rainbow Falls trail as our last hurrah. We started our hike around 11 AM, aiming to reach the beautiful waterfall around lunch... and this time we remembered our camera.

Within the first few minutes of our hike, I felt as if we were in the Forest of Lothlorien (from LOTR). Tall, beautiful trees with the air of peace all around us. And because we were hiking next to the stream, everything was a vibriant, brilliant green with a coat of soft green moss covering much of it.

Some of the trees were so old and large...

During the ascent, we came across some rocks that reminded me of the trolls who had been caught in the morning light. Hello from the top of one of their heads!

Look at all this beauty...

Along the way, there were some mini-falls. (Thanks to other hikers in the park, we were able to get some great photos together!)

Finally, after a two-hour inclined hike and many little "you can do this" talks in my head, we made it to the top. Oh. My. Lands. Can I just tell you now that it was worth every moment of feeling that I would drop dead on that trail? What a gorgeous, tranquil setting.

Once again we brought wine, bread and cheese for a grand picnic. We even through in apples this time. Let me just say that there's something special about sitting 20 feet from a huge waterfall, watching it all head down hill, and enjoying a light fare with your man.

It was time to head down the trail. Our little blessing to everyone we met was to tell them about how long they had to go and that it was so worth the effort. We made it down relatively quickly, especially considering that we stopped to see things that we missed on the uphill climb. And more and more on the climb down, I thought the forest changed to the Forest of Fangorn. It was getting darker and more foreboding as we made our way to the end.

Oh and here's another blessing that God put in our path! We were able to follow her down the trail for a full 10 minutes - she kept meandering along the trail, crossing from one side to the other.

And not even one moment after we entered our car, God opened the heavens again and gave us the most spectacular drive through Roaring Fork. (And I have to admit, we totally laughed when we saw the hikers who had been caught in the deluge. That so us from the night before!!

We decided to just call it a short night by eating dinner and relaxing the rest of the night. For our choice of food, we headed to Pigeon Forge to eat at The Old Mill Restaurant. I'm so happy we decided to eat early because we had an hour wait to be seated. I kept thinking, "It had better be worth the wait, even if everyone said we should eat here."

We met an older couple who were waiting for their seating too and talked for about half an hour about anything and everything, especially our journeys with God. It was such a lovely way to pass the time!

Finally our name was called and we were able to enjoy a great meal. Let me just tell you that I had some of the best spareribs and saurkraut I've had in forever! Oh, the meat just fell off the bones, the saurkraut wasn't too tart and the sides were deeeeee-vine! And I'm going to figure out how to make their corn chowder, even if it's the last thing I ever do!

As we left the hotel for the last time, God gave us insight as to why they are called the Smoky Mountains. What a beautiful way to leave the mountains...

We've made it to Memphis where I grew up. I love coming back home!!!

Tonight I'm meeting up with Karla from Ainsley's Mom and Southern Girl from A Southern Girl's Guide to Almost Anything. I'm so excited about this meeting! Fried Chicken, friends and games... what more does a girl need? (And meeting with Boomama fell through as she's going to be with her friend Emma Kate. I think she's doing the right thing to be with her now. However Boomama, I'm going to keep trying. You can't get rid of me that quickly! Trust me, Shannon, Jeana, Chili and Antique Mommy have all tried, but they haven't succeeded thus far...)


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