Saturday, June 5

the hike.

so yesterday was wonderful. after going to the donut friar for breakfast we chilled in the village a while. we got to talking with the village maintenance guy. it was a cool conversation. i might've mentioned that yesterday.. after that jessica and i walked back and stopped to visit one of the cru girls working. then chilled with another girl, molly, on her porch and in my room and we had lunch. then her, emilie, and i joined to other guys and threw a frisbee out on the abandoned concrete pad from an old mini-golf/go-carts/arcade place by the condos. i slipped and fell in an algae-y puddle. so we stopped. then emilie and i went swimming and some of the staff ladies were there too. then we left and hung out on my balcony. then we got a cookie text, informing us of cookies happening in one of the other girl’s room. so we went over there and almost all the girls were over there and we listened to music and learned how to jerk/reject and ate cookies. then a bunch of the girls and guys went out to eat at no way jose’s. yum. then we did evangelism stuff with our small groups. my dgroup got ice cream then did the more natural conversation type. ava michelle and i were a team and we were mildly successful in that we kinda talked to some people but never got in a good convo. then we came back and were chilling on the rocking chairs on the first floor when we heard of a dance party going down in the conference room. so we checked it out. a bunch of people ended up down there and we all just had lots of fun. i feel like everyone on this project really knows how to have a great time and have fun, i love it.
this morning 9 of us not working yet went for a hike. we were planning on going to clyman’s dome (or something like that) which is the highest point in tennessee, but the road to get to it was closed. so we ended up going this other place instead, the aural falls or something. it was a good 5 mile hike both ways. when we got to the end of our trail, there was another trail to go another 3 miles to the top of the mountain, but we didn’t take it. all but two of us ended up going up another area, which we at first thought was a trail. well it wasn’t. but we kept going. we were going up the mountain, probably just where water runs when it rains. up really steep areas. slippery moss. crawling through and under tree/bush limbs. getting scratched. lots of weird compost-like ground that kind of fell out from under your feet. holding onto trees and bushes to help you climb up, then grabbing a rotten one on accident. slipping and sliding down a few times. finally got to the top where we couldn’t go up anymore. there wasn’t really a clearing at the top and we didn’t have that great of a view but it was great just conquering it and being at the top. we took some pictures then came/slid down the mountain. then the rest of the way down and back to our cars was good. it was a great trail, alot of it by the river. i love the rivers around here, with lots of water-rounded rocks and little mini waterfalls. then we all went to a pancake house and had delicious pancakes. there are a lot of pancake houses here in gatlinburg. we’re not sure why, but my suspicion is because everyone craves them when they’re done hiking. it’s also like national trail hiking day or something too. then came back and took a shower. my legs and feet were covered and i have a good amount of ground-in dirt on the butt of the shorts i was wearing. there was a few moments while we were hiking and trail-blazing that i really just wanted to stop because things hurt or i was out of breath. but i kept going. i’m so glad i did. there’s nothing like conquering a mountain that few people have before (at least the path we took!). and though my body is tired now, it was def worth it. the thing that hurts the most is my lower back, but it was kind of hurting when i woke up and slipping and hitting a rock or tree branch on my lower back prob didn’t help either ;) we were planning on having our own quiet times when we got to the top or whatever. but it ended up getting nixed because we decided that we should make sure we could get back to the real trail first and then that if we stopped and sat for too long we would get super tired and realize even more how starving we were. we needed to keep our adrenaline going. and it’s really hard to not be amazed by God and His creation when you’re surrounded by it. there’s nothing i can compare to being in nature with great people. it’s totally worth it even if you hurt afterwards.
so at the moment i’m laying down and chilling, but in a few i’m off to pick up ty and jakub and go to the minor league Smokies baseball game we’re going to as a project tonight. thankfully you don’t have to be too active at a baseball game. ;)

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