As I wrote yesterday, my family and I headed into the mountains of North Carolina for a lovely retreat. We were part of a group of about 45 people from our Church. After arriving late yesterday evening, we enjoyed chatting with friends in the lovely lobby/common area of the inn. We got to bed pretty late and then were up and headed to the dining room by 7:30 for breakfast…..even the grumpy teenagers. After some group activities in the morning, we had the entire afternoon to fill with the fun that is Montreat and Black Mountain, NC. I had been planning on taking the kids to a nearby town to go gem sluicing. CJ really likes pick mining….but this time of year it is kind of tricky.
So, sluicing was our plan…..until the kids hung out with the other teenagers on the trip and found that they were all hiking to the top of the lookout. I was out-voted. No gems for me on this trip. I thought about sitting out the hike, but I didn’t want to miss out on an experience with the kids. I figured, even though last weeks 5k hurt my knees for a couple of days, I survived…..so we set out. There were about 15 of us over-all on this so-called ‘hike’. Mountain climb…..even rock climb would have been a better term for it. It started out as one of those ‘step’ trails, where the steps alternate between random pieces of railroad ties, tree roots and rocks. About 3/4 of the way up, someone was coming down….literally, sliding down a 45° rock face. That was the only way to the top. I looked at my husband…..who was the only person from my group still with me at this point, and groaned. I pushed forward….or pushed and pulled forward, as it may be. When we finally got to the top, the rest were ready to head back down. I managed to get a couple of shots from this well-earned ‘lookout’. Everybody rushed down the mountain….but my husband patiently helped me down, as my knees were not enjoying the decent. Following the hike, the kids even agreed that next year, we will not be making that journey again……maybe we’ll go shopping instead.
We came back to the hotel, had some quiet time and then decided, as did many other families, to order pizza and eat it at the hotel rather than go out to dinner. We then participated in more organized church events and finished the evening by retreating back to the common room to listen to very talented members of our group play guitar, that lulled me into a relaxed state…….finally. It only took until about 11pm for it to happen.