It was only a week ago that we were in the Smokies — and I miss it. A friend pointed out that we were there just a little while back — seven months ago, in February. In fact, Vaughn and I were counting how many times we've visited here since our first trip here 17 years ago. We've been over 20 times. Doesn't sound like a lot but when you factor in the 5 years we didn't make it up here, we do manage to get to the Smokies quite a bit.
Sometimes I wonder why we keep coming back. I think I finally have it figured out — it's comfortable but still an adventure. There's no pressure here. We know the area and we've been to all the shops. We love just sitting back and soaking up the view — and what a view it is.
But you would think that someone like me, who loves an adventure, would want more excitement. I find enough of it here. There is always something new to discover. I always learn something new about the the past of the Smokies and for this history nerd buff that's a huge thrill.
I realized that the Smokies are a lot like God's love for me — always constant, but always filled with something new. It seems that the Lord is continuously showing me another layer of His love and His grace and it blows me away!
When I come to the Smokies, I never know what shop or restaurant may be closed, but I know those majestic mountains will still rise high in the distance. I know the smoke will drift up from the valleys and I know, once again, the very sight of them will take my breath away. I know this just like I know that my Lord will walk with me daily — I never know what obstacles I may face that day, but I always know that He is there leading me, if only I will chose to follow Him. And I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt that I will be blown away by His incredible love for me and the grace He pours out over me.
So, I'll leave you with a few of my favorite pictures from this trip — isn't God's creation just awe-inspiring?
Look Elk! In the Smokies! I heard they were around, but thought they could only be seen in the Cataloochee (and I'm so sure I spelled that way wrong) valley — which is located ….I don't know where, but not near the area we visit. I know this because I found it on the map, once, and it was a long way from Gatlinburg and there didn't appear to be any roads between the two areas. Anyway, we saw this big fella and two does and some babies in Cherokee at the Ocunaluftee (again with the poor spelling, but it's Indian, so unless you're an Indian you may not notice). Apparently it's mating season for Elk — the does haven't heard this because they were not at all interested in this big guy even when he would bugle for them. (That's kinda like a marriage proposal in Elk language).
This is view of dusk from our deck – amazing!
Sunrise from our deck! I could actually lay in bed and see this!
And for the finale — it's us!
That's all — 'nuff pictures Veranda?