Quite begrudgingly we pulled ourselves out of our sleeping bags… most things were dry, thankfully, but we were so tired.  The wind howled over the saddleback as we were trying to pack up.  Honestly, we all hate breaking camp in the morning.  We just want to get going, and when it is windy and cold all the more. 

We are so grateful to everyone who reached out to us with weather updates, and who prayed us through the storm.  It was definitively our hardest night on the trail.  Ryan feels it was his hardest night in a tent pretty much ever. 

We worked together as a team to pack up the wet sleeping bags and tents, and as quickly as possible we were on our way again.  

As we move along this trail, this journey, our mission is to heal.  Last night was a defining moment for our family.  Internally, the tension started to rise from the moment the hail began.  Everyone was working overtime to make sure that the only storm we were experiencing was the one that nature was causing.  Moments like these in our past have been our greatest weakness as a family.  It was often things that were completely out of our control that caused us to lose control.  External circumstances would rapidly become out of control in fighting.  

Trust was built on the mountain, in the craziest of storms.  We relied on one another and worked with each other.  The growth may not have been visible to the bi-stander, but it was glaringly obvious to us. 

The kids spent most of the day, jetting ahead of us.  Each time that we would catch up to them, we found them dancing, laughing, playing ball together, teaching eachother new hand slap rhythms… it is beautiful to see them coming back to life.  

And how they have that much energy, I will never know!!!

When we arrived at Hogpen Gap, we were met by trail magic, yet again!  It was so nice. We met this wonderful couple, from Iowa.  They are here in Georgia as snow birds… they are making their way home a little at a time.  Farmer Jim and his beautiful wife, Pat, were so kind.  After eating dehydrated meals every single meal… tangerines are a God send.  FRESH!  YUMMY!

We continued to pick our way up the mountain, passed Whitley Gap and stopped at a nice little spot.  We put up our tents, Ryan put on some music and we started a fire.  

We made dinner, and sat by the fire as a family.  This night was so different from the night before.  Sometimes the hard times and the challenges, make the good times truly great!  AND THIS NIGHT… WAS GREAT!

Happy Trails.

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