May 4 – Good Tidings

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. -John Muir

Happy month of May and the beginning of summer in beautiful East TN.  It was a incredible weekend that found Elizabeth and I up in the mountains enjoying the sun in God’s creation.

First an update on Elizabeth, She is still very much pregnant with our little girl. She is in her third trimester and also is in the last few weeks of her school (she’s a teacher) for this year….  to say the least, she is ready for summer! It’s hard to imagine that we are this close to  meeting our child. It seems like yesterday that we first found out we were expecting. How did we get here already?… Has life always passed this fast?  SLOW DOWN!!! It’s interesting because the range of emotions that we both are experiencing… on one hand we are both very excited not only to meet our little girl but for this next stage in our life together. On the other hand, it’s also incredibly scary to think about what is about to happen in our life…. The changes in our life, the responsibility of another living being,  are we prepared enough? One thing I’m sure of…  My wife, she’s a trooper and she is going to make a great mother. I sometimes have to pinch myself and ask God, “How did I get so lucky?” ….The truth is He continues to bless and overflow my cup, everyday.

Fast forward to this weekend, It was the first weekend that we both didn’t have something going on and I had the itch to be out and about in the mountains. Because of the pregnancy, and not wanting Elizabeth to over-do it our options were limited BUT that didn’t mean a lack of quality. This might be one of the best features of the Great Smoky Mountains….. It really does have so much to offer for so many people.

We decided on the highest point in the state of TN and also the AT, Clingmans Dome….

Getting there is relativity easy, Take US 441 through the Smokeys. Once you pass Newfound Gap, take the 7 mile access road straight to the Clingmans Dome parking area. Once there just take the paved trail half a mile to the observation tower.

On this day I was particularly surprised at how empty it was at the top. (because of the ease of this trail and the notion that it is the highest point this side of the Smokies) It’s normally slammed with the tourist crowd….add to it that it was a beautiful Saturday weather wise, but I’m not complaining!… Just 24 hours earlier they had to shutdown the access road because of snow and ice (Typical East TN weather). We enjoyed one of our last outings in the mountains as just the two of us…. for sometime very soon, they’ll be three of us…. exploring the mountainside.

Just like that Muir quote…. It was a great day to be in the good tidings of the mountains.

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