Through this post we want to show you what it’s like to go on a trip to the Smoky Mountains with our Radiate Juniors and Seniors. Please enjoy the trip via pictures and more.
We geared up and began to head out on Friday. It took a bit longer than we expected to arrive and the last few minutes were spent turning up and through the mountains. We finally made it late into the night and unloaded into the cabin. It was beautiful and we couldn’t wait to see the view the next morning in the light. We weren’t disappointed, we saw some of God’s most beautiful creation!
After a breakfast of pancakes, eggs and sausage we loaded up and went to Gatlinburg. There we found many interesting sights, sounds and food! Most likely we embodied the typical tourist, backpacks, souvenir shopping and selfie taking. We finished up Gatlinburg by eating at a variety of lunch spots then loaded up for our afternoon hike.
We decided on the Laurel Falls Hike, a mile up and a mile down on a paved trail. This was a great hike where we enjoyed each others company and breaking a little bit of a sweat. We ended up at the top not to long after arriving and it was beautiful. You walk out on a bridge that is in the middle of the falls, the view is great and relaxing. Some of the students carefully tried their hand at climbing the rocks surrounding the falls and had fun doing it. On our way back down the mountain we saw many people heading up, then suddenly a snake! It took us off guard but was cool to look at (safely of course).
We made it down and headed back to the cabin and relax with games and pizza for the evening. The next morning we ate a quick breakfast. Then Pastor Mike got up to share a charge to the seniors, just as he was about to begin the bears came to steal our trash. We had seen these little guys earlier, but not for long. They came back for more, more food that is. The students got a great, up close look at the bears and even saw their trash opening skills. After the excitement Pastor Mike gave his charge to the seniors. He ended with a time of prayer around the seniors for their life ahead.
After the bears left and Mike had given his charge we cleaned up the trash, packed up and said goodbye to the cabin. We began our trip back with a short visit to the Pigeon Forge outlets, lunch at CiCi’s Pizza. After those two stops we made a long push through rain and the mountains to finally make a quick Chipotle stop before arriving home in a torrential downpour.
This was a great weekend for our students to getaway, make their bonds tighter, and celebrate the time they have had together in Radiate.