A couple weeks ago, my wife Nola and I took a little vacation. We ventured south toward the Great Smoky Mountains to spend a few days with some good friends, to enjoy the beautiful scenery, to relax, unwind, and to ride our motorcycles!
Back several months ago, a few of us were deep in conversation after church one Sunday about the possibility of taking our bikes down to the Smoky Mountains for a little fellowship, a little fun, and a little riding. We went, we enjoyed, we relaxed, we rode, and I even have the t-shirt to remember the trip by.
Three couples, six individuals made this epic journey. We rented a cabin a few miles north of Pigeon Forge (and about 3/4 mile up the side of a mountain!). Two of us trailered our bikes down while the third couple rode their bike all the way down and back. Each couple took turns with meals and such so that no one spent all their time cooking and cleaning. Each couple took a day and did all the cooking for that day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)...that way we had a wonderful variety of different menu choices. We did experience a bit of rain during our stay. Matter of fact, it rained most of the way down on Wednesday through Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, and rained Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. However, despite the rain we did manage to see quite a bit of the park, including Cade's Cove and Newfound Gap. While we had plenty of opportunities to see the sights of the park, we also managed to do a little riding. Our original intention was to ride down to Deal's Gap to a section of highway known as the Dragon's Tail. However, the weather and a convention of Kawasaki crotch-rocket riders nixed our plans. Instead, we logged many a mile in and through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Up and down the hills, round and round the curves we went. We spent almost the entire day Saturday riding...the scenery was magnificent, the weather was wonderful, and the company was amazing. One last thing I feel I need to share with you. A couple days before we left for our little vacation, I was writing an article in our church newsletter about our pending trip to the mountains. I quoted a scripture from Psalm 121:1-2 - "I will raise my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth." Do you believe in coincidences? Neither do I. When we arrived at our cabin, we found a mural painted on the upstairs bathroom wall. The content of that mural was Psalm 121:1-2. God does amazing things, even when you least expect it. To the six of us, this was a sign that He was watching over us, even on vacation in the mountains of Tennessee.
To my friends who joined me on this journey, thanks...thanks for your friendship and your love. To my wife who went, even though she refuses to ride with me on my bike, thanks...thanks for allowing me to make one of my dreams a reality, and thanks for being there with me, on this journey and the bigger journey we call life. To God I say thanks...thanks for watching over us, caring for us, protecting us, and for creating such amazing beauty. Watch for future adventures...you never know where God will take you...:-)