Hello from our Last Day in Tennessee! What a great day it was. We got to sleep a little later (7:30. woo hoo!) and then had breakfast. (They ran out of milk. How do you run out of milk?) We left camp and went back one last time to Minister Galloway's to put all of his stuff back on the porch. (Swing, plants, glider, rugs, etc.) While we were putting away his things, John ran some caulking down the seams between the corner posts and the house. When he saw the finished project, he was very excited and thanked us profusely.
We then left the work site and headed to the Cherokee National Forest and the 'Blue Holes'. After many times being told "you can't miss it", we finally found the blue holes they were talking about. The Cherokee National Forest was the site for the 1996 Olympic Rafting games. The park still runs the route on the weekends, but during the weekdays, it is low water and you can swim between all of the rafting rocks. (Some are man made and some are natural.) The guides told us that when the dam is plugged, the river runs at 1100 cubic feet per second. When they release the dam on the weekends, the river runs at 2500 cubic feet per second! That is a huge difference!
We found the blue hole site and dove right in. The water was awesome and it was so hot out today that it truly was refreshing. I just realized I never told you what the blue holes were! They are rafting rocks that have holes in them you can swim through. (The teens looked like gophers popping up everywhere!) It was so fun! The whole swimming area is called the blue holes, and when you are in the water, you can see over 6 feet down clearly. It is easily the cleanest river I have ever swam in!
We left the park and went to grab a quick snack since we skipped lunch in order to swim longer. After our snack we did the high ropes course at camp. Ok, the teens, Erich, & John did the high ropes course. Maureen and I took pictures and cheered them on! It was scary looking at them up so high even though the guides were wonderful. They caught everyone that 'slipped' and were encouraging to everyone. We took lots of pictures, so we will try to post a couple of them on here.
After the ropes course, we cleaned up and left for lunch at Subway. Promise and Kelly met us there and we walked to the Georgia/Tennessee line. After much picture taking of all of us being in two places at once, we went back to the van and drove to Mercier Orchards. What a fun place. They let us try their fresh off the tree peaches. Yum! We did a little shopping and decided we wanted to rock out to some music while finding a park for all 16 of us to run around in. We ended up going to an elementary school not far from the orchard that had massive amounts of swings and toys. We played ladder ball and ultimate flip flop (because we
didn't have a frisbee. hehe) It was a lot of fun and we got packed up just in time for the rain to come.
We proceeded to Pat's Kountry Kitchen for dinner and to ride out the rain. It was a little like a cracker barrel back home, except everything is homemade in the store. (I tried turnip greens for the first time. They were ok, especially after I doused them in salt and butter. haha!)
After dinner we went back to camp for fellowship (free time with all the groups around a campfire) and had our closing prayer service. It will be sad to say goodbye to Kelly and Promise tomorrow because the teens (and the adults!) have gotten really attached to them. They did a great job!
We are planning on driving by the Olympic site on the way home tomorrow to see the river at it's high point. Hopefully we should be on the road home by eleven. We promise to call when we get close to home since I know many of you are dying to see your children. (And they missed you too!)
Thanks for praying for us all week. Please keep the prayers coming for a safe trip home. See you soon!