Happy Fall to everyone! Hope you are all enjoying the colors, cooler weather, apples, pumpkin, warm drinks, hayrides and all the other great traditions that come with the season.
Our fall has been spent traveling, and having new experiences. Pete spent the early part of October in Tahlequah, OK where he finished up the practical portion of his linguistics training. Iwas here in Wisconsin helping out with different church functions, and spending time with family, prayer partners, and friends. Pete and I joined each other once again in Oklahoma on October 10th and I spent the last week with the linguistics students in Tahlequah as they wrapped up their time with their language helpers and began their final analysis of Cherokee.
On October 17th we left Tahlequah to begin our long journey home. I say long because we decided to take a different route back to Wisconsin and spend some time camping and relaxing together since it will be our wedding anniversary on the 28th! Our first stop was in Springdale, AR where we got together with two of my friends for lunch. It was great seeing you John, & Ben, and meeting you Kristi!
After leaving Springdale we drove to Bull Shoals, AR and camped at Bull Shoals State Park. We rolled into the campsite around 5:30pm, and it was getting chilly fast! While Pete set up the tent I ventured through the woods to find wood to start a fire for warmth and dinner. I put together a good stack and we switched roles as I got some things out of the car for preparing dinner. I had my back turned and I heard a little voice, so I turned around and there was a young girl standing with a “Duraflame” log in her arms. “My Daddy said to give this to you,” she said. Looking over to the campsite next to us her parents were standing around their warm fire, “thank you” I shouted, they nodded back. After cooking our dinner of lentils and sweet potatoes over the fire we joined our campground neighbors, Steve & Liz around their fire and talked late into the night. Our walk back to our tent was VERY cold, it got down to 34 degrees that night, but we survived.
In the morning, we hiked one of the trails to warm up and get a little exercise before we hit the road for our next stop, Henderson, TN and Chickasaw State Park.
Our next stop was Chickasaw State Park in Nowheresville Henderson, Tenneesee. We got to the park and it was deserted, not a soul to be found except a small family that was leaving and a older woman who was waiting for a friend to show and when we got back from a walk had mysteriously disappeared. It was cold, we didn’t really feel comfortable being there, and so we pushed on to Nashville. Found a cheap hotel at about 11:30pm and crashed.
The next morning we set out on a journey to find a “cup of joe” in the heart of Nashville. I had researched coffee shops a bit, since it is a fun pastime of Pete and I’s to visit different shops and taste some new coffees. We decided on the Frothy Monkey, a local, trendy coffee shop complete with all the favorites, in house baked goods, and a kitchen putting out cafe sandwiches and soups. The place was packed with all sorts of different people, however we were able to snag a nice table out on the front patio and enjoy the sunny, fall day. The Frothy Monkey was so cool! We loved it. Pete and I both tried a seasonal house specialty latte: Pete’s the Maple Spice and mine the Roasted Chestnut & Vanilla. They were both amazing! Pete also couldn’t say no to the Pumpkin Spice muffin that was jumping out at him from the counter; so I had a few bites too!
After we left The Frothy Monkey we were headed to Trader Joes Nashville to pick up a few items for our next two days of camping, when we passed a fun statue…Pete wanted to go back and take pictures, so we did.
The statue was placed in memory of The Battle of Nashville 1864, a Civil War battle that apparently took place there.
Next, Trader Joes Nashville!! Always fun to visit a new Trader Joes. We picked up soup, cheese crackers, and some really delicious treats in the form of Maple Leaf cookies for the rest of our trip.
We shopped, and then jumped into the car to continue on the road to our next destination. Along the way Pete served lunch in the car, salmon (out of one of those convenient little packages), crackers, raw cheddar cheese, apples, and carrots sticks, delish! We ate and talked as we drove, and in no time we were at Mammoth Cave National Park in southern Kentucky.
Upon arriving at Mammoth Cave we set up camp, and took off for a run together around the park. We decided to explore a few of the trails around the Visitors Center on the run, and were out for about an hour. There we lots of unplanned up hills, and rough terrain, but it was beautiful. The fall colors are at peak in KY, and it was breathtaking! We were able to enjoy a hot meal on the fire after the run, and some good conversation with my best friend.
The next morning we made breakfast and had devotions & prayer together before heading out to hike. We started out on the Sal Hollow trail and eventually met up with two other trails, and hiked for about 3 hours, around 6 1/2 miles! We made a picnic, and then explored a bit more…I think we must have hiked around 9 miles for the day. Dinner at the fire again, yummy!!! Green curry with veggies & tuna…it was great. We then planned the last two days of our trip as the flames flickered into the darkness.
We left Mammoth Cave National Park on Wednesday around mid day and traveled to Lexington for the nice, city, hotel part of our trip. 🙂 However you’ll have to stay tuned for Part 2- Lexington, it’s late and we have a busy day tomorrow. Hope you enjoyed the post of our travels!