Yes, I know I said I wouldn't be posting anything new while we are away but . . . yesterday was just too blessed to not share it with all of you.
I think I already told you that on Sunday we found out my son and daughter in law were going to be in the same area as us? Well, we got together yesterday for one of the most fun days I can remember in who knows how long! No time tables, no committments, no dogs to let out or feed --- just the entire day to ourselves to enjoy each other. We took full advantage and I thank God for orchestrating such an amazing day!
Ryan (my son) called us as soon as we arrived Monday night. We were tired from the drive and a bit on the hungry side so we ate an early dinner and then took a walk through the town. We made plans to meet them at the cabin they had rented early the next morning.
Ryan knows that my most favorite thing to do in most the whole world is to horseback ride so he had arranged to treat us to horseback riding through the mountains! The sun was shining and the temps topped out above 80 degrees -- we couldn't have ordered a better day! We met them at their cabin, which was absolutely the cutest thing ever, nestled in the mountains and decorated like something out of Southern Living magazine!
From there we headed out for some breakfast and then off into the mountains for our ride. We took the hour and a half ride and even though Monty admitted (later) that when he saw the group before us arriving back at the barn and watched them come down the mountain he was a bit leary -- he never said a word and off we went.
The fall colors were at their peak and certainly undescribable! We all agreed that even though we took a bunch of pictures there is no way they would do justice to the actual beauty that completely surrounded us all day long! Riding up the mountains and along some rather narrow paths did make a couple of nerves stand on end and going under a fallen tree also added to the "adventure." We all agreed that it was the perfect day and the perfect way to spend a morning and early afternoon. My deepest love and thanks to Ryan who really knows how to bring a smile to his mom's face!
After the ride we decided to take a drive up the mountain to see some of the historical sites. We then made the decision to keep going and visit the Indian reservation just on the other side of the state line. Like I said, no time tables and no committments!
After going through the village it was time to find something to eat again. We happened upon a little "Granny's Kitchen" buffet that was truly home cooking at it's finest! It was then that we made another decision -- the "big one." Ryan and Dedra had heard about an area across the mountain where elk would graze freely and was supposed to be quite the thing to see. Why not? We can do what we want today so off we went.
Monty and Dedra were our map coordinators riding in the back seat and did have some questions as to the types of roads we would travel to get to these famous elk. The farther we drove the curvier the roads got. The curves got so curvy that Ryan spent 100% of the time turning the steering wheel one way and then back the other and our top speed never got above 10 mph. And that was the good road! As we neared the sign "road narrows" and the road turned to gravel we realized that this road made the ones on the TV show "Ice Road Truckers" look easy! We literally did not have enough room to pass the occasional oncoming vehicle and while Dedra and Monty were freaking out in the back seat and I was holding my breath in the front, Ryan did an amazing job keeping us all from falling off the side of the mountain and down cliffs that seemingly had no bottom to them! This "drive" went on for over an hour and finally we arrived at the elk. They were grazing in an open field at the bottom of the mountain and were beautiful. We felt like Clark and family from the movie "Vacation" when they got to the Grand Canyon. It was there that Clark hurriedly got them out of their car, told them to take a quick picture and smiled at the beauty and pushed them back into the car in less than 60 seconds! We did stay a bit longer than that -- mainly to catch our breath and thank God for keeping us on the road!
It was then that the news came ---- the only way out of this place was to go back out the way we came in!!! You've got to be kidding? No way! And many more explitives seemed to ring through the air! It was nearing dark and going back that way and not being able to see? O Lord, help us!!!!
Monty and Dedra did fare alot better on the trip back as in the dark you couldn't see the bottom of those endless cliffs and we did not meet one oncoming car from the other direction so we did get out safe and sound. The only painful thing was our stomach muscles from laughing so hard! For hours we had laughed in the midst of our sheer panic and managed to have the time of our lives! By the time we arrived back at Ryan and Dedra's cabin it was past bedtime and Ryan was headed to their hot tub! I truly don't know how he could keep not only his composure but his driving skills in tact with all the commotion and laughter going on. He did have to stop a couple of times to wipe the tears of laughter from his eyes so he could attempt to see the road!
It was one of the best days ever and I am so thankful that God sees the ultimate plan and gently guides us into it! We could not have pre-planned that day! It wouldn't have worked! It was a God appointed and God annointed day and as the rains started falling just before we got back home we realized that God had allowed us to see and experience the absolute beauty of His nature and the beauty of the relationships He set before us!
This morning brought rain, heavy rains with leaves falling faster than the rain drops! We traveled from one city to another where we will get registered for our IGO conference tonight, enjoy dinner and worship and also get to see and spend time with Timothy! He arrived earlier today.
Again, many thanks and much love to Ryan and Dedra who took a day out of their vacation to spend with us and to treat us and love on us! It really was the "peak" of the season!
Until next time . . . probably when we get home from conference . . . thank God for YOUR appointed and annointed times! Susan and Monty