I’m on a white water rafting retreat with my church youth group this weekend near Copperhill, TN. It’s really beautiful up here in the Smokey Mountains, and a bit cooler than Greenville and the humidity is a good bit lower here too. The retreat is going well. The music is being provided by the youth group praise band and the messages by a missionary who is working in Central Asia. With my marathon coming up I have to keep up the mileage.
I got up at my usual 0500 and headed out to the big porch on the cabin to stretch. The view, even in the dark, was amazing. The moon was full and it provided enough light to show all of the mountain ridges surrounding us. The temp was about 70 and if felt great. So, equipped with a headlamp, flashlight, and hydration bladder I set out with only a vague idea of where I was going.
I ran through the camp on the dirt roads, not another person in sight. As I left the property I had to cross a small stream, I knew it couldn’t be too deep since we drive across it, but it was a bit unnerving running it. Turns out it was only about 2-3 inches. Then I set out on the local side street, very dark other than where the moon light spilled through trees. Glad I brought the flashlight. I didn’t use it all the time, but it was helpful to see further ahead and make sure the two cars that passed me saw me.
I had a couple of run ins with dogs while I was out. Luckily they turned out to be friendly dogs, but, I have to say, having a huge rottweiler hop down off the porch and move toward you is not a fun time. In addition to the dogs there were several animals out in the woods that I could only spot by their glowing eyes, a little unnerving.
After my loop around the area I crossed back over the stream in the early grey dawn and headed back through the camp to our cabin. It was still as quiet as when I left. I was still the only person out moving around. It was a great feeling being out far away from the city, all by myself out there running.