A Short Day Trip with Loads of Grace-Filled Memories

Five Is the number of grace, so on the fifth day of our six-day waterfall tour, we decided to give ourselves some grace and to take it easy all morning, and just do a small trip in the afternoon that was close to where we were staying at Nana’s Farm, an Airbnb in Pikeville, Tennessee

Early in the morning, we enjoyed watching the clouds or fog dissipate over the valley from the balcony of the guest house at Nana’s Farm. As it got warmer, we went inside and read our Bibles and prayed together from the recliner, from which we could still see the valley through the floor to ceiling windows. We also enjoyed a yummy eggs and bacon breakfast at the cozy little table where you could also see the gorgeous view of the mountains and clouds.  

After our hearts and body were filled up, I put on my sunshine shirt that says, “Don’t worry, be happy.” My legs ached from all the 34 miles we had already logged during the last four days, but I knew with a positive attitude and trust in the Lord, we would still have another great adventure.

We also felt the Lord’s grace upon us for this trip on day five as we hadn’t even known about our destination on this day before we started this vacation—and yet it sounded perfect! The place we were going to, Ozone Falls, was less than 20 minute from our place. We learned about it at our surprise visit to Cumberland Mountain State Park, which also manages this Ozone Falls. We watched a documentary about the development of this state park, and they mentioned Ozone Falls. The film relayed that it this hike was a short (1.5 mile) but strenuous hike.

We arrived at a side of the road small parking lot just after we had driven through a cute small town. Seth was so excited because he had been practicing navigating without GPS and he found it without a problem.

We went to the top overlook first, and the view was quite impressive. No need to linger there, however, because we wanted to get to the bottom of the falls as soon as possible! We started the climb down, and I had to get down on all fours much of the time to climb over rocks. I moved slowly and cautiously, but we arrived at the base without any problems.

This fall was certainly worth the effort. It was 110-foot tall (so about 12 stories), and you could reach out and touch it. God gave us even more grace during this fifth-day adventures when just as we got to the bottom, the other four people that were hanging out at the falls left. Seth and I finally got to swim in a natural pool together, which had been a goal of this trip. We splashed around. We just didn’t know if the water had a current. Seth knew that some waterfall pools did. If we had to do it over again, we would have brought a life jacket or noodle, just to have peace of mind to relax a bit more. Nevertheless, being at Ozone Falls was a perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon.

After we had swam around for a while, we relaxed on our tarp near the bottom of the falls. Seth dug into his backpack to get something. He told me that he had been carrying this item around every day until he felt like it was just the right moment. “The moment is now,” he said. I wondered what it was. I told him that I was sorry that I didn’t have anything for him for our anniversary. We prefer to have experiences together for our special occasions, but he usually still gets me something small to open. Before he gave the gift to me, he reminded me that anniversary six is the year of iron. He handed me a decorative bag with something weighty inside. He then told me that the gift was one of a kind, and that he had commissioned it from our nephew who is a blacksmith.

This iron heart trivet that serves to hold a hot serving dish and also serves as a coaster for a glass or mug. I absolutely love it, and I have used it at all our meals at home. I love the thoughtfulness that went into the gift. I also love that we have a nephew who, at 17, is a blacksmith, doing something with his hands and making art. So many other teenagers waste time on their phones or on video games. He is an inspiring kid. Seth’s sister homeschools him and her three other children. The fruit of her labor shows.

After Seth gave me the iron heart at the waterfall, we took pictures, and let the sun dry us off. When we were dry, and felt like we had been there enough time, and felt like our bodies were somewhat recovered, we headed back up to the top. We had wanted to go to out to an anniversary dinner—every other night we had cooked at our AirBnB—and we wanted to get there before Tennessee dinner hour, which seems to be 6 p.m., no matter where you are in the state. Our goal was to get a great meal followed by getting to bed early for our longest day hike of the week—9 miles, which we had planned on the next day.

We got to a steak restaurant in Crossville, Tennessee, at about 5:40 p.m.. We had looked at the menu before we went. I knew I would want a steak. Seth wanted chicken alfredo. The waitress was so warm and encouraging. We were really enjoying her service—even when she brought the bad news that they were out of chicken. How does a restaurant run out of chicken? Seth changed his order to mahi mahi, reluctantly, but it was parmesan encrusted, so he would still get some of the cheesy flavor he was looking forward to. God showed His grace once again because the waitress came back so excited that she still had one serving of chicken left, and that Seth’s order was the next in line. He was thrilled that he got to eat his first choice. Our meal was yummy, reasonably priced, and we had enough left-overs for dinner the next night so that we didn’t have to cook again! Thank You, Lord.

We look back on day five, so thankful that such a small trip was filled with so many rewards and precious memories.

Isn’t that just like our God? We take small steps, and He showers us with large amounts of grace!

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