Saturday, April 6, 2013

Blood Mountain

After the boys came back from their run and ate lunch, they headed out with Avi on a mission to climb Blood Mountain. Avi was super excited, but I was a bit skeptical that she would actually do it. Blood Mountain is a 2.5 mile climb with 1500 vertical feet of elevation gain. Drew says she did an excellent job, and of course Jon Jon gave her a big boost in attitude to make it to the top.

Avi at the start of the Blood Mountain climb.

Stone steps up the trail.

Avi found a big rock and decided she would hold it up for a while :).

Jonathan was patient with Avi as they tried to make it back to the bottom before the rain started.

Entrance to the Blood Mountain shelter.

Avi enjoyed playing on the big rocks on top of Blood Mountain. She especially loved playing hide and seek around the rocks with Drew and Jonathan (according to her, that was her favorite part)!

When they returned from their hike, she enjoyed looking around the outfitters store at Neels Gap at the start of the trail up Blood Mountain.

And on the way home, she passed out! She LOVED it, though, and has told many people what she accomplished during spring break! As a side note, Blood Mountain has been thrown out in conversation a lot by Sally Sharp since we returned home :). Before Easter, we were in the car on our way home one day, and we were discussing how Jesus had to carry his own cross up to where he was crucified. As we were talking about it, Sally Sharp busted out with, "he carried it up blood mountain?" Of course Avi and I laughed and thought it was sweet and funny. The more I think about that question, though, it is very fitting: His blood--our sins. Love how her words really made me stop and think.

Amicalola Falls

On Sunday, we left Atlanta headed up to Amicalola Falls State Park in North Georgia for a few days with Emilie, Jonathan, and Gayle (Drew's mom). We got there before everyone else, so we took a family hike up the falls that afternoon.
Maybe one day they will attempt this journey all the way to Maine.

Avi had quite the attitude as we started the hike up: complaining, whining, you name it! She wasn't pleasant, let's put it that way.

Sally Sharp on the other hand was very pleasant and enjoyed the walk up the falls.

Avi's face in this picture pretty much sums up her attitude.

I had to bribe her to get this picture (can't remember with what)! At this point, the trail turns into stairs: 600 of them to be exact. Yep, you read that right. 600 steps up to the top.

Once we started the steps, Avi was GONE. She started running up those steps and kept looking back at us as if to ask what's taking y'all so long?! Seriously? Sally Sharp and Avi BOTH climbed ALL 600 steps by themselves! I was shocked Sally Sharp was able to do it; we did not carry her at all up the steps. About 3 flights from the top, Avi took a rest on one of the benches and announced she was done. I told her if she didn't get up and make it to the top, she was going to have to turn around and go all the way back down again. That quickly prompted her to get up and finish the steps! I was proud of the girls and myself for reaching the top!

The next morning, Drew and Jonathan got up early in the rain to run/hike to the top of Springer Mountain.  It was raining and muddy and very cold on top, but they had a blast running up the 7.5 miles to the start of the Appalachian Trail.  This was Drew's fourth trip up top, and it has been cloudy or raining on all the visits...this time was no different. 

Jonathan sitting by the AT sign on top of Springer Mountain.

We were in the clouds, so no views or pretty pictures from the top.

Assault on Pine Mountain

At the beginning of spring break we headed to Atlanta for a long weekend. Emilie and Jonathan (drew's brother and his wife) were home from Morocco for a conference, and of course we wanted to spend some time with them! If you know my husband, you also know that no trip is complete unless it revolves around running or hiking in some fashion. Thankfully we were able to coordinate a race with Jonathan's schedule, so in true form, we got to Atlanta late Friday night and got up bright and early Saturday morning to head up to the Assault on Pine Mountain 15k trail race near Cartersville, GA, just north of Atlanta. Jonathan met us there, and the girls were SO excited to see him for the first time in a year and a half (Emilie stayed home to get some much needed rest that morning)! Jonathan and Emilie have always gone above and beyond to have a special relationship with our girls, especially Avi (Sally Sharp was only a little over a year when they moved to Morocco), so this was definitely a fun time for the girls to get to see Jonathan.

Drew and Jonathan were participating in the 15k trail run, and Avi was participating in the 1/2 mile kid's fun run. Sally Sharp and I were there for support! We got some great photos before the race!

Sally Sharp's grin: I L.O.V.E. it!

Loving on Jon Jon!

The racers before the start!

Sweet sisters!

Avi did GREAT on her first fun run! The weather that day turned out on the cold side, so only 3 kids participated in the run, but she was so excited and nervous! She took off running, and I was worried she went out too fast, but she ran fast the entire way!

She was so proud of herself when she finished! We were very proud of her, and she is excited to do it again soon!

Drew and Jonathan both finished 3rd in their age groups. Great job guys!