The Hunt: Tennessee

So while at the farm we were able to witness something that I never even knew existed anymore. We saw the opening day of Hunting Season as well as the Blessing of the Hounds. Now, if you’re like me… when I hear “Opening Day of Hunting Season” I think of Bubba with a shotgun up in a tree-stand waitin’ on Bambi to come ’round the corner and have her pretty little head blown off —  this is not the case. It was quite sophisticated as you will soon see.

I came into this not knowing a single thing about any of this — I can’t really claim that I know much more… so I will attempt to explain to you what I saw. Basically, if my understanding is correct, this is what happens — Everyone meets at this very old cottage where a lunch is served and everyone is looking down-right fancy. Riders and non-riders get good and shnockered-up on liquor, beer, and wine and then start getting ready to set out on the hunt. A preacher blesses the hounds and then First, Second, and Third Flight is determined and announced (announcing who will ride in what order). Then men and women gather on their beautiful 17 hand thoroughbred horses (worth more than my college tuition, I imagine) and follow the hounds out on their search for coyotes or foxes. Now I didn’t know this, but the hounds actually kill the fox and/or coyote… but the goal is to follow the scent. And we found that the scent was not so strong this first hunt.

Once the riders are off chasing after the hounds, everyone else goes “Hilltoppin'” — meaning that you have to hunt the hunt. You go and sit on top of hills in search of the riders chasing after the hounds. A horn is blown by one of the riders indicating their location. There are also riders called Whips who sit atop the mountains and search for the hounds to tell the other riders which direction they should continue on. Here are some of our pictures below.

Hilltoppin'

Waiting to see if we could to hear the hounds or horn and see the riders.

Found them.

So after we found the riders we went and discovered another landmark close by…

I hope that you’re thinking exactly what I’m thinking… Oh,that’s right, it’s a Teepee. Oh it wasn’t originally put there by the Native Americans. It was absolutely bizarre… but I guess that’s what make people so interesting. We’re all into something a little… different. I have to say, they were quite beautiful on the hill over looking the “holler”.

Interior Shot

How many men does it take to close a teepee?

We were even lucky enough to find the Whip. Looking and listening for the hounds. Doesn’t it look like something straight out of a movie? It was wonderful.

Table Rock, SC

Last weekend I went on a hike. And let me tell you — I’m out of shape and super uncoordinated. These are things we should all probably already know. In any case. My friend and I went up to Table Rock. Located here.

Table Rock Satellite Map

It looks to me as though it’s pretty close to where South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina come together. Maybe I saw all of them at once! Who knows. I may have made that up.

Trail Heads

A Fork in the Road. We Followed the Red Trail Heads.

Doesn't this look like the Bust of a Greek statue? I love nature.

We still had another hour left in our hike. Not yet to the top.

There we go.

WE MADE IT! or we thought...

Apparently when you get up there, you think that you’re there –but you’re not. There is still probably a quarter of mile to go and then you’ve made it! So if you go, make sure you go all the way to the end and make sure you see the 3.5 mile marker. And yes, it’s wonderful — there are mile markers.

Time to Relax.

There was even cell reception. And this guy was a machine. He did a 9 mile hike before he did this one!

My hiking buddy!

This was a great trail–and a total of 7 miles and an excellent workout. Even if I tripped on everything on the way down. It was so beautiful and there were huge monolithic rocks along the trail where you can sit, rest, or picnic. I loved it. It’s super touristy and a little cliche but I guess you have to do at least once if you’re in the area.

Y’all have a great weekend. I’m on my home to the one’s I love. Rememeber, spread the good word: Peace and Love throughout the World

Discovering Sloss Furnace

Birmingham, AL : Sloss Furnace

So when we went to Sloss Furnace for the Smokin’ the Stokes BBQ Festival we had to explore everything — especially the stuff that was roped off.

The Stacks

Hook.

Photo’s are compliments of NR and edited by AC.

Midnight Hole, NC

Midnight Hole, NC

Midnight Hole, North Carolina has to be one of my favorite places in the whole wide world. Its pretty amazing. To get to Midnight Hole you have to go through the Smokies (well, it’s in the Smokies) and its an amazing drive full of mountains and little radio reception. You’ll almost miss the exit so watch out. As a side note, I believe the AT passes through this site. Cool, huh?

Its about a 2 mile hike to get to Midnight Hole and when you get there you’ll think, “wow this is kinda cool” but then you’ll get in the water… its the clearest, coldest, sweetest water I have ever been in contact with—EVER.

We decided that when we went we wouldn’t fully submerge our bodies until we actually jumped off the big rock. Well a. that’s difficult (I’m 5′-2″), b. due to being vertically challenged, climbing onto the rock even with the help of a rope was quite difficult and took some serious contemplation and jumping c. it was still freakin’ awesome.

It was really exciting. It’s not too high up… maybe 15 feet. Maybe less, maybe more. And we just went for it. We ran off the top and just jumped in… The water was sooo cold, it knocked the breath out of me. And you could potentially go down a good 15 feet or more in the water. It felt like you just jumped into a pool of ice water. I came up gasping for air because I was so surprised by the waters temperature. We had just hiked the 2 miles to get there, it was the middle of summer with temperatures easily in the 90s (although on the trail it was probably low 80s), and we had a good sweat going… and then, the next thing I know I have goose bumps and I’m shaking I’m so cold. It was so amazing. If you have the opportunity you have to go. Some of the more brave kids were doing flips into the water… I’ll save that for another day 🙂

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Pics are compliments of NR and AC

PLTW (spread the message)

Wedding Season…

I had one of the best weekends this weekend! It was full of so much fun. I went to my second wedding this month and it was the most beautiful service that I have ever been to. A friend of mine invited me to go with him and we got there an hour early so we just pigtrailed through Springville and Ashville, AL . The happy couple got married at Micah’s Meadow at Mathews Manor.

Here’s a pic I borrowed from their website so that you can get a better idea of where we were.

Micah's Manor

Here’s a photograph of the groom right before he walked to meet his beautiful bride. He was a little fidgety.

The groom, Brian.

They did something really unique and I think (although I don’t really know these people), something that I believe describes their personalities. They chose to do a reading called the “One Another’s” and they had roughly 30-40 people each read 1 verse. So you would hear their closest friends saying these verses all around you. It was so beautiful and really very special.

The Gospels

  • 1.  “…Be at peace with each other” (Mark 9:50)
  • 2.  “…Wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14)
  • 3.  “…Love one another…” (John 13:34-35; John 15:12, 17)

Paul’s Letters – Romans, I Corinthians, II Corinthians

  • 4.  “Love one another”(Romans 13:8)
  • 5.  “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…” (Romans 12:10)
  • 6.  “Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10)
  • 7.  “Live in harmony with one another…” (Romans 12:16)
  • 8.  “…Stop passing judgment on one another” (Romans 14:13)
  • 9.  “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you…” (Romans 15:7)
  • 10.  “…instruct one another” (Romans 15:4)
  • 11.  “Greet one another with a holy kiss…” (Romans 16:16; I Corinthians 16:20, II Corinthians
  • 13:12; I Thessalonians 5:26)
  • 12.  “…When you come together to eat, wait for each other”  (I Corinthians 11:33)
  • 13.  “…Have equal concern for each other” (I Corinthians 12:25)
  • 14.  “…Serve one another in love” (II Corinthians 13:12)

Galatians, Ephesians

  • 15.  “Carry each other’s burdens…” (Galatians 6:2)
  • 16.  “If you keep on biting and devouring each other…you will be destroyed by each other” (Galatians 5:15)
  • 17.  “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other” (Galatians 5:26)
  • 18.  “…Be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2)
  • 19.  “Be kind and compassionate to one another…” (Ephesians 4:32)
  • 20.  “…forgiving each other…” (Ephesians 4:32)
  • 21.  “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” (Ephesians 5:19)
  • 22.  “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21)

Philippians, Colossians

  • 23.  “…in humility consider others better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3)
  • 24.  “Do not lie to each other…” (Colossians 3:9)
  • 25.  “Bear with each other…” (Colossians 3:13)
  • 26.  “…Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another” (Colossians 3:13)
  • 27.  “Teach…[one another]”  (Colossians 3:16)
  • 28.  “…admonish one another” (Colossians 3:16)

I Thessalonians, Hebrews

  • 29.  “…make your love increase and overflow for each other” (I Thessalonians 3:12)
  • 30.  “Encourage one another” (I Thessalonians 4:18, 5:11; Hebrews 10:25)
  • 31.  “…Build each other up…” (I Thessalonians 5:11)
  • 32.  “Encourage one another daily…” (Hebrews 3:13)
  • 33.  “Spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24)

Other Letters

  • James, I Peter, I John, II John
  • 34.  “…Do not slander one another” (James 4:11)
  • 35.  “Don’t grumble against each other” (James 5:9)
  • 36.  “Confess your sins to each other…” (James 5:16)
  • 37.  “…Pray for each other” (James 5:16)
  • 38.  “…Love one another deeply, from the heart” (I Peter 1:22, 4:8)
  • 39.  “…Live in harmony with one another…” (I Peter 3:8)
  • 40.  “Greet one another with a kiss of love” (I Peter 5:14)
  • 41.  “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling” (I Peter 4:9)
  • 42.  “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others…” (I Peter 4:10)
  • 43.  “…Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another…” (I Peter 5:15)
  • 44.  “Love one another” (I John 3:11, 23, 4:7,11,12;  II John 5)

And then they did something that I usually can’t stand at weddings. They wrote their own vows. But these weren’t like those silly sappy things where people say “I’ll keep the air conditioning at 73″… these were special. They promised each other to live a life that wasn’t ordinary and a life full of adventure. I’ll have to remember to add these to my own … whenever that day comes…

The Happy Couple.

Side Note: They gave us fans as we entered and those were the program. I genius idea for anyone having an outdoor wedding in the middle of June.

 

I wish I had pictures but I was having too damn good of a time to be taking pictures. Oh, but they had a Southern Style Buffet, complete with Deviled Eggs, Pimiento Cheese and Crackers, Corn on the Cob, BBQ Chicken, everyone’s personal favorite — the Corn Muffins — and their wedding cake was a Strawberry Shortcake — GENIUS.

BTW, they had the best band EVER. They are called II da Maxx. Find out more, here! I have never heard “Strokin'” at a wedding reception. And it. was. awesome!!! They sang so many good songs and all you want to do is dance the night away! They’ve got my vote.

I wish them the absolute best and a lifetime of happiness — I don’t even know them, but I can’t wait till I do!

TOOMSUBA

Have you ever been driving down the interstate on a really long drive and see a road sign that makes you want to stop and check out what’s really going on there? Ha ha, I do. So, whenever I drive to see my favorite people in Mississippi,  I always pass by a town called TOOMSUBA. I text one of my besties everytime I pass it … and this last time, I just had to check it out. I had to see what was going on there. Here are some photos of a town inside Meridian and the hunt for Toomsuba’s one and only attraction — its lake. Oh yeah, we were coming back from a wedding 🙂

This is a building around the corner from where my friend got married.

Causeyville Whynot?

The beginning of Toomsuba.

Photo taken by V.S.

Still in search of the Lake...

This looks like a woman on a mission... for a lake!!!

Photo taken by V.S.

I had to see what was behind the gate...

Photo taken by V.S.

The Field.

I think we found it...

We were planning to go for a dip... but then we read the sign.

I knew it existed!!

Sheldon Parish

So on our way back from Hampton, SC towards Charleston we decided it would be fun to stop at Sheldon Parish or Sheldon Prince William’s Parish Church (1745-1755). You can see the story in an image below… It was this church built in the 1700s and it was burnt down twice when the militia came through! There was a wedding there when we came, so to give them their privacy, my friend and I decided to go galavanting towards the marsh… you know, because we were dressed for it. It was a mess, but we had such a good time.

The Terrain We Trekked Through

The Marsh

In all my travels, I still have not been to a place untouched by man. I want to see a place where there are no power lines, no cars, no trash… just land.

My Friend and Me in the Marsh

Sheldon Parish

Interior

Something to Remember

Hampton, SC

This past weekend I went to a friends hometown in Hampton, SC. We went galavanting all over the place and had a great time. His family has a lot of land so we went on the 4-wheeler and road around through trails and through the neighboring land surrounding his families property. It was an amazing peaceful place. People always wonder what you do out in the country… you enjoy it. Its so nice to be some place away from the grind of city living. Here’s some of our finds.

I love that this old house is being reclaimed by the land. We often find a lot of this around Charleston. There is something really nice about this being a very private place in the middle of a field; its so understated yet so beautiful.

An Abandoned House in the Middle of No-Where... Beautiful!

I love all of the growth surrounding the house. Wisteria and those White Roses are my favorite! The Wisteria was so fragrant too!

Resting Corn Field

What a wonderful weekend trip… now, if I could only find my notebook…