We recently visited the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. It is amazing; words do not give the miles and miles of trails and scenic views justice. We went on several hikes; saw many beautiful waterfalls, forests, streams, etc. We rode our bikes on the Cades Cove Loop and have many wonderful memories.
The day that we did the 6 mile round trip hike to Alum Cave Bluff made me really think about and reflect on life.
The hike started out flat with a wide, smooth path. We commented on how easy the hike was and how fast we were hiking. “We’ve got this” “We will sail through this” were some of the words we said out loud. How carefree and effortless our hike felt. Well, things changed quickly because the terrain got steeper and we walked straight up the majority of the remaining 3 miles to the Bluffs. As we hiked and as our thighs began to burn, we had beautiful streams and waterfalls to enjoy. Life or our hike became more challenging but there were definite benefits to keep us motivated with each step.
We talked to others who were walking back down after reaching the top of the bluff. They shared stories of how amazing the Bluff and views were. This also kept us encouraged to forge ahead.
When we were ready to be there, were tired of hiking, and when we thought we had reached our goal, we had one last corner to go around…our heats started pumping because we had made it, we had reached our destination. However, we rounded the corner only to find an extremely steep set of stairs made of rock and logs that was well over 50 steps long. This was one last hurdle to endure when we were most tired.
Life can be like that. When we have worked hard, fought our way through, and given it all we had, there seems to be the hardest hurdle still ahead of us. But somehow, we dig deeper and find the strength to go on.
The Cave Bluff and views were worth the climb and hard work, as are most things we work for in life. We had a great sense of accomplishment and perseverance with our hiking journey and can relate this experience to our life journey.