Posts Tagged ‘Black Rock Mountain’

Ladies’ Homestead Gathering Retreat – Sunday!

December 16, 2011

To cap off our Ladies’ Homestead Retreat, we hiked the Tennessee Rock Trail on Black Rock Mountain.

Here are those brave hearted ladies, who, though sleep deprived and still full from all the fabulous meals, decided to accomplish this last feat of the weekend!

It was a gorgeous afternoon and the colors of the leaves, glorious.

Once we made the initial ascent, which was fairly intense, we filed through the woods chatting and laughing.

Occasionally, the whole group would stop to identify a plant or tree.

Then it was time to hike UP to the top of Tennessee Rock.  A lot of encouraging words were spoken and hands extended to help one another to the “reward” at the top.

One of the “rewards” was stopping to eat lunch.  We’d all made our lunches back at Foxfire, put them in brown bags and carried them in our back packs.  A few of us also gathered up some of the radishes that were shared at the retreat, putting those too into brown bags.

Poor Julie.  After  all the talk of “can’t wait to get to the top to eat. I made a great lunch with all the leftovers!”  She was sorely disappointed to find she had grabbed the wrong brown bag and all she had were radishes to look forward to!

No worries.  There were all kinds of offers from other brown bags to satisfy her hunger 🙂

The other rewards for all our hiking, were the views!

Crisp mountain air, perfect temps, great fellowship with friends, and the vistas…

Great way to end a fantastic weekend.

We chatted some more, reminisced about the weekend,

enjoyed the sunshine and geared up for the descent to the bottom.

Two of the plants that we identified along our hike-

Rattlesnake Plantain

and Usnea.

We all made it to the bottom in one piece, a little more tired than when we started but exhilerated from the hike and being with friends.

We drove back to the Foxfire Museum and packed up our final belongings.  Kelly had stayed behind to “clean up” a little and  when I took a look around, she’d done everything!  It looked amazing.

As the last car drove down the hill and the sun was beginning to set, Lynn suggested that we sit in the rocking chairs on the back porch to savor our last moments before being thrust back into reality.

Words cannot begin to describe the intense gratitude I felt for all the ladies who had participated in our inaugural Ladies Homestead Retreat.  Everyone had a hand in its success and the comradery that was created will leave lasting memories.

The feeling is mutual – we can’t wait till next years retreat!!

Interested in joining us for the 2012  Ladies’ Homestead Gathering Retreat?

The dates are October 12 – 14, with an option of arriving October 11 for an all day workshop on the 12th.

We are privileged to once again be guests at the Foxfire Museum in Mountain City, GA.

Check the Lazy B Farm website for further details after January.

http://www.thelazybfarm.com

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Inaugural Ladies’ Homestead Gathering Retreat

October 31, 2011

I’m still basking in the memories of the retreat as they filter through my mind while I try to get back to life here on the farm.

When I sat at this table this summer, taking notes and dreaming about what it would be like to actually have a retreat focused solely on homesteading, my dreams couldn’t begin to conceive all the emotional/relational gifts that would be mine after a weekend together with like-minded women.

After my friend and I waved good-bye to the last car as it made it’s way down the mountain, re-checked all the rooms and buildings, and put our own belongings into the truck, my very good friend suggested we sit on the back porch to “breathe” before we headed down the mountain ourselves.

While we sat in the rocking chairs, breathing in the crisp fall air of dusk, surrounded by the incredible beauty of the Appalachian Mountains, we reminisced about the activities and conversations of the last 48 hours.

And then she asked me a very poignant question – Did the weekend meet the expectations I had for a Ladies’ Homestead Retreat?

Moments before we sat together on the porch, I had to make my way up the path to the Guest House to look for a walking stick that had been left behind.  In the quiet solitude and alone with my  thoughts, I had been thinking about all the “firsts” and “victories” that had happened over the weekend for these women and my heart welled with incredible emotion, almost to the point of tears.

This retreat went far beyond my expectations….

As we rocked back and forth in our weather worn rockers, I shared that with all those “firsts”  and “victories” came a sense of accomplishment when a new skill was learned; self-worth when added knowledge was given to a conversation; self-confidence when a fear was overcome or a goal successfully achieved; a belief in who they are as a person, that they matter, when hugs and words of affirmation were given after they shared a part of their “story.”

You can never ever buy or purchase those gifts for another person – you can only offer the opportunity to try and the encouragement and hand holding to let them know you believe in them with all your heart.

The cheering and the clapping resounding in the valley when one of the gals successfully split a piece of wood with an axe; the applause and “atta girl!” for the first time teacher of one of the classes; those light bulb moments when a concept or plant identification  was understood and grasped;  the “come on, you can do it!!” whether they were trucking to the top of the mountain or picking a chicken for the first time – these are the results of sisterhood, friendship, a community of like-minded women.

Time after time this weekend, my heart rejoiced as I watched each woman receive the gift of self-worth, self-confidence, “you matter.”

This was OUR weekend, we all made it happen, we all had a part in its success…

And we all shared in the joy and blessing of friendship.

In May,when I sat at that little table on the porch of a rustic log building and scribbled notes and ideas for a ladies’ homestead retreat, little did I know that the reality of those dreams would far exceed any of my expectations.

Thank you ladies, my friends, for an incredible weekend.

Tennessee Rock Trail – Mountain City, GA

August 22, 2011

Thought it would be a good idea to hike the trail we are recommending for the Ladies’ Homestead Retreat.

Yesterday a friend and I drove up to Mountain City, GA to Black Rock Mountain State Park to hike the Tennessee Rock Trail.

2.2 miles long and an ascent of over 1000′

There is a fee for parking and either you can pay it here or at the Visitor’s Center further on up the mountain.

We chose the Visitor’s Center because they have a bathroom…and a nice gift shop 🙂

Little blue square says “more difficult.”

Little black square says “most difficult.”

We chose the blue…and because that “warning” notice said there were yellow jacket nests in the other trail – no thank you!

Sooooo – the first ascent.  A lot of stairs going up!

To buy myself some “catch my breath” time, I was easily distracted by bugs.

Actually, I’d never seen one of these before.  Anyone know what it is?

It was beautiful!

Obviously this is a popular plant – see all the other bugs on it?

Once we went “up” for a little ways, the trail evened out and meandered through the woods.

It really is an enjoyable hike and in the fall, it should be gorgeous with all the fall colors.

After about 2/3 of the way along the trail, the ascent begins again…

But it was so worth the sweat and grunt…

There are a lot of big boulders at this look out and this is where we will stop to have lunch.

You will definitely have earned the rest 🙂

Is it any wonder why they are called the Smokey Mountains?…

After lunch, the climb back down the trail…all down hill!

If you have knee problems, you may want to take this part of the trail into consideration.

The trail begins and ends at this picnic spot so if you get down the mountain before the others, there’s a nice place to wait.

We did the trail in about an hour and a half.  But taking lunch into account, I’m planning on 2 and a 1/2  hours.

If you’re moderately exercising, you should be fine with this trail.  Most of the trail is very doable and it’s so permissible to take frequent stops on the parts that are a little more strenuous!

Another bonus – it’s minutes from the Foxfire Museum.

Looking forward to hiking this trail again with a lot more friends 🙂