Off and Running – Summer, 2018

We left Saturday for our “somewhat annual” summer travels. We did this in 2015 (out west) and 2016 (northeast). Last year we decided to have four surgeries, which kept us homebound for most of the year.

Follow our trip on Instagram

This summer we’re heading to the upper midwest, as well as Colorado. We’re connecting with our supporting member community and doing some speaking along the way. There will be a brief time with Lucia’s sister (and family) in Minnesota.

Our first stop was Boone, NC to spend a couple of days with Biff and Trish Pfister. They have been supporting our ministry for many years. Bill works for Samaritan’s Purse (Franklin Graham’s work), which is located in Boone. Bill came in from a world conference in Spain on Sunday night.

It was so good to chat with both of them, and their daughter, Riley. We attended their church on Sunday and hung out in Blowing Rock (town) that afternoon.

Underrated Rock

Let’s just say that Blowing Rock is overrated. We walked around the gift shop for a while. I then noticed a door that went outside, so I went through it. And right there was the “rock,” which looked more like “Blowing Nub.” I asked a dude if that was the rock, and he said he thought it was.

I went back to get my family to show them the nub and noticed they were still on the gift shop side of the doorway. They were pointing up, so I inquired as to what they were looking at, which is when I noticed the sign that said, don’t enter without paying. (Or something like that.)

So we left.

After touring the town, we went to Tweetsie Railroad. We arrived at 5:45. They closed at 6 PM. It started raining, which did not deter us from getting some pics with the main entrance and “old #12” in the background.

It looked like we did Tweetsie.

The kids were not that interested in it, and neither was I. The small theme park seemed more suited for young children. So we headed to downtown Boone and checked out Appalachian State University.

On Monday, we hiked “rough ridge,” which gave us a peek at Grandfather Mountain a few miles away. We could see the swinging bridge from our perch. That was great. Bill said it would be better than dropping $100 on Grandfather Mountain. He was right. It was an excellent hike with several cool outcroppings, plus a nice spot at the top of the mountain to take in God’s creative works.

Mast General

From there, we head to Valle Crucis to check out the first Mast General Store. It is about 135 years old. Oh, my. Heaven came down as I walked across the store floor and the sounds coming up were music to my ears.

All I needed was a Royal Crown Cola, Moon Pie, and a place to sit at the back of the store to swap fish tales. And, yes, folks were sitting in the rockers at the back.

I could not resist those Victory candy cigarettes. I put one between my lips and let it hang slightly to the left. James Dean, I’m thinking of you today.

We left heaven’s hardware, general store and headed to Unicoi, TN to visit some long-time friends and fellow members, Ted and Charlene Thomas.

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About RickThomasNet

Rick Thomas leads a training network for Christians to assist them in becoming more effective soul care providers. RickThomas.Net reaches people around the world through consulting, training, podcasting, writing, counseling, and speaking. In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology, and 1991 he received a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, CA. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).