This weekend turned out to be more fun than I thought it might be. For those of y’all that don’t know the back story here it is. Johnsie Henderson left the position of Youth Minister at Laurel to become the College Graduates/Singles minister at Brentwood Hills in Nashville. Their group was going to have a retreat in Gatlinburg, TN this weekend. Bryan and I were both invited to come along and we were told we should invite some of the other guys. (There already plenty of ladies there, so they didn’t say we should invite any of our ladies.) Well none of the guys wanted to go, so it was just Bryan and I that went up.
I’ll not say much more about that now, so I’ll share a Geoff Hague like story with you. For those of y’all that haven’t heard the Geoff Hague story, he was a boyscout who died in 1970 because he got lost on the trail back from the Ice Water Springs Shelter to the Newfound Gap parking lot. Anyways, so Saturday during “free time” (which happened to be all day), we decided we would do some hiking and go to Charlie’s Bunion, since it’s not too difficult of a hike. Well it turns out that 17 people wanted to go hiking. This brings then number in the group to 19. That is a HUGE group! Most all the folks are mature though, so it wasn’t something I was worried about at all. However, Bryan and I were the only ones that were experienced and were the only ones that were prepared.
We pretty much were in two groups. Team E and Team C all over again… Hahaha, not really. We had a faster group which I stayed with and a slower group. I tried to get a little ahead of the faster group when I started to see ice patches. I knew that it was going to get worse and so I scouted it out. Sure enough, the ice was pretty bad on the trail. Anyways, so the two groups meet up at the Sweat Heifer trailhead. After hanging out there for several minutes, the group decided to move on. I went down Sweat Heifer to make sure that we had all the people that went down there. The three folks that were down there said they were the last so we went on.
We arrived at Ice Water Springs Shelter and hung out there for a little bit. It was then we noticed that one of the guys was missing. Nobody knew were he was, just that he was last seen at Sweat Heifer. Most all the people were ready to turn back anyways, so we agreed that we should head back and see if we can find the missing guy. Bryan went ahead to search Sweat Heifer and I made sure that I was the last person. There was another guy in our group totally had on bad shoes for hiking and was naturally going to be slower than the rest. Once Bryan got back from Sweat Heifer determining that the lost guy had probably not gone any farther, I switched from Team C to Team E. I trail ran about 3 quarters of a mile to the parking lot.
It turns out the missing guy thought he would take the lead to go down Sweat Heifer but realized that nobody else was following him. We had already left, so he did what his instincts probably told him to do, he headed back to the parking area. It probably would have been best for him to wait just at Sweat Heifer, but oh well. The important thing was he was safe and we didn’t have another Geoff Hauge like story to publish.