So the time has finally come, WE ARE DONE WITH SURVEYS!!! It was a long twelve weeks being out in the hot summer sun and we are glad that we did not have to do any make-ups this week. Our last week doing surveys was bitter sweet because although we were happy to be done using connect-a-desks, we are not all ready to leave Nashville yet. We are very thankful that over the course of the summer we did not really experience any major problems. At the beginning of the summer we all hoped that everything would run smoothly and we got extremely lucky with weather as well as technical issues.
To celebrate the conclusion of surveys we decided to have a barbeque with our neighbors. Our neighbor Brandon created his own brine recipe and smoked a gigantic pork loin all day Sunday. Side dishes that we prepared and included Mac & Cheese, stuffed portabellas, corn salsa, and a sweet potato pie for dessert. The meal was delicious and we stuffed our faces with food until we couldn’t take any more. It was great way to celebrate being done with surveys and it was nice that we were able to hang out with our neighbors before we leave in just a few days.
The next morning, after sleeping through our food comas, we woke up and headed east to the Smokey Mountains! Since we were so close to the Smokey Mountains living in Nashville, we all discussed taking a trip at the beginning of training. The drive was just a little over three hours through the rolling Tennessee hills and when we first caught a glimpse of the mountains, there was a moment of silence in the car. Seeing the fog rest at the top of the mountains was breath taking and better than any picture of it. Once seeing that, we were all more eager to get to the campsite to hike around and explore nature.
Once arriving at Cosby Camp Grounds we chose the perfect two campsites that were right next to each other with a fire pit in-between them. Sam and I declared these campsites to be “The One.” We quickly set up our tents and headed off to do a quick hike before the sunset. We did about a four mile hike that led us to beautiful waterfall where we hung out for a little before heading back. On the way back it began to get dark and the trail got a little more difficult. We had to be careful with where we were stepping so we did not sprain any ankles or injure ourselves in any way. Towards the end of the hike Sam claims to have seen a bear after he heard something move along the side of him. Once we returned to camp we started a fire and just relaxed before passing out. The next day we went a few separate ways that included more hiking, fishing and just relaxing.
We returned back to our house Wednesday afternoon and now we are beginning to pack up everything. Our travel day is Monday and we will all be going our separate ways. Sam and Erica will have a week off and then they will be traveling to the Mojave Desert for another internship with the SCA for desert restoration. Brenna will also be doing another SCA internship in Massachusetts beginning in October dealing with environmental education as well as trail work. Lindsey will be staying in the Nashville area and is going to work for a sign company. Stephanie joining a Leader Crew working in the Sierra National Forest for a bit, then is looking forward to having some free time to herself to be able to catch up with people that she has not been able to see in a while. Finally, I will be relocating to Cincinnati next week and begin working for a logistics company.
We are all sad to be leaving Nashville. It feels like just yesterday we were cramming all of all belongings into this small place that we have called home over the past three months. We will all remember our time spent together in Nashville and be sure to stay in contact with each other in the future.
Peace & Blessings!
Written by Tyler Frisbee