(Photographs below by Mark McKnight & Lucas George)
"Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby." ~ Langston Hughes
Very honored to have been a part of the Rock/Creek River Gorge Trail Race on Saturday - every race in the Rock/Creek series benefits the non-profit, Wild Trails and that is the reason I support these races with complimentary Blue Smoke for all the runners and volunteers.
It was a day to be remembered and one where Blue Smoke Coffee ended up being a little more important part of the trail race than usual. Not that folks don't always appreciate having complimentary Blue Smoke at the Rock/Creek Trail Races, but on this particular morning, Blue Smoke helped make a cold, wet day a little better for several hundred people.
I was up at 3am to prepare and then headed out to the Tennessee River Gorge, while it was pitch dark and still a few hours shy of being daylight. As I started up toward Signal Mountain, the wind started to whip and I encountered horizontal lightening (seriously), extreme downbursts, a huge hail storm and thick fog as I headed up to the Tennessee River Gorge - I literally couldn't see a few feet in front of the car.
The weather couldn't stop me though because the closer I got the more I knew, especially on a day like this, folks would really be counting on a steaming cup of Blue Smoke to wrap their hands around and get them going before the race and warmed up when they came back chilled to the bone.
Blue Smoke's propane burner also proved to be a big hit - all morning folks were huddled together around the only source of heat, Blue Smoke's little propane burner, which I used to heat water so I could brew fresh Blue Smoke all morning on-site, so folks got the freshest coffee possible.
For me though the reward of being a part of these races is just being around these inspirational folks, including 70 year old Sergio, who runs many of these races - and being in picturesque natural settings like the Tennessee River Gorge, even on this stormy day, it was a beautiful place to be.
Please visit http://www.WildTrails.org and make a donation ~ they are working hard to preserve, protect, refurbish, maintain and promote the wild trails we all love so much.