RA Fall Overnight at Bent Tree

November 14-15, 2008

For our fall RA Overnite we had a record 34 participants plus Brenda who came up to cook for us, so we slept 35 people in the house for the night -- a new record for us!! This photo is on Saturday morning as we leave for a hike up Chestnut Cove.

This group contained five of our young RA boys, all on the front row: Connor Smith, Aiden Durity, Colin, Gage, and Austin Hughes. On the back row are Johnny Huffman, Sean Durity and Stan. The other 25 are from the Hispanic congregation as a father-son (Padre-Hijo) outing.

We left the church at about 6 and Brenda had hot dogs and chili ready for us when we got to the Bent Tree house. With 34 people we were wall-to-wall.

We fed the youngest ones first, and while the others were eating, they happily played ping-pong. Gage and Colin go at it.

Now Austin Hughes and Gage are a team, sort of.

Now the older Hispanic boys have polished off hotdogs and chili and are finishing up with cookies. CW from front left Oscar and Carlos Escobar, ,Kevin Lopez.

Now some of the men get to eat. Oscar Escobar, Francisco Nava, Noe Torres and Sean Durity.

Besides ping-pong, games were started in just about every available space. Noe Torres and his son Angel play Parcheesi with Colin.

Kevin Lopez and Austin Hughes get a UNO game going at the base of the basement stair. They had to watch out for traffic.

Paco Nava and Oscar Escobar in an active ping-pong battle.

After supper the UNO game has moved upstairs to a table and collected a crowd. The faces you can see are Johnathan Morales, Oscar Escobar, Kevin Lopez, and Christopher Suarez.

Johnny surveys the crowd in the living room upstairs. Antonio and his son Mario have a chess battle going alongside the UNO game.

A UNO game is likely to break out about anywhere. Here Connor, Gage, Austin and Colin play on the basement floor with a raging ping-pong game going on right above them.

It's not much of a problem entertaining a group of boys. They will find some game. Now you can see Johnathan Morales, Carlos Escobar, Kevin Lopez, Gage and Christopher Suarez.

Connor and Colin get a checker game started in the upper stairwell.

Yet another round of UNO. The faces from LR are Humberto, Austin Hughes, Chris Suarez, Mario, and at near end Aiden Durity and Connor Smith beside Stan Johnson with back turned. Franscisco Nava plays chess with Sean.

We finally got everyone bedded down about 11 with sleeping bags wall to wall on the basement and main floors. Colin in the middle here looks wide awake but I think he dropped right off to sleep.

Breakfast of eggs, biscuits, sausage gravy. The night was peaceful after everyone settled, and they at least slept until after daylight.

One group at the table with eggs and biscuits. CW are Kevin Lopez, ?, Angel Torres, Ricardo, Chris Suarez.

Angel serves biscuit and gravy to Sean. Stan helps with drinks on the other end of the bar. We got everyone fed, but with 35 people in the house, it was a busy kitchen. Brenda kept the oven going with biscuits and the stovetop with skillets of eggs.

We relaxed for a while after breakfast and the boys enjoyed another round of all kinds of games. I was pleased to see that the men's group enjoyed a time of conversation around the table. CW are Otoniel, Apolonio Morales, Oscar Escobar, Antonio, Francisco Nava, Angel Suarez, and Pastor Javier Lopez. I sat down with them for a while last night and enjoyed listening, but my Espanol is not yet at the point where I can follow the conversation.

Finally with the rain stopped, we decided to hike up to the end of Chestnut Cove, so we are headed out the door.

We headed down the driveway and stopped at the top of Buckskull Court just at the bottom of our driveway for a traditional picture. This looks like a lot of folks for breakfast, and this is just 27out of the 34 that Brenda fed.

Above, the group is strung out up the slope of Chestnut Cove Trail where the leaves have almost covered the road. At left is a view at the top of Thunderstruck Court, the highest point on the road. Aiden and Connor are behind Johnny as they head down.

On our way down Thunderstruck Court to the intersection with Chestnut Cove. We hiked to the bottom turnaround on Thunderstruck before returning.

The group is strung out along the leaf-covered road on the way down Chestnut Cove to the house.

After the hike, we loaded up to go to the lake for lunch. We had brought up five vehicles including the church van to carry all these folks. These four are on our parking pad surrounded by leaves.

This is the appearance of the little road leading to the pavilion at the beach.

Above, Johnny, Stan and Sean work on the peanut-butter-and-jelly lunch and the boys gather at the pavilion. Then we drove around to the spillway end of the lake and got a good view of the brilliant fall leaf colors around the lake.

The picture above with the towers on top of Big Stump Mountain is the view we use to explain to the boys where we had come from to the lake. Our house is on the ridge below and to the left of the tower just about where that slope intercepts the hill between us and Bigstump Mountain. The boys enjoyed throwing rocks in the lake, but it was beginning to rain so we made a brief stop at the waterfall and pond. The pond below the falls had a collection of leaves that made a neat and colorful mosaic.

Our traditional trip-end picture on the dam of Bent Tree's Lake Tamarack. There are only 27 of us there since one carload had left early.

With increasing rain and wind, we headed out for the drive back to Mableton. On the way out of Bent Tree we drove through a flock of probably 30 wild turkeys - the first wild life we had really seen. Brenda drove through three groups of deer as she came down the mountain.

We praised the Lord for the fellowship and for the safe return of all these folks.


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