Each of us believe in Angels differently, but we believe there is such a thing. Angels can be there for us in a multitude of ways; whether it is a silent guidance to an actual person. They usually appear when we are at our most desperate or at a cross road. Their presence is subtle, never aggressive (unless we are in harms way). I had an experience a couple of weeks ago where a complete stranger (an Angel) stepped into my life and I have to say that I am grateful it happened.
Three of my dearest friends had a girls weekend away in Virginia. We did a wine tour near Charlottesville, VA and stayed at an Airbnb in the Wintergreen resort area. We had a blast tasting a lot of wonderful wine and ate some awesome food. I had a fun idea of doing something Sunday before we headed back home. The morning started out rainy, cool and cloudy. I wasn't sure if my idea would happen.....and a small part of me was hoping it wouldn't. What was my idea? We were going hiking....to a place called Humpback Rock. It is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
So, we leave the rental house and head to breakfast. My anticipation and anxiety was building. After breakfast, we head out on to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We stop a couple of times to take in the gorgeous views at some lookouts. Finally we arrive at the visitor center and get directions on where to start our climb. OK....I am feeling anxious now....but I march forward. We stop to admire a working replica of a home/farm from the area. Now we head to the climb. There are a lot of people parked and heading in the same direction we were going. I am feeling a little better about my bright idea. We start to climb....the path is a gradual incline but gravel. We climb for a bit and as we go up and up, I noticed the steepness of the path was getting greater. I started to get worried that I wouldn't be able to get back down. On one of our rest stops, I announce that I don't think I should go on because I was afraid of the return trip down the mountain. Ummm...I should mention that it is 0.8 mile up to the top and we figured it was a 20% grade. As my one friend and I were hanging out as the other two went on, we were approached by a complete stranger (my Angel) who was taking her friend to the top. I am not sure how, but she talked me and my friend to tag along to the top. We went a complete different path than our other friends. We climbed over rocks along the side of this cliff. We had texted our friends who went ahead of us, that we were on our way and to stay there until we arrive. I had a small breakdown part of the way up, but my "Angel" talked me through the whole climb by saying we are close, there are steps around the bend and then it gets flat with some actual steps. So, onward I trudged. She keeps telling us we are close and though I was starting to doubt her, I hear voices. We are close! as we broke through the trees, there it was the top of Humpback Rock. The emotions over took me, I was crying. These were tears of amazing accomplishment for me. A year ago, if you told me I would be doing this....I would have laughed in your face. Hmmm...I guess I should also admit I am terrified of heights. But, here I am at the top of this rock outcrop (which is 3080 ft above sea level) where you can see a 360 degree view of the Rockfish and Shenandoah Valleys. I have to admit, I didn't climb out to the furthest outcrop, but I am sure you will agree the views I saw are spectacular. After resting and admiring our accomplishments, we headed down......the same way I just climbed up to the top. The terrain was just as tough, but it didn't seem to take as long to go down as it did to climb. I was very happy to be on flat ground when we got to the bottom. Do you know the feeling you get when you do something you didn't think you could do? The feeling of true accomplishment that comes from deep within yourself? Yep, that one. It is an overwhelming feeling that nothing or no one can ever take away from you. It is awesome. As we climbed into the car and headed home....I was totally at peace with myself and my surroundings.