Thank you for sharing your technique Chris.when trying to get smooth and weathered/scrubbed decks I finish with a sharp ended steel tool, like the end of a one foot ruler, and scrape along the grain direction with the tool held nearly perpendicular to the surface. works a treat.
I forgot to mention, I use an xacto blade (square end chisel type), and drag it across the wood, in the direction of the grain, to remove some of the top layer of stain. Then I sand and use steel wool. If you don’t scrape first, the sandpaper gets clogged fast!