Making Hay While the Sun Shines
July 8, 2014 by Dan Noland
The weather forecast for today was for heat, but here that turned out to be a high in the mid-70s! Our apologies to those of you who know what real hot weather means.
We are nine days into this session without rain at camp, which is pretty unusual, but the climbers love not having to wait for “their” rocks to dry out in the morning. In fact, Joey said that the guys in yesterday’s tripping group, which went to Looking Glass Rock in Pisgah, each got three separate climbs completed by lunchtime. I can’t wait to hear how today’s trip to Rumbling Bald went! The canoeists tend to fret about dry weather eventually leading to lowering water levels in rivers, but that didn’t dampen any of the excitement evident among the campers heading westward to the Nantahala River for a long day of paddling on one of the most exciting rivers in the eastern US. They will be full of stories about the falls (actually it’s a Class III rapid) that end the eight-mile run, and you should check out the pictures to see their wide-eyed pride in the achievement.
Warm and dry also means that the lake is even more attractive than ever, with swimming, canoeing, fishing and sailing all giving campers (and staff) many chances to get wet and cool, and during morning and especially afternoon free time the Rock-it was really rocking. The mountain bikers who had been on the Rocky Ridge Trail in the Lake Imaging area of DuPont headed down there gratefully when they got back from their morning ride. This afternoon, a group of swimmers went to DuPont to cavort in the pool at the base of Hooker Falls, of Last of the Mohicans movie fame. Their spot in the camp lake was taken by the Starter group, who spent a delighted hour together splashing, laughing and generally cruising around those eleven watery acres. The hikers who are on the second day of their three-day in the Cane Brake area of the Foothills Trail system are probably happy to be near such places as Frozen Creek, Bad Creek and Bearcat Creek.
After the last regular activity period, at 5:00, the most advanced horseback riders went down to the barn, mounted up and headed out on special trail rides that go further out from main camp than usual and ended up back at the barn for a supper cooked over the barn’s fire pit. As I hope you all know, open air, lots of exercise and wood-fire cooking are the very best appetizers.
We have heard the very first cicadas singing their harsh songs this week, and that sound means summertime, which means summer camp at High Rocks, which means all of the fun, adventurous, educational things we do. Please try not to be too envious of us tonight as we watch the waxing gibbous moon rise and the evening temperatures fall.