From Panthertown to Polar Air
July 15, 2014 by Dan Noland
With so many people leaving or already on trips this morning, the Dining Hall was busy and bustling well before the wake-up bell, but everyone, early or late, filled up eagerly on grits, eggs, bacon, toast, yogurt, fruit, cereal and milk (lots of coffee for adults). After a hearty breakfast like that, it’s impossible to be hungry (though we somehow manage to be by lunch).
Even as we look north-westward for the arrival of the summertime “Polar Vortex” later this evening, we are not pausing a bit in our own activities. The paddlers were the first out of the parking lot, headed for the Tuckaseegee River, an intermediate challenge offered to campers who have made significant progress in their skills. Its headwaters arise in the same Panthertown Valley that the hikers are in for three days, and I like to imagine that some of the water they walked by yesterday cooled our canoers today. The mountain bikers sent a group to the Gateway course, in Travelers’ Rest, South Carolina for the morning, where instead of riding trails through the woods, as we typically do, they exerted themselves on a technical progression. Check the pictures out to see guys on the berms and the flow line.
In camp we had the panoply of instructional and free-time activities humming along, and this evening the upper-middlers went on their chill night—I’ll canvas them to see which was their favorite Dolly’s flavor for warming up after sliding in the Davidson River, and the upper-seniors took a well-deserved though short break to watch a movie.
One of my (many) favorite times in the camp day is just before lights out. A few days ago Kylie Davis and I were sitting on the locust logs by the bell, with the last daylight colors draining beyond the dam and stars opening overhead, bullfrogs grunting and groaning around the edges of the lake, lights softly showing from the cabins as the guys prepared, some noisily and slowly, for bed. While the rhythm of camp slows to a stop, it is gratifying to reflect on camp’s good work, well done by campers and counselors.
I’ll grab a jacket before I go out there tonight!