August 5, 2014 by Dan Noland
That’s the number of groups that left camp today, the busiest day of the session for trips, and the blue, sunny sky was the perfect morning accompaniment.
The parking lot was abuzz early as the paddlers left for the French Broad River while the mountain bikers rolled out to DuPont State Forest. Soon after the rock climbers hiked up Rich Mountain to climb on the High Rocks, a group of towering granitic boulders that challenge beginners and veterans alike, without anyone having to get in a vehicle. A bit later, a group of hikers left for a two-day trip around the outer edges of the High Rocks property, where they will see no roads, no people and enjoy steams, ridges, waterfalls and rhododendron thickets, again without needing a ride.
In camp, the ropes course was busy hosting Lakeside I in the morning and Foxhollow II in the afternoon. It’s easy to tell when the whole group has finished with the elements, because loud screams of delight were audible all over camp as each camper went down the culminating zip line. Another afternoon group clambered on the High Rocks, and yet another group went paddling on the French Broad. “Do it for the Vine,” the age group living in Windswept and Outpost, had their turn sliding on the Davidson River followed by ice cream at Dolly’s.
All of this was in addition to the twenty or so activities we do daily. Phew! Many guys are moving noticeably slower than they were a week ago, and there are no longer very many early risers. On the other hand, those tuckered-out faces have a new look of confidence as they realize just how much they have learned in such a short time.
Several guys came up to me today a bit surprised to realize that they only have three activity days left! Don’t be surprised if this Saturday you hear variations on “I’m not ready to go,” even as they hug you joyfully!
Tonight the waxing crescent moon and a full chorus of katydids will send us to welcome sleep.