School of Rock… and Trail
July 17, 2015 by Woody Noland
Another wonderful day to wrap up our third “work’ week here at High Rocks. We had trips heading out to the river, rock, and trail along with a bustling day for those guys in camp. The general word on the street is that guys are both amazed and saddened that only one more week is left! I think that has given everyone more impetus to push skills, seek out trips, and also for campers to schedule (yes, schedule) meeting places during free periods for cabin groups to spend quality time together.
Paddlers took a sizeable group over to the Tuckaseegee for a challenging day of technical paddling since the water was low enough to be unforgiving. Canoers and kayakers alike worked hard on a warm day to miss the more prevalent rocks, which while tiring, also made for a very productive day in terms of skill-building. They showed back up at camp just in time for dinner looking quite worn out, but with good things to say about the trip. Climbers also experienced a cloudless day trip out to the Nose at Looking Glass. With their very early start, they were some of the first people on site and had already climbing several times each before other groups began appearing. That also meant that as the sun truly started scorching the rock, our boys were standing in the shade wrapping up a full day while another program was (literally) attempting to cook a pizza on the rock face.
Mountain biking was having a big day as well with an early trip heading to the Fawn Lake area of Dupont. With a tight network of some really nice trails framed by a small but inviting lake, the boys got a lot of riding in a somewhat quieter neck of the woods. They also had several breaks by the lake for snacks and water before setting off on more loops through the woods of some technical trail broken up with some really fun, smooth rolling downhills. Bikers in camp meanwhile were prepping for their Time Trials on our Shrimper’s Delight trail. Along with class time devoted to practicing the crux moves along the trail, riders were also learning about cornering safely, climbing efficiently, pumping for speed, and even race day nutrition. Tune in for more tomorrow night.
Another momentous, and smelly, event took place this evening. Our 5 day hikers returned! After spending all week on the trail in Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, the crew came back full of stories but seeking food and showers… in that order. There have been brief snippets of beautiful views, surprise rain bursts, and lots of talk about food. Joyce Kilmer is one of the largest old-growth forests remaining on the East Coast and the guys were walking amongst trees that measured up to 20 feet in circumference and were up to 400 years old! The trip is one of a kind each year, and is truly a test of fitness, patience, toughness, and woodcraft. Though the conversations were held from a distance until showers were achieved, I think even more stories will come forward after a good night’s sleep in a bed!
Around camp was busy as always. An afternoon tennis clinic had the guys hustling on the courts while lake-goers enjoyed the cool water in the warmer parts of the day. Discs were flying around the 18 holes of the course and dust was industriously rising from the gaga pit as is the norm. Tonight was a nice break from intense physical activity for camp as everyone headed to the gym for an evening spent in pursuit of rock-n-roll fame during Airband Night. The musical choices were all over the map and hilarity ensued from the first chord on. The creativity of camper groups never ceases to amaze!
Enjoy the pictures tonight and we will see you back after a fun-filled Saturday.