After the Deluge
July 12, 2016 by Dan Noland
Last night, a bit after supper, one of our impressive mountain summer storms rumbled through camp. It started with some heavy rains, which sent everyone scurrying into the Dining Hall, where we all sang spirited but soggy songs as we waited it out. It’s amazing to see how everyone, staff and campers alike, join in the boisterous spirit of such an impromptu occasion. After snack and a hasty retreat to the cabins, we were treated to a distant lightning show. What a way to fall asleep!
The 2 ½ inches of rain that fell during the night was also impressive and very welcome, since our summer has so been on the dry side. The canoeists jumped out early to get to the Tuckaseegee River for a full day. They had a great trip, enjoying more water than they’ve seen lately, which makes rapids a different sort of challenge. As they tumbled out of their van before supper, they were laughingly arguing about which kayaks had rolled (intentionally and for fun) and which had combat rolled (by mistake and to get upright quickly again). The swimmers also took advantage of the rain, going to Hooker falls in DuPont for an afternoon of cooling off and splashing around in the risen waters of the Little River.
Undaunted by the moisture, the climbers went out on a classic intermediate climb to The Nose of Looking Glass Rock in Pisgah. The cooler temperature helped them do the hard work of climbing vertically. The mountain bikers left at the same time for a “teeter-totter” shredding at Guion Farms in Dupont State Forest. Both trips were back by lunch, all tired from a good workout but covered in smiles (and sweat!).
Tonight, the horseback riders are engaged in a Cowboy Dinner Ride. Afternoon activities over, a group goes back to the barn for a special extended ride on the trains around camp, followed by a cook-our supper at the barn’s fire pit.
Also this evening, the youngest age group went on their chill night: a trip to Sliding Rock followed by ice cream at Dolly’s! They’ll be back just in time to wash the sticky sweetness off of their faces, brush their teeth and tumble into bed.
Here, in the middle of summer, one of my favorite annual events returns: katydids, which open their stridulations at about lights-out time, sounded first on Saturday night—about ten of them. Sunday night, about a hundred chimed in. Last night they hunkered down for the storm, but tonight I expect them to return, I hope in the thousands at least. Soon there will be…jillions! Darkness, silence, rain, rhythmic insects. What wonderful ways we have of going to sleep here at camp!