June 27, 2017 by Dan Noland
As we all arrived at breakfast this morning, we found chilly temperatures (54°), lots of long sleeves and sweatshirts (pretty rare), hungry people (quite common), and several tables left empty because of all the people out of camp on trips!
As you know from last night’s blog, we had canoeists doing a two-day trip that had them on the Chattooga River between Earl’s Ford and Sandy’s, on some of the most remote, wild, and scenic river anywhere; the guys reported a perfect amount of water. Today they spent on the Nantahala, which some of you may have rafted. It’s a far different experience being in that cold water in a canoe or kayak, and everyone was justifiably proud when they got back.
The hikers got back from Panther Town Valley not long before supper, and, even though they had eaten well on the trip, I noticed most of that group in line repeatedly for our camp-made meatballs, pasta, casseroles, rice pudding, salads, and rolls. They will have much to say to you Friday about that gorgeous spot.
We also had a hike leave camp this morning on foot, to explore the remote reaches of the long trail that connects us with Dupont State Forest. About now they are settling into their campsite—somewhere in these Appalachian woods—and tomorrow morning we will learn exactly where they went and what they found.
The climbing overnight to Linville Gorge I am just as sure had a great two days, but they are even now on their way back and will roll in by bedtime: tired, grimy, happy.
Nick and Steen took a shorter nature-focused hike out this morning, the mountain bikers took two separate trips today, and even swimming took a trip to the French Broad, which they floated down in inner tubes as a reward for all of the hard work they have done this session.
Tonight is our last night of regular evening activities (cabin night tomorrow and banquet/final campfire Thursday). It was a hoot to see how much cheering resounded through the dining hall at supper as they learned whether they would be doing canoe fill-ups, battle-ball, the rope swing, soccer, or the other standards.
We won’t have to remind them to have their second blanket or sleeping bag handy when they crawl into bed tonight! I suspect some of you may even envy us for being just a bit chilly as we sleep and especially when we hop out of bed in the morning.
Last week I said that June 20th was the first day of summer, but it was actually the 21st. My apologies to you for the error and to spring for cheating it of a day.