Sometimes It Really Matters How You Look
July 24, 2017 by Don Gentle
For years down at the paddling docks, there has been a constant theme of what was most important. It was looking good, of course. It was the sort of banter you might find when you gather a bunch of guys around each other as they all try to be cool. The jokes would go around and everyone would laugh. It even got to a point where some of the staff made a t-shirt, a really cool t-shirt actually. The back was a river that named all the rivers in the paddling progression and underneath it all it said “Looking Good Since 1958.” While it still makes me laugh when I hear the staff and campers respond to each other about what is most important, a little bit of it makes sense. I noticed it today on the lake. I thought to myself, “wow those paddlers are looking really good.” It’s no coincidence, when you are paddling (or doing any other skill) correctly, it just looks right. It looks GOOD! Of course, you can’t start your teaching progression with words like that, nor could you do it while you try to demonstrate. Staff still have to break down the skill into teachable parts, giving everything a specific term so that the boys can slowly try to figure it out. Then you need to give them some feedback and adjustment. Guess what happens next? It starts to look good! So, that is what I saw today. I saw a lot of “looking good” out there. It wasn’t just in paddling and sailing. I saw all sorts of looking good!
It was a wonderful summer mountain day! The heat eased up a little today, and the breeze made it just right. It was plenty warm for some swimming and time on the lake, but not too hot where you didn’t feel like running around. We had a two-day hike head over to Nantahala National Forest to an area called Panthertown. It is one of the coolest areas around. There are all sorts of cool waterfalls, streams, and rock formations. I am looking forward to hearing from the guys tomorrow afternoon.
Our paddlers were looking good as the left early for camp to go run what is called Section 9 of the French Broad River. It’s not a real thought provoking or clever name, but I guess you can figure out where it falls in relation to other sections of the river. Anyhow, the boys will paddle this wonderful shoal cover section of the French Broad today, and then spend the night on the Chattooga River. They will get up early tomorrow and paddle Section III of that river. Some folks may just call it by the river access points, which sounds a little cooler. In this case, we might say they are running Sandy to Bull Sluice, which is actually the century old fjords of the river where wagon trains could cross. So in this case with would actually be Sandy Ford to a rapid named Bull Sluice.
We had a two-day hike head over to Nantahala National Forest to an area called Panthertown. It is one of the coolest areas around. There are all sorts of cool waterfalls, streams, and rock formations. I am looking forward to hearing from the guys tomorrow afternoon.
This afternoon the ladies of Keystone Camp also came over for some fun mixed games of soccer and tennis! The heat of all the excitement and even some conversation about last Saturday night warmed things up a bit, but it wasn’t anything some ice cold lemonade couldn’t cut. The guys and girls had a great time!
A group of advanced climbers will head out tomorrow for a 3-day climbing trip in Virginia. We have all sorts of adventures ahead!
Still Lookin’ Good on the mountain,