The Sounds of Summer
June 18, 2019 by Dan Noland
Today actually began last night, after lights out, when a mesmerizing series of thunderous storms huffed and puffed through Cedar Mountain, dropping four inches of rain in just over an hour! At wake-up bell, the sky was again calm, the forest thoroughly washed and the guys eager to get on with the fun.
The younger paddlers who had camped out by the river after paddling the French Broad yesterday came in for breakfast: tired, hungry, chatting about their adventure, and dry. The trip was such a success that we will definitely do it again. Another group of paddlers headed out this morning for a full day on the Green River, down in a deep and beautiful gorge not far east of here. They will love the additional flow that last night gave the river!
Rock climbers headed for Cedar Rock, one of the plutons (I love that word, and the climbers love the large exposed surfaces that plutons afford.) in lower Pisgah. They will be back in time for supper, and I can’t wait to hear what they have to report about the rock itself, the fine views, and any wildlife they see while there.
We are so lucky to be next door to DuPont State Forest, which has some of the world’s finest mountain biking. It takes only fifteen minutes to get from our parking lot to the biking trailhead there, and a group of eager riders trailered down the road just after breakfast. The in-camp classes are riding through a trail on camp that we call Rhodo Tunnel after the overarching rhododendrons that flank the trail. They are in full bloom now, so the guys will have a treat for their senses as well as working on their building riding skills.
Of course, the amazing range of other activities continues apace, with the Windswept group on the ropes course this morning, while Sprucepine and Outpost will go out for Sliding Rock and Dolly’s this evening.
When we go to bed tonight, we will be halfway through this session, which is hard to believe! So much will happen in the next ten days that it will whiz by, too.
Going to sleep each of those nights, tired and happy, we also get to hear one of the characteristically heartening sounds of summer—whippoorwills! I hope you get that treat, too.