BRX has Returned from the Woods

By Anne Mead

The Blue Ridge Expeditioners are back! The crew rolled into camp yesterday afternoon happy, slightly dirty, and super excited about the amenities we take for granted day to day. Specifically in this case: showers. They cleaned up and headed back to their base camp, Reasonover, for a feast of pizza and salad. Stephen, Phen, and I joined them (and traded them a dessert of chocolate cake and ice cream) for tales of their journey. Each participant shared his or her highs and lows of the backpacking trip in our traditional form of Rose, Bud, Thorn.

Roses: All of it! The waterfall, dinner at John’s Rock (they cooked and watched the sunset from this amazing view on the 4th night), showers, berry picking and eating on the trail, to start. The BRXer’s loved all the different faces of the mountains, pita pizzas and pizza at Reasonover, hiking, moving the boulder at the waterfall, and swimming the last day and cooling off. Huge ferns, Nicholas’ stream ecology lesson, the discussions we had, cooking their own food, rock jumping, food in general, community bonding, and polar bearing are some more. Feeling satisfied after a long hike, carrying the weight on their backs even though it was hard it made them feel strong, getting to know everyone, being outside without the simply amenities like water, and just because it was mentioned by pretty much everyone….the waterfall and dinner at John’s Rock again.

Thorns: Getting to the campsite and someone had already being there, getting lazier with their tarp set-up each night, pizza sauce explosion in the bear bag (ask them about this!), not being able to eat the fish they caught with their bare hands, bug bites, sore feet and hips, bear bag smelling of pizza sauce, hiking slow versus fast, and getting stuck in a thorn bush (by accident).

Buds: Overwhelming the groups’ buds for the next few days are canoeing on the river and visiting the farm tonight. Our farmers, Rachel and Phil, will prepare a “from the fields” dinner for them right off the land. The group will feast after a fun, restful day on the French Broad and listen to music in what we believe is one of the most beautiful spots on the preserve. In addition, many of the expeditioners said their bud was “the rest of their life.” We as leaders thought this was awesome. They said it with such excitement and intention.

What an amazing group. I am excited to get to know everyone more these next 2 days…as we get to venture from the office and play on the river with them!