BRX hits the Trail

By Green River Preserve

The Blue Ridge Expeditioners have hit the trail! The group has embarked on a seven-day, 40-mile trek through some amazing parts of Pisgah National Forest. The group will begin their expedition at the Devil’s Courthouse Parking Lot on the ever-popular Mountains to Sea Trail. They will quickly connect to the Art Loeb Trail and camp right beneath the steep and windy Pilot Mountain. After their rigorous climb and descent of Pilot, the group will find themselves at Gloucester Gap, where they will head down towards the Pisgah Forest Fish Hatchery to camp for their second night. The Expedition team will spend the next day hiking Looking Glass Rock for a beautiful view of much of Pisgah. They will spend that night at the Davidson River Campground. From there they will turn North and hike several smaller, less visited trails in the Front End of Pisgah towards Buckhorn Gap, where they will spend the next several days. On their final day, they will meet their transport vehicle on Road 1206 in Pisgah, and take a quick trip to Dolly’s Ice Cream Shop to celebrate their victorious feats over the past 5-days.

Prior to setting out on their trip, the Expeditioners were preparing by practicing both primitive and survival skills.

Saturday’s “Survival Day” went exceedingly well. They practiced skills such as fire by both friction and flint and steel. The leaders created challenging scenarios for the teams throughout the lesson such as “Rain” where they sprayed water droplets on each of their fires and the teams had to adjust their fires accordingly. They also challenged the teams to boil water over their newly-made fires with no equipment from their own basecamp kitchen. Lastly, Lawton acted as a hypothermic patient who required assistance in finding warmth with no shelter other than what the teams could build in the forest with natural materials.

Saturday evening, Rachel from the farm came to the Reasonover Base Camp. She led the group in a “From the Fields Dinner” with treats found on the Green River Preserve farm. It was a delicious meal enjoyed by all.

Their final challenge of the day was to plan their own backpacking trip, which they planned and organized on their own and are very excited about. They worked together as a cohesive and collaborative group to decide where they were going and how many miles they wanted to do.

Sunday was spent in preparation for this back packing trip. The group received lessons on back country stove use, Leave No Trace Environmental practices and methods, and packing a well-distributed and appropriate backpack for the long haul ahead. I was able to join them at Long Rock during dusk for a beautiful sunset where the atmosphere was a calm excitement for what lay ahead. The Expeditioners spoke with base campers who were on Campout and told them how amazing Expeditions has been for them thus far and to remember that camp does not have to end at base camp….

We expect to hear from them on Wednesday or Thursday for a check-in. Until then….