Expeditions Update!

By Anne Mead


Saturday the 23rd the group paddled much of the length of Shakelford Banks and made it all the way to Cape Lookout.  During the paddle the group experienced an intense downpour.  This brought only joy as it was a nice respite from the heat and the sun and provided a unique seascape.  Stingrays were abundant on much of this paddle.  This long day enabled a layover day on the 24th.  This day was filled with a visit to the museum and a walk all the way to the end of the Cape Lookout point.  The ferocity of the ocean was quite memorable and also provided a unique seascape.  The moonrise on each of the last two nights has been beautiful, so look at the moon and enjoy it with your expeditioner.

 Tuesday, they set off to Cods Creek.  Mackenzie Robison veteran OBX leader and OBX expeditioner declared this her favorite site, last year and I am sure would love to be with this group.  This will be GRP’s first visit there since the dock to access the land was wiped out by Hurricane Irene two years ago.

OBX’ers made it back to the mainland safely on Wednesday and spent Thursday surfing and touring the aquarium. Today, there final day, they will be cleaning and playing before a final celebration dinner and talking shell ceremony. It has been a fabulous trip!IMG_1218 IMG_1224 IMG_1229 IMG_1234 IMG_1253 IMG_1255 IMG_1269

 Western Expedition is off to a great start.   The group is bonding well and has enjoyed their first few days.  On the solstice they went to Jemez falls and got to scramble around on enormous boulders.  During their exploration of the area they found a cave. 

 On the 22nd they packed packs for an overnight and headed north after a breakfast of French toast.  The group ended up in Chaco Culture National Historic Park for the night. And were able to see a magnificent moonrise over a desert canyon. 

 The group got to hike up a cool canyon crevice to access the rim on the 23rd.  They were able to visit some ruins and see some petro glyphs.  The buildings in Chaco were built between 950 and roughly 1200 AD and were the largest buildings on the continent until the 19-century.  After a solo sit on the rim of the canyon the day ended  with a drive north to Silverton.  The group enjoyed a stop at Molas pass to enjoy the vista and get a glance at a part of their hiking route.

 Tuesday they hiked to the Old Hundred boarding house with Scott Fetch.  This is truly an amazing opportunity.  Scott has written a book on the mine and the boarding house and is regarded as one of the most knowledgeable people on this site.  He first found his way to Silverton as a Geologist in the 80s and today is one of the county commissioners. Everyone made it successfully to the boarding house and had a great time. 

The group is now underway in their backpacking trip. They will be out for approximately 10 days in the high country. Along the way they will be helping a local non-profit Mountain Studies Institute by participating in a Pika research project. Everyone is really excited to backpack and see some pika along the way. 

Stay tuned for more!