RoseBudThorn with Blue Ridge Expeditions

By Anne Mead

Blue Ridge Expeditioners have returned from their backpacking trip! The group arrived home on Friday, safe, dirty, and a bit more grown up. We brought them into camp to clean-up and then they retunred to Reasonover base camp to dine on some well earned pizza! As we have for many expeditions, Stephen and I made them a yummy dessert (this time local peach crisp) and ventured out to their campfire to hear tales from their trip.

Their roses were many and I am not going to lie, we wish we could have been there with them. It sounds like it was quite the experience! Roses included: Worley’s Cave, it was “surreal to be so deep in the Earth” it was empty and beautiful (you all should ask them about the Fairy Ballroom), summiting Cedar Rock, picking and eating blueberries and blackberries on the trail, the weather, hiking 27 miles, seeing where we had gone, storytelling and singing songs on the trail, supporting each other, having the expeditioners lead on the trail, the views, going in the river, laughter, gratification at the end of the day, FOOD, Food after hiking, eating, campfire time, feeling accomplished, the challenge overcoming the hills we climbed, pushing myself, the love I feel for this group and how everyone was supporting one another, the cook groups and getting to know different people in our group because of the cook groups, communication skills we gained, the teamwork we accomplished, looking up while hiking, and feeling tired.

Thorns included: the bugs the last night, getting stung, not seeing a sunrise or sunset on a bald, seeing poison ivy, blisters and bug bites, the rain (even though it did not rain that much), the uphill portions of the hike, looking at my feet, and because it was mentioned so much…the bugs the last night.

And finally, the buds or the things they are looking forward to doing: making my own campsite again, doing a trip like this again, telling GRP base campers about expeditions, sunrise, the upcoming waterfalls, climbing, coming back and doing another expedition, our next days, the continued adventure, canoeing, and planning the menu for the next few days.

All in all- I am excited for you parents and the tales you will hear on the rides home with your teens. What a great group and what a meaningful trip they have already engaged in.